Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are seen investing in real estate in India despite the global economic scenario and the ongoing challenges. This region possibly contributes the most to Indian real estate purchases.

Godrej Properties, for example, sold properties worth ₹400 crore in the last fiscal [FY20 total revenue ₹5,915 crore] to buyers from this region. Lalit Makhijani, chief marketing officer (CMO), Godrej Properties Ltd., elaborates on the subject. Edited excerpts:

Why do NRIs invest in property in India?

The reasons are two-fold — emotional as well as financial. The biggest high is having the comfort of owning a property back home, which is available for future use or upgrading to a better lifestyle given that in some cases these NRIs have parents/ families who still reside in India.

Also, from an investment perspective, India is witnessing higher capital appreciation and growth promising higher return on investments. In addition, there are several benefits like falling interest rates, easy access to loan if the house is being bought/constructed for self-use and offers by developers from time to time.

NRIS from which region invest the most?

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region contributes the highest to Indian real estate purchase from NRIs and has a lot of appetite for residential purchases across India.

What is the annual revenue you generated from the GCC markets?

GCC is a high-performing market for us and we have seen a consistent interest from the market over the years. Our sales from the GCC markets stood upwards of ₹400 crore in FY20 and we are seeing good interest from the market even in the current times despite the lockdown.

Which country in the GCC contributes the highest revenue?

We have seen high demand from the UAE followed by Oman and Qatar.

Which of your projects

are in demand?

We have seen a good demand for projects in Pune, followed by NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai for capital appreciation. Each micro market behaves differently and while we have seen good appreciation in markets like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune, NCR has remained flattish.

How many apartments have you sold in this market?

We have been doing good business in the GCC region since we set up our representative office in Dubai in 2014. We have tripled our sales from the region in the last three years. Even in the current lockdown period, we are seeing a good traction from the GCC market and we hope to continue to keep the momentum in the coming months as well.

What strategies have you deployed in these markets?

We use a focussed approach to tap the NRI markets and increase global footprint. From participating in various real estate exhibitions, HNI meets, community events to connecting with overseas channel partners, we have a structured approach to targeting international markets. We also have a strong empanelment process for channel partners abroad.

Also, we have always been present through the digital medium for our customers worldwide. We have a dedicated NRI corner on our website to address all home-buying queries and legal requirements.

How is the company using digital to connect with NRI customers during COVID-19?

All of our sales process were available online to our customers much before the lockdown. Now, we have leveraged our systems to quickly move deal servicing to digital media and moved all our customer collaterals online to make it easy for customers to make a purchase decision. Our sales teams are using tools such as MS Teams and webex to host CPs and customers, take them through the product offering and take bookings live, without the need for any paper intervention.

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