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Priyanka Kapoor   
Significantly while most of the real estate players were reeling under pressure in FY09, Lodha Developers hardly got impacted by the global meltdown, and smartly carried on their project execution. Three decades old Lodha Group is today Mumbai’s premier real estate developer providing comprehensive residential and office space solutions across real estate categories and diverse consumer segments including luxury residences in South Mumbai, to large integrated townships in the suburbs. The Mumbai-based group is engaged in developing over 30 million sq. ft. of prime real estate spread over three dozen projects. Abhisheck Lodha, Managing Director, Lodha Developers Ltd. (LDL) in an interview with Realty Plus, talks extensively about his company’s plans and challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. By Priyanka Kapoor
What has been the company’s fi nancial performance in the last fi scal and what are your expectations for 2010-11?

The final numbers are yet to be out. But the value of sales is about Rs 3,900 crores and the booked sales (the balanced sheet sales) are Rs 2400 crores. Over the last 5 years, our profi tability each year has grown by over 100 %. So as a company we have done very strongly in spite of the slowdown. Fiscal year 2009-2010 has especially been a very strong year for the company and we have become the largest developer in Mumbai.

The slowdown adversely affected premium/luxury housing. How did Lodha cope with it?

The global economic downturn sobered the euphoria that was “real estate”. This sector has seen a rebound in the last quarter of 2009. Both residential as well as commercial real estate sales are on the rise. It has also brought affordable housing to the fore, which was always at the back of the mind of most developers. Lodha was one of the fi rst developers to predict decreasing affordability and predict its impact on sales. Consequently, we recognized opportunities in mid income housing and took active steps towards the creation of our sub brand CASA by Lodha which marries our values of luxury as well as affordability and created a segment within mid income housing called mid income luxury. Despite the challenging market condition, CASA has witnessed a positive response.

What precise plans do you have in this affordable luxury housing segment?

With essential quality and luxury endorsement, providing right sized and, right priced products in Mumbai’s suburban locations, CASA was developed in order to explore the untapped potential in the ‘affordable segment.’ These homes are in the price range of Rs 10 Lakhs to Rs 50 Lakhs. We currently have 5 ongoing projects in this segment.

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