Suresh Chukkapalli, Chairman- Phoenix Group
Suresh Chukkapalli is at the helm of affairs at Phoenix Group, an empire that operates in four segments – Realty, Power, Automobiles and Mining is a Master of many trades. With his unique futuristic vision and expertise he built a real estate empire and other enterprises of repute. In addition to his full-time role as the Head of the Phoenix Group, he has held positions like founder promoter of the USD 500 million Lanco group; the Managing Trustee of the Phoenix Foundation and Lanco Foundation; Trustee of Chukkapalli Shankar Rao Charitable Trust.
Mr. Chukkapalli bought a qualitative difference in the industry by creating a niche for the Phoenix Real Estate Division by focusing on not just residential but also retail, commercial, Hospitality, IT SEZ and other such premium ventures thus creating a holistic approach to the business. He believes that an equitable society can only be achieved if each and every individual is ready and willing to do his or her part by giving back to the society. Born in 1962, Mr. Chukkapalli is a Mechanical engineer from SIT Tumkur Bangalore University and today he is one of the most esteemed names in the real estate industry in South India.
Under his leadership and guidance, the group undertakes a wide range of philanthropic efforts as well as community initiatives that are designed to make life better for people from all walks of life through ‘Phoenix Foundation’. These initiatives stretch around cities/towns & villages and across all of the Group’s operating divisions, reaching out to all of the communities. The Mahaprasthanam Crematorium located in Shaikpet, Jubilee Hills has been completely renovated under Phoenix Foundation and today it has become a benchmark project and has set new standards for all crematoriums and many such other crematoriums in Hyderabad are in the process of modernization.
Phoenix Group was recently awarded the Icons of Spaces 2017 Award for “Emerging Premium Gated Community” for their upcoming project Halcyon at Hyderabad. Mr. Suresh was also felicitated with the Award “Real Estate Professional of the Year” by BERG Singapore at the Icons of Spaces Summit 2017.
Team ABT interviewed Mr. Suresh Chukkapalli to know his views on the changing dynamics in the Real Estate Industry in India. Below are some intercepts.
How do you sum up the Current Real Estate Industry in India?
The real estate industry has become fragmented between micro markets, product categories and budget brackets. Each of them behaves differently in different micro market and each of the micro market behaves differently at different point of time. The cyclical change in the industry has shortened over the last two decades. Invariably each of the projects goes through this cyclical change, which makes it challenging for any developer. With RERA and GST in place, which are in fact excellent steps towards strengthening the sector, in the short term, we can expect some turbulence in this industry. However, the future of this industry is bright given the unmet demand and housing for all programs.
Tell us about some of the Challenges that are unaddressed
Challenges faced by Developers are more projects centric. At macro level, except the plethora of approvals required and availability of land with clear title, there are not many major challenges. Given that land and the industry per se are state subjects, these problems are likely to persist for some more time. On demand side, interest rates on home loans need to soften further for the customers, which will eventually boost the demand and also enhance the ability to buy.
How does Phoenix Group ensure quality & brand recall with customers?
Phoenix has a robust organization to oversee the implementation of its projects. The project implementation department is driven by 3 core philosophies viz. controlling the cost, minimizing the implementation period, and achieving the desired quality and safety standards. The team is backed by nation’s best consultants from various fields such as quantity surveyors, construction management firms, scheduling & planning experts etc.
Phoenix always engages nationally reputed contractors and ensures they too share the similar vision and values. We ensure and handhold the customers beyond just leasing the space and ensure each and every requirements of theirs are met with such that they move to operation mode at the earliest. In case of apartments, we take care of the maintenance and provide home services too, which is not common in this industry. Our customers appreciate our constant support to them on every infrastructure & service requirement of theirs.
What are your views on the RERA implementation & its effects on your business?
RERA was a long pending reform and a good policy framework for the industry. It will weed out those having crooked intentions and fly-by-night operators. We welcome RERA and more reforms in the RE sector. For sure, RERA will create a level playing field between the developers and also generate confidence in the minds of the customer. RERA is bound to have positive impact on the business in the long run. If there is any negativity, it is short term and mere apprehension only.
Tell us about your upcoming Projects & plans at Phoenix Group
We have multiple ongoing and upcoming commercial and retail projects in the pipeline with an approximate total built up area of 20 million SFT. Some of these include Halcyon- Located at the crest of Jubilee Hills Hyderabad, Halcyon gives a full 360 degree view of the city skyline. Halcyon has end to end comforts making life worth enjoying. Phoenix Lithop is located in the heart of Jubilee Hills is office space for corporate companies. Phoenix Trivum is a commercial project of around 1 million sq.ft located at the growing micro market of Hafeezpet.
Guntar mall- Phoenix Padmavathi Mall is a multi-format mall that will be the finest destination for shopping, entertainment, leisure and eat-outs. The world-class mall will house branded outlets, movie screens, and other units where people can spend time in an enjoyable way. It will be a place of absolute relaxation and rejuvenation. Phoenix Primea- Located in the heart of Financial District, is a state-of-the art office space for corporate companies.
What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
Phoenix as a brand grew to a sizeable organization over a period of 16 years. Our agenda now is to really create a Niche for ourselves by focusing on the demand for being aware of the needs of the environment around us. Building Platinum rated green buildings, trying to make our surroundings and everyone realize the importance of being carbon negative will be in focus for us. Phoenix shall do its bit to provide for more carbon negative projects and bring awareness to everyone to be more conscious of the same. Phoenix strives to make the country proud of such developments which would be recognized globally.