05 April 2020

Realty Biz

We are very upbeat about infrastructure development in north eastern India


The Kolkata headquartered Shristi Group, which is among leading construction and infrastructure firms in India, has left its imprimatur on the landscape of eastern India by developing integrated townships, residential and commercial complexes, logistics hubs,  sports cities, hotels and more. Shristi, which has a portfolio more than 27 million sq.ft of built up space across 11 cities, has very recently launched a large township project in Guwahati, and is also looking to expand its reach pan-India.

Shristi has a number of companies under its umbrella in Public-Private Partnership model with State and Central Government organisations. Listed in Mumbai and Kolkata Stock Exchange, the ISO 9001: 2000 certified company is presently handling projects over $ 1 billion. SUNIL JHA, CEO, BENGAL SHRISTI responded to queries from SHRIKANT RAO.



Give us an understanding of your organisation’s focus on the real estate sector? What is your brand philosophy?


We started operations in the year 1999 and have since then created a mark for ourselves by developing integrated townships, residential complexes, commercial spaces, logistic hubs, industrial parks, schools and hospitals. With footprints in 11 cities, we provide holistic infrastructure in tier 2 cities of eastern India which have been late entrants in terms of development for modern day living. The company has also been responsible for 6 retail developments.  As far as our brand philosophy is concerned it is simple: It is to evolve and deliver new paradigms of living that create a fusion of Indian wisdom blended with the best of global innovations. Shristi has always been a trend-setter in implementing latest technologies and systems seamlessly.



Your ambition is to bring in a world class living experience to the areas where your projects are coming up? Tell us about your tie ups with international designers and architectural firms?


 It is our brand mission to bring world class living experience to the tier 2 towns for which we have tied up with international architects to design our township, Sembcorp Engineers and Constructor, OS2, SAA Architects, Surbana, Townland(Hong Kong), Work System America- Asia-Europe, AWP Singapore, Cervera and Pioz Spain, Chapman Taylor UK to name a few.



Tell us about your landmark projects, the geographies in which they are located and the scale of the developments?


The company started with its first project in Durgapur- City Centre, located at the heart of the steel city, at a time when there were mostly housing quarters for Durgapur Steel Plant employees and standalone buildings for others in the city. Since then there has been no looking back. Among the other projects we have undertaken are Shristinagar-Asansol, retail and residential apartments in Krishnagar, a sports city in Haldia, mixed development of residential and industrial in Kanchanjangha, a boutique bungalow estate in Santiniketan, the Logistic Highway Hub in Raniganj, a 5 Star Hotel complex along with retail and service apartments called V in Kolkata not to mention a commercial and retail plaza in Agartala.  At Asansol, we have created a 90 acre urban township within the larger industrial city – this has changed the way of living amidst green vistas for the first  time. It is a total development of 6 million square feet, which will be finally housing 5000 families approximately. It comprises premium residential apartments, group housing structures, plotted housing units, bungalows and row houses, commercial and retail area, club, with infrastructure which will enable comfortable and luxurious living. The master plan of the township has been done by Sembcorp Architects of Singapore while other renowned architects such as SAA Architects of Singapore, Edifice and OS 2 Associates have worked on the details. Around 500 families are already residing in the township. The first highway hub, Raniganj Square, located on National Highway-2, at the epicenter of eastern India's industrial and mining belt has been designed to cater to the needs of the travelers passing through the National Highway as well as the Delhi-Howrah rail route. Spread over 24 acres, the project encompasses three major arteries that impact growth – logistic, entertainment and infrastructure. There is space and facility for loading and unloading, a large petrol pump, a weigh bridge with an absolutely modern weighing system and services station to cater to all types of vehicles, and banks and ATMs for hassle-free monetary transactions. More than 125 truck parking provision with rest and refreshment area for drivers and car parking have been made. The transportation system to and from the site has been rationally and scientifically designed to avoid congestion and to allow smooth movement.  We also have a significant presence in retail. The concept of organised retailing was sown by the Dreamplex,a 100,000 sq. ft.state-of-the-art Shopping Mall with Multiplex, at Durgapur, considered as the twin city to Kolkata. Aitorma Agartala Sentrum a 7-storey retail and commercial plaza –  spread over 100,000 sq ft is the first-organised retail facility of its kind in Agartala and comprises dedicated floors for showrooms, branded retail shops, restaurants and eateries, structured commercial area with office spaces and a business centre with modern facilities.  



Can you expand on your group’s Look East Policy - and your emphasis on constructing township projects in the eastern part of the country? Tell us about the scope for development and the prospects there? Also how secure are real estate investments in that part of the country?


We are very upbeat about infrastructure development in north eastern India. There is certainly a lot of scope on account of increasing literacy levels and a general increase in household incomes. It is absolutely a secure investment, as a matter of fact I am happy to say there has been a 10 per cent increase in residential values over the past several years.  We currently have two projects in the north eastern region, Agartala Aitorma – Retail and Commercial Plaza and Shristinagar Guwahati which is a 250 acre development and is the largest integrated township in the region. We believe that the Look East Policy will position Guwahati at the forefront of growth and development. As a gateway to the Northeast, Guwahati enjoys certain unique advantages due to its geographical location and is the hub of trade and commerce. Equipping Guwahati with a township matching global standards is just a step forward in this direction.




Give us offer us more details of the Guwahati project?     


Shristi has now launched North East India’s first private sector-integrated township at Guwahati. Spread across an area of 250 acres at Kharguli Hills extension along the Brahmaputra, the Rs 3000 crore Shristinagar project is located just 7 km from the Guwahati CBD. Infrastructure work has already commenced at the site and project will be developed in phases.

Central to the Group’s brand philosophy is the view that the 5 elements – Air, Water, Earth, Space and Fire – form the basis of all creations. Thus the township nestled in the hills looks to offer to its residents the uniqueness of water front views, an uplifting hilly breeze, landscaped greens and unparalleled access to sunshine. The project envisions residential villas, multi-storied apartments, educational institutions, hospital, retail and commercial zones and a club house having a total built up of more than 12 million sq ft and when fully constructed will house over 6,000 families and will be self-sustainable.

Shristinagar Guwahati will also have state-of-the healthcare facilities at its hospital and educational facilities at par with the very best in the world. Multiplexes, designer boutiques and supermarkets will be inside the township. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects, Stantec USA, Shristinagar will aim at transforming and establishing Guwahati’s identity as one of the premier business, residential, entertainment and lifestyle hub in northeast. It will also house a deluxe resort and a luxury hotel with fine dining facilities.  The first phase of the project which will is expected to be completed within the next three years will house about 1,350, 2-3 BHK apartments of 1000-1400 sq ft; up to 90 villas coming up on land measuring 2880 – 6000 sq ft and having a built up area of 2200- 3500 sq ft and with a price point between Rs 85 lakh – Rs 1.45 crore.  The villas are for those who appreciate the finer things in life. They are functional in terms of aesthetics, in sync with the local sensibilities and are also integrated into the natural landscape of the site. To top it all they have been priced very attractively. The entire township will take about 15 years to develop fully.  We have received very positive response from the launch and are very excited about it. The township, like most of our other projects, is designed to accommodate segments like luxury residential and affordable housing.




Are you looking at other geographies as well as part of your Pan India vision and do you have a land bank? 


We intend to be a pan-India infrastructure development company, and are therefore looking at other geographical locations. No, we do not work on a land bank module.




Tell us about your focus on sustainability, energy efficiency and green building in your projects? 


Our township projects are green, with 60 per cent green coverage and 40 per cent construction area. We have implemented zero discharge of waste products for townships by the recycling methods. All sanitary and sewerage lines are UPVC and CPVC which reduces scale formation and increases longevity of the pipelines. We also use tinted glasses on building façade which increases transmission of light and reduces heat transmission. This increases the efficiency of air conditioning. We also have four lane driveways within the township with well defined medians and anti glare bushes. We use paver blocks in rigid places which allows water to percolate and increase the water table in dry areas.



How has 2013 been for your group from a project implementation perspective because of the high cost of building material and the economic slowdown? Tell us about the various challenges faced and the strategies employed by your group to combat them?


It’s true that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market, mostly in metro cities, which are investors driven markets. In tier 2 cities, where we operate, 80 per cent of the buyers are end users. There is a general slow-down in the overall economy which has affected all sectors including real estate. Like other sectors, there’s learning for the real estate market from the current situation that one should offer as per the market dynamics.



What is your strategy to market your projects – how easy or difficult is it to do so?


We design strategies as per the segment targeted for a particular project. We follow a philosophy of long term relationship with all our business partners and clients, for which as a company we have an extensive marketing, sales and customer care team. We feel that our own team will always be in a better position to understand and serve the consumer better. From the consumers’ perspective, it is always assuring for them, when they have direct interaction with the developers and can also seek out relevant information from the website. We have a long term vision, so we have a customer care vertical which forms an integral part of sales and services after a project is handed over to consumers. We also engage channel partners in specific projects, to add value and utilise their expertise in that region.



Tell us about your group’s future plans? What are your expectations from the new government? 


The group plans to develop infrastructure projects pan-India. This will comprise 4-5 townships in tier 2 towns and 4-5 residential projects around the metros. We expect clearances, transparent rules and regulations and better land policies to make housing affordable. Low home loan rates will boost the residential sector and make it affordable for end users.


06 March 2015


Taking the ovrewiev, this post is first class

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