Homes for 5 to 10 lakhs, “DLF is not a bank” and Bollineni Hillside

March 20, 2009

Homes for 5 to 10 lakhs

Yes, you read it right. Five Lakhs to Ten Lakhs is the range.

Following Real Value Neel Kamal and Provident Housing CosmoCity, it is now the turn of Unitech to offer low cost apartments. Unitech proposes to offer housing options in the range of Rs.5-10 lakhs. On a related note – the next step in this quest among builders to offer low cost housing, will probably be to take the Laurie Baker route.

To know more about the project and related note on “Laurie Baker route”, read Unitech plans to offer apartments for Rs.5-10 lakhs

 

DLF is not a bank

DLF has started making refunds to buyers on a case-by-case basis. Buyers say that around 561 have submitted letters seeking exit from the project. But DLF says..

DLF Spokesperson :

“This is not a current account that you put in the money and withdraw whenever you want to.”

Read more at : DLF starts refunds ; 561 of 1800 in queue, say buyers

 

Bollineni Hillside

Even when existing players are finding it hard to sell their inventory, Hyderabad’s BSCPL is launching a mega township of 4500 residential units, named Bollineni Hillside, very near DLF Garden City. The size of the project and the location would likely draw comparision with DLF Garden City project.

Read more at : BSCPL launches mega township near DLF Garden City at 2500/sqft

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Only DLF did not factor the downturn ?!

March 14, 2009

It seems only DLF did not factor the changing economic scenario, reducing costs of construction and lowering interest rates, when it had fixed the prices for its projects. They sited those reasons when they made a price cut recently.

All other builders were wise enough to forsee the problems and had priced their projects right. Some go to the extent of suggesting that reducing the prices can only result in reduced quality and hence they will not reduce prices in their projects.

Justifying the need to retain old prices seems to be a problem at hand for the builders.  Either they need to come up with convincing answers on why they will not reduce the prices or they will have to bite the bullet. 

Read about what some builders have to say.. 

http://placetolivein.blogspot.com/2009/03/builders-no-price-cuts-planned.html


Serviced Apartments, Sathyam Cinemas @ Arun Excello, CosmoCity and FAQs

March 12, 2009

Recent Posts in my other Blogs..

PlaceToStay.in : 

PlaceToLive.in :


Estancia Integrated Township gets exclusive BSNL telephone exchange

March 11, 2009

Estancia Integrated Township, at Maraimalai Nagar, is all set to get an exclusive BSNL telephone exchange within the complex, enabling “Total Telecom Solutions” to all the residential units, as per the MoU signed between the promoters (L & T and Arun Excello) and BSNL. 

The Economic Times
…. 
As per the MoU, BSNL would extend copper-optic fiber connectivity with 100 per cent redundancy to all buildings inside Estancia to deliver its services including voice and data services, high speed broadband, centrex facility, mobile services, wi-fi hotspots, MPLS-VPN and Internet lines. 

BSNL would give the 1900 residents a deposit free telephone connection with STD facility and supply the telephone instrument free of cost.

Full article here [economictimes.indiatimes.com] 

While the proposal of setting up telephone exchanges is an obvious necessity for such large townships in farther suburbs, it is always better to have provision for multiple players. 

In our 10 year old apartment complex in Velachery, BSNL does have underground lines running to all blocks and into the apartments. Enabling a new connection in an apartment is as easy as plugging the phone into sockets (after the line is configured to go live). 

But, all other lines including Hathway (cable internet), Airtel Landline, etc.,. have their wires hanging between blocks and running through windows into the residential units. So, it is important that additional concealed piping is made available for other competing service providers to route their land-line services, at a later date. 

Hope such MoU-s do not have clauses for blocking out additional provisions for competing services.

Update : 

The official press release on the MoU between L & T Arun Excello and BSNL adds.. 

India PRwire
‘We have signed around 100 such agreements with real estate developers so that they can offer a telecom-ready building to their customers,’ he added. 

L & T Arun Excello will construct and offer BSNL 2,500 sq.ft building for running a telephone exchange on annual lease rent of Re.1. For the telecom giant it is a winning deal as the township project has 1,900 residential apartments, an IT special economic zone (SEZ), hotel, mall and other facilities. 

‘We will recover our investment of Rs.60 million in a year’s time,’ said Velusamy.

Full Press Release here [indiaprwire.com] 

Wow !! The six crores spent is to be recovered in a year’s time !! 

That works out to billing each apartment nearly Rs.32000 / year or around Rs.2650 / month (considering 1900 residential units).

(This post is part of the discussion thread on L&T Arun Excello Estancia)


The New Indian Express calls DLF Garden City Google Group members “Internet Hobos”

March 7, 2009

The New Indian Express calls the members of the DLF Google Group as “Internet Hobos”, creating a lot of responses from the group members, ranging from explaining their side of the story to thrashing the article for such one-sided view..

Internet hobos stalk DLF
First Published : 06 Mar 2009 03:28:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 06 Mar 2009 07:31:13 AM IST

CHENNAI: These days of slowdown stories abound and though no Grapes of Wrath would be written there’s wrath enough on display to spin a web of it. One that has caught the imagination has an amorphous group of individuals waging an Internet war against the country’s biggest real estate player – DLF Ltd., their allegations difficult to check because there are no names to call though there is enough of name-calling in the write-ups some of these unidentified worthies have posted on the net.
……
…..
“There were three groups of buyers – a block of 75-80 per cent who were decidedly end-users, another smaller block of those who intend to rent out the units they bought and a third block who grabbed the flats for speculative gains,” says Sanjey Roy, senior general manager, Corporate Communications, DLF Ltd. “These are the people who are behind the calumny directed against DLF. I call them speculationactivists.

They claim they are 600 plus but we know they don’t number more than 150.” Among other demands, the group has been asking for a cut in prices given the current economic crisis. The group also managed to carry their grievances to the media.
…..
……
But these have failed to rein in the group of individuals waging the Internet war against DLF. “Instead, they have upped the ante,” says Roy. “They are instigating existing satisfied customers, asking them to join hands with them and fight for their unreasonable demands. Isn’t it strange they haven’t gone to court?” Roy insists the company has done everything according to law. He says the application forms that the customers signed clearly states all the terms and conditions and that DLF had nothing to hide; and that the project would be completed on time; the units ready for occupation by March-April 2011, as promised.

There the story stands; the wrath refusing to get off the anonymity of the Internet and show its face.

The way in which the article writes of DLF’s K.P.Singh meeting with the PM Manmohan Singh, also creates an impression about the author being in a more favorable position towards DLF…

In the meantime, the DLF’s K P Singh was the only real estate representative among a group of Industry bigwigs invited to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the financial crisis and its impact on India. “This was the first time in 62 years somebody from the realty sector was given the honour, putting the stamp of ‘Industry’ on the sector,” says K K Raman, head-homes, DLF, Chennai.

Selected comments, posted as responses to the articles..

… I quickly searched on Google and found the following definition: “tramp: a disreputable vagrant; “a homeless tramp”; “he tried to help the really down-and-out bums” “. I really feel that this is not acceptable and this reporter owes an apology to the members of our group for branding us as such. We are all well educated, decent people trying protect our interests in a fair manner….

By Sundar, 3/6/2009 6:51:00 PM

…. We recently held a meeting at Taj Coramandal hotel at Nungambakkam which was attended by our members (200+) to discuss the pending issues and next steps. This was covered by some of the media houses as well. Pls note that most of the group members (around 700 members) want to exit the project due to issues highlighted below…

By Senthil, 3/6/2009 10:34:00 PM

…I strongly condemn this biased article. The usage of terms like hobos, faceless, unidentified worthies and etc., are totally uncalled for. …

By Prabu, 3/6/2009 9:21:00 PM

…. It is also an irony that author who does not give his/her own name to the article calls intrepid bloggers ‘faceless hobos’. …

By Prasad, 3/6/2009 7:00:00 PM

The following comment consolidates the issues the buyers have with DLF

Being active part of the group, lemme give you the true picture: Speculators us? We are negotiating with DLF to work our amicable terms, which is why no criminal suit has been filed yet. DLF has been stalling us saying they are working out an amicable way, a fair option which we want to pursue so you should understand why no case has been field yet. You should have come and taken names, addresses, phone numbers of people who participated in a meeting organized at Taj hotel last Sunday and then u can decide on calling us FACELESS. Why would DLF hold talk with faceless people? Well this fight just got bigger.

1. We have not signed any buyers agreement yet. which has worked to our advantage. An application for allotment has been given. That’s it. Please verify this with DLF.

2. DLF took the money from us almost a year back (31-mar-2008) and only recently ‘CLAIM’ to have got the approvals. Ask them for stamped drawings and approval details.

3. Club which was lifetime free at time of booking turned out to be 2 year annual payments . Ask them why?

4. A 5 acre forest land inside the complex was shown in initial brochures by DLF to be their own. Now we’ve discovered that it belongs to a freedom fighter whom they are trying to buy it off from. Is this legal? It is clear .. I don’t want to call the number.

5. A short 2KM, 60 ft approach road to the project was promised. Now it seems people will have to travel another 16 km additionally each day. Clear breach of misleading and amounts to breach of contract if any.

6. When booking a 1400 sq ft flat suddenly shot up to 1520 sq ft with 10% increase in carpet area.

7. 850 of us have submitted exit letters. On saying unless money is retuned we will file a criminal case DLF agreed to return the money, which has not happened yet. DLF claims only 200 people have submitted exit letters?

8. DLF claims we are speculators/investors. We are infact end users.

9. DLF unless they pay back the money with interest by mid-march, we will be staging dharna, hunger strikes, protests soon. So u can expect a lot of action soon.

10. YES A SINGLE TWIG CAN BE BROKEN. NOT A BUNCH!

By Vijay
3/6/2009 5:48:00 PM 

The full article and the other comments can be read at expressbuzz.com

Builders and the sections of conventional media need to come to terms with the new trend of online collaboration.

About ten years ago, one might not know their neighbors well until they move into their new apartment. But now the penetration of internet has enabled people to collaborate even before they buy apartments in the project. This is part of a growing trend and cannot be stopped by builders, even if they want to. The best approach will be accept it as a reality and work with a open mindset.

That is the reason we, at PlaceToLive.in, have online collaboration details listed as part of the project details.The  information includes Portal of Owners Association (ResidentialCommunity.in), Mailing Lists (Google Groups, Yahoo! Groups) and Social Networking Groups (Orkut Communities and Facebook Groups).

For DLF we have listed
Google Groups : http://groups.google.com/group/dlf-gardencity 
Orkut Community : http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=62668533 

You may also want to read the discussion page detailing the recent developments on DLF Garden City

If you want your project details as part of PlaceToLive.in, along with information on the online collaboration details, kindly send a mail to admin@placetolive.in or use our Feedback Form.

Related Blog Posts :

Feb 24, 2009 : DLF reduces apartment prices in Garden City, OMR !!

Feb 25, 2009 : Buyers : “DLF Garden City Rate Cuts Not Enough, Considering Exit Offer”


Yet another exciting business opportunity

March 5, 2009
 
Zoho, a venture of my startup training center – AdventNet, has come up with a nice idea to use auto-rickshaws as mobile billboards . I had assumed that auto-rickshaws need to be in yellow and black ; since, if it were not, should not autos be carrying mobile billboards already.
Auto-rickshaw Mobile Billboard

Auto-rickshaw Mobile Billboard

 
My assumption was wrong. As mentioned by Naga in the comments of that blog post, the rule is limited to having yellow color for the metal body, while the cover does not have any such restrictions. Autos currently not carrying mobile billboards, is probably a problem of execution of the idea.
 
Ahhh !! Yet another exciting business opportunity… 

To handle auto-rickshaw marketing for corporates : 

  • Getting marketing content,
  • Streamlining the distribution to auto-rickshaws in different locations and
  • Ensuring that the ads keeps running on 3-wheels during the period of contract
…which I cannot take up at once. (sighhhh!!)
 
But, the idea seems interesting and may be there is good money to be made, by being a channel for corporates. May be, I can venture into this one too. 
  
Wait, is this not a common problem with Entrepreneurs ?!
  
Yup, it is a common problem..

Losing focus as an entrepreneur

Yesterday, I had dinner with an entrepreneur friend of mine. He had rejected a cozy, full time job offer to become a full time entrepreneur. The initial traction and he and his company seemed to be getting were pretty amazing. But after a short lived buzz, his company lost steam and the venture finally fizzled out.

Why ? What happened I asked.

“Blame my hyper enthusiasm”, he said. He went on to elaborate that even after launching his company, his mind kept brainstorming all these ideas which he felt had immense potential. After launching the company and getting all the buzz, I no more found the idea to be challenging. My mind kept brainstorming and bouncing off all these other great ideas out there. I started working on another idea as a side project. In between of all this mind-wavering, my focus unknowingly got shifted from the company I had launched. Losing my focus led to my lack of focus and ultimately the demise of my company.

Hmm… I came home from the dinner with a great, valuable, first-hand lesson – never to lose focus. It is very easy to get tempted by the next great idea, but you need to persist and keep your ultimate goal in perspective. Other startups will emerge and the thought will cross your mind – ‘Damn..why didnt I think of that idea before’. But in doing so, you are wavering from your chosen track. Your single handed focus should be to nurture your baby and help it grow.

http://www.startupdunia.com/entrepreneurship/losing-focus-as-an-entrepreneur-340

Well, the “auto-rickshaw mobile billboards” business probably needs another entrepreneur.
  
Interested 😉 ?

Buyers : “DLF Garden City Rate Cuts Not Enough, Considering Exit Offer”

February 25, 2009

ET now reports that despite the rate cut announced by DLF for its Garden City project in Semmanchery (near OMR, Chennai), the buyers are considering the exit offer from DLF.

dlf-omr-commentsOne of the buyer seems to have commented on the TOI article “Builder slashes apartment prices on OMR” (which reported the price cuts), says that “GC google group members core demands have not been met and also this reduction is not even close to bangalore and hyderabad DLF projects. Everybody had expected atleast 20% from the soft launch price. Disappointed and will exit from the project.” (read comment on ToI)

According to buyers, the 13-month inordinate delay and launch of the project without proper sanctions had driven many away. DLF’s recent mail to the buyers claims to have got the DTCP approvals and that it will start the process of signing Apartment Buyers’ agreements very soon. It also claims that it can complete the construction by April 2011, as was initially planned.

The article is available at : 
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News-by-Industry/DLFs-exit..

Earlier Blog Post : 
DLF reduces apartment prices in Garden City, OMR !! 

Also read :
Discussion Thread on DLF Garden City (including earlier news articles).