Century Real Estate started in the year 1973 with the primary objective of transacting in simple buying and selling of land. 39 years later, the Company has evolved into an integrated, full service real estate development company that has transformed Bangalore’s urban landscape and is credited with several of Bangalore’s landmark developments such as Manipal Centre, Taj Residency, Vijaya Bank Head Quarters and Diamond District.
P. Ravindra Pai, Managing Director of Century Real Estate Holdings Private Limited speaks to Vyas Sivanand about their phased growth in the Bangalore real estate market, which according to him is currently facing a price issue.
Century Real Estate started with buying and selling land. When and how did you foray into development?
It was a phased growth. We started with the trading model adding value with conversion, title perfection, etc. over the years. We have the unique distinction of purchasing land on M.G.Road at Rs 5 per square feet way back in 1973 where today the quoted prices are in the range of Rs 20,000 per square feet.
In the 80s we forayed into plotted development and in the later part of 90s, we got into joint development with builders. It was 2003 that we started development under our own banner.
How much square feet have you developed so far and how much more is going on?
We have 1.2 million square feet which have been constructed under four projects. Currently we are developing 2.3 million square feet under 14 projects. All the projects are in and around Bangalore and few in Mysore.
Today, we are the largest owners of real estate in Bangalore with a land bank in excess of 3000 acres representing more than $ 2 billion in asset value and a total development portfolio of over 9.5 million square feet over the next five years comprising hotels, office buildings, residences, educational institutions and integrated townships. We are proud of the line of achievements that we have been able to achieve till date. It has been a journey to reckon with good memories. We have host of future plans piled up and we will be working on those strategies very soon.
What is the ideology that drives the company?
Century is driven by a need to provide a world-class experience in every way.
By channelling its unique legacy and expertise into a sustainable vision that engages every level of its human capital, be it management, staff, customers or partners, Century’s mission of ‘Thinking Ahead’ reverberates along the entire value chain.
What is your view on Bangalore’s real estate sector?
Bangalore is a very stable market but price is an area of concern.
The prices have remained stagnant for sometime because of which the margins come under pressure. But there has been no drop in sales.
Are you looking at diversification?
We want to expand our footprint within our portfolio, but all relating to real estate. We do not have any plans to move out of Bangalore since we love Bangalore very much. Above all this is the place which recognise our talents, enjoyed our service. However, I am not denying any plans of