Jackbastian Nazareth was Enterprising CEO of the year(2012)at the ET Now Awards for Retail Excellence. Jack is currently the Group C E O at Puravankara Projects Ltd. Prior to joining Puravankara, Jack, as he is known among friends, was the Executive Director of Sobha Developers Ltd overseeing their international operations, based out of Dubai.
Jack did his schooling from St.Pauls High School (1983) and has a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Gogte Institute of Technology Belgaum(1990. He also has an MBA from the Goa Institute of Management with a specialization in Marketing and Finance.
He started his career as an entrepreneur with M/s. Trinity Consultants and Engineers in Belgaum and Goa. Apart from handling International operations at Sobha Developers, he also handled Sales, Marketing, CRM, Corporate Affairs and Facility management.. He was also associated with Tishman Speyer as Managing Director, Head -Sales & Marketing in their Bangalore office.
With his enterprise and enterprising skills meriting the attention of the whole country, we at AAB are proud of the fact that this entrepreneur shaped a reality from his dreams.
AAB spoke to Jackbastian Nazareth on the current trends in the real estate segment:
How would you describe the Puravankara journey as an experience?
Jackbastian ——– > It has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. The opportunity to lead a Rs.1200 cr. organization, with a 1016 strong workforce is a rare privilege. I shall be eternally grateful for my serendipitous good fortune.
I have grown immeasurably, as a professional and as a leader, in the process. Each year, the talent pool at Puravankara grows stronger – we have hired terrific people. Consequently, my professional interactions are engaging and enriching.
Over the years, I have come to realize that providing the forum for talent to flourish is the path to effective leadership. Our organization, indeed any organization, will only ever be as good as its people. As such, my foremost role is to enable talent to realize its potential. The weight of this formidable responsibility keeps me grounded.
When I joined Puravankara in 2010, it was a Rs. 500 cr. company – since then we have launched 17.63 million square feet of projects with a development pipeline of 28.5 million square feet, and have more than doubled our revenue. Unequivocally, this mammoth accomplishment is a credit to our people. I am thankful for their support and that of my senior management team.
On a personal note, I continue to be inspired by Mr. Ravi Puravankara’s business acumen and humbled by his graciousness. On the whole, Puravankara has been an experience of a lifetime!
In 2011 you had planned entry into Belgaum, is there any progress on the same?
Jackbastian ——– > Belgaum does not feature in our plans at this juncture, relative to other commitments. As our geographic footprint expands, I envision that we will be there before long.
You have recently been aggressive on affordable housing through subsidiary Provident Housing Ltd, how do you see this market segment growing?
Jackbastian ——– > In 2009, we established Provident Housing Ltd. in response to growing demand for affordable housing. In only 4 years, Provident has grown from a fledgling operation to a key business driver, contributing over 40% of our profits. The brand has several successful launches to its credit, and a project pipeline of over 12 million square feet.
The market potential for affordable homes is sizeable. The country’s urban population of 285 million, multiplied five times during the last 50 years. That growth trajectory is expected to continue, so that 50% of India is living in urban areas by 2030. Furthermore, an estimated 600 million people are below 24 years of age. A whole new generation of young Indians is staking a claim to home ownership, thanks to higher incomes, ensuing aspirations and easier access to mortgage finance. So the market opportunity is undeniable.
Has the slow rate of GDP, higher inflation in any way impacted the company or the real estate market on a whole?
Jackbastian ——– > India is the world’s fourth largest economy, projected to emerge as the third largest by 2025. The country will need more homes, offices, civic and infrastructure facilities to accommodate this growth. This implies a greater role for the construction and real-estate sector. Much of residential real-estate and infrastructure development will occur in and around cities. The country is already grappling with an estimated shortfall of 18 MN housing units, which means that the consumer population is growing faster than the availability of residential stock, in many parts of the nation.
Economic slowdown notwithstanding, I am optimistic about the prospects for real-estate on account of factors such as rising disposable income, growing middle class, conveniently tenured home loans, increase in nuclear families, and urbanisation.
Your view on the current Real estate market and where it is heading?
Jackbastian ——– > Owing a home is universal need that transcends socio-economic strata. The economic slowdown may have tempered consumer sentiment, but the need for a home remains unaltered. Properties that are priced right and well-located will do well, regardless of macro-economic vagaries.
While the premium segment was the catalyst of real-estate growth during the last decade, I believe that the affordable segment will fuel category growth in the coming years.
We hear of thousands of unsold properties but even then each day new projects are launched by someone what is the rationale behind this? Don’t you think there is too much of supply than the demand?
Jackbastian ——– > Yes, there is indeed a demand supply mismatch in many pockets of the country. I attribute this trend to over-zealous construction with little heed to market dynamics. It is imperative that developers leverage market intelligence capabilities and undertake comprehensive customer, competitor and micro-market analyses prior to project commencement.
Real estate prices in Belgaum have zoomed beyond comparison but the same is not in Metros, What could be the reason?
Jackbastian ——– > The metros are relatively built-up with a plethora of construction and competition, as such, exponential growth is unrealistic. Tier 1 and 2 towns such as Belgaum are untapped terrain, offering considerable potential for real-estate growth. Belgaum has several advantages including great weather and a comfortable pace of life, which makes it an attractive retirement destination. The good schools, colleges, professional institutions are an added draw-card.
What keeps you motivated?
Jackbastian ——– > To me, real-estate is not merely about buildings, it is about people. I have been in this business for over 23 years, and continue to derive indescribable satisfaction from the smiles on customer faces when they step into their homes. That exhilarating ‘moment of truth’ keeps me motivated.
And of course, there is family – my perennial source of strength and inspiration. I am the father of two wonderful boys; knowing that I have done a little bit to make the world easier for them to navigate, is the fruit of my labor.
What would you advise the youth, so that they are focused and achieve their goals in life?
Jackbastian ——– > Dare to dream and pursue it relentlessly. Hard work and perseverance invariably pay off. Life is full of trials and tribulations – through it all, stay the course and believe in yourself. Expect to fail, but have the fortitude to pick yourself up and learn from failure – indeed it is life’s great teacher.
The world is a wondrous place, be curious and always open to new ideas. Commit to ongoing learning – there is no substitute for education, and knowledge will forever be a powerful ally. Be flexible and reinvent yourself as circumstances demand.
Above all, enjoy the journey – life is passing you by, so follow your passion. Do what you love, do it to the best of your ability and the rest will follow.
Do you have any unfulfilled ambition-many, one of them?
Jackbastian ——– > Every home handed over to a proud owner, serves as reminder of the less fortunate. Someday, I hope to do my bit to restore the inequities of the world. I would derive gratification from setting up an accredited educational institute for unskilled labor, carpenters, masons and the like, in an endeavor to professionalize the trade. There is no greater shame than allowing talent to languish for want of opportunity.
I have to confess that I am a closeted teacher – when I hang up my real-estate boots, I would like to teach in a small village or town, and hopefully, inspire a new generation to achieve its dreams.
What is that you like about Belgaum?
Jackbastian ——– > Belgaum is my childhood hometown; it is the place where innumerable friends and countless memories were made. To that extent, there is no place quite like it!
What is the one thing you miss being away from Belgaum?
Jackbastian ——– > Belgaum is an integral part of my life – I will never forget my humble beginnings here. My friends, my school (St. Paul’s) my colleges (RLS, GIT), my teachers, the dabbawalla, who ferried my daily lunch, the generous attendants at the college canteen – they have all left an indelible mark. I may have moved out of Belgaum in pursuit of a career, but the city has always remained with me.
Irrespective of my life today and what the future holds, I will always be a ‘Belgaum boy’ at heart.
What are your thoughts on this website?
Jackbastian ——– > It is remarkable. You have provided a forum for people the world over to stay connected to Belgaum. I commend your initiative in taking the platform to a whole new level and facilitating social and political exchange. It is amazing to witness the transforming of news dissemination in our hometown, from conventional channels to this modern platform. Thanks to you, Belgaum has arrived!