BENGALURU: J P Nagar Cultural Association (JPNCA) was started in 1983-84 with 35 founder members. Having waded through initial hiccups, the club is now a landmark in J.P. Nagar with about 2160 members. Its Honorary Secretary Prof Muthegowda speaks to City Express about the journey so far and the plans for the future.
Tell us about when the idea of the club came up and how has the journey been in shaping it to the present stage.
The idea dawned on a few residents in 1983 and along with like-minded people, we started the club in a rented premises. We were looking at a club which could be in line with the Cosmopolitan Club in Jayanagar. We decided to opt for our own land and started the process in 1985 to acquire space from BDA. We tried till 1991, when we finally got the land, but could occupy only in 1997.
But then again, we could not start as we had thought due to shortage of funds. By 2007, when we could mobilise money and raise loans, we started construction and completed it in 2011.
By 2015, we were complete with the interiors as well.
What do you offer members at the club?
We are the first in the city to have a basement parking with a capacity of 110 cars. We are also the first to have a tennis court on the first floor.
We have two shuttle courts on the second floor. Apart from these, other facilities include a swimming pool, four billiards tables, and gymnasium.
VIP lounges for important family or business meeting, standard guest rooms and luxurious suites with all amenities, state-of-the-art conference room to hold meetings, conferences and trainings, a spacious hall for parties, amphitheatre for award ceremonies, dramas and music concerts, terrace garden restaurant, a well stocked bar, a fitness centre, air-conditioned cards rooms, salon and spa complete the luxury element for the members. All guests get a smart card to enable them access to the pool, the fitness centre, the spa and our restaurants.
What were and are the challenges faced by you?
When we began, there were challenges with perception; people thinking that we were promoting a gambling or drinking den. It took time to make them understand that we were trying to come up with a recreational facility for families. The awareness building did take time.
Now that the building has come up and all facilities are in place, day-to-day maintenance and necessary care and protection, ensuring hygiene around the place, quality food and beverage, balancing egos of members, ensuring there is a touch of care when dealing with officials and politics are aspects that have to be understood and undertaken with extreme caution.
Do you have affiliations with other clubs in the city or state?
We have affiliation with a few clubs which are about 100 km away from the city. In the state, as of now, we haver affiliations with 30 clubs. We are planning to extend the facility in other states as well.
What is the cost of membership? Is it limited to people living in JP Nagar?
The cost of membership is Rs 4 lakh inclusive of taxes. While preference is given to people residing in the area, we do consider people from other places too.
Tell us about the plans of the club.
We are planning to increase space for car parking. The tennis court will move to the third floor and the first and second floor will be allocated for parking of cars. We are planning to come up with a bowling alley and squash court too. Another ambitious plan is to develop a resort on 3-5 acres in the outskirts of Bengaluru for members to relax during the weekend. And if floor area ratio permits, we will also go for another floor.