The builder who turned farmer
Sep 29, 2015
Source : Toi

PANAJI: As the two-year slowdown in the real estate sector continues across the country, Goa's story remains no different and director of Highland Constructions Pvt Ltd Devadas Naik has been forced to shelve his plans of taking the over 20-year-old company public. Rather than rue the lost opportunity, Naik has chosen to diversify his business interests.

Aware that the construction business model has its ups and downs, Naik chose to diversify into hospitality and farming. "I diversified into hospitality long ago because business has to run on Plan A and Plan B. I also bought a hill in Virdi where I planted 15,000 teak trees five years ago and 5,000 rosewood trees," Naik said.

Naik's tryst with farming does not end with his tree plantation drive. He has invested in a 20-acre farm in Belgaum where mangoes and palm trees are grown which is then picked up by Godrej. "I am into vineyards in Nasik—Vallonne Vineyards which has a French setup. The land is mine and I have a minor stake in the company also," the entrepreneur said.

Naik now nurtures hope of setting up a finishing school-cum-incubation centre to train entrepreneurs.

Diversification comes naturally to Naik, who began his entrepreneurial journey in 1975 with a 13,000 bank loan to start a tea and coffee blending company. He then started Highland Constructions in 1991 with the idea of creating homes for the aspiring and needy. "I am creating homes but it is not going to the right audience. Maybe the government and the ease of doing business are not conducive," Naik said cautiously.

"In the current scenario, I don't see any growth. I wanted to take this company public but I don't think that will happen," Naik said.

An alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, Confederation of Indian Industry and the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance programme, Naik finds that entrepreneurial skills and initiatives are not valued. "Our lending is all based on collateral. It is not based on your ideas, your project, and the viability of it. Ideas are respected in Europe that is why entrepreneurs are respected in Europe," he said.

While the reasons for the slump in Goa's real estate sector may be slightly different, the solutions are very clear—a functioning government that delivers and creates a level playing field for entrepreneurs.

"There is no governance in Goa. When there is a problem, I need counsel where I can get remedy immediately but this doesn't happen," Naik said. "Land and capital must be made available and I am not asking it for free, I just need comfortable access."

Latest Realty News

Sep 29, 2015
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its policy interest rate to a 4-1/2 year low of 6.75 percent on Tuesday, in a bigger-than-expected move that, with inflation running at record lows, could help an economy in danger of slowing down.
Sep 28, 2015
KOLKATA: Drafting uniform land rules for all its areas seems to be one of the biggest tasks before the new Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, once it starts functioning under a board of councillors from October. The challenge lies in the fact that the current norms for Salt Lake and Rajarhat are opposite of each other.
Sep 27, 2015
New Delhi: Real estate developers body CREDAI's NCR chapter has decided against buying cement from UltraTech and Lafarge, alleging that the firms are indulged in cartelisation and malpractices.
Sep 26, 2015
MUMBAI: The Mumbai board of the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (Mhada) has asked the government to restore the floor space index (FSI) for redevelopment of its colonies to four from the current three.
Sep 25, 2015
he World Bank is in talks with the government to provide some initial funding for the latter's smart cities programme and the Amrut initiative for urban revitalisation.
Sep 24, 2015
VISAKHAPATNAM: Realtors in the districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram are rubbing their hands in glee as the demand for plots in the Vizag-Vizianagaram belt is witnessing a steady growth, which they claim is on account of the sharp increase in realty prices in the capital region of AP.
Sep 24, 2015
MOHALI: Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) earned more than Rs 170.93 crore through the auction of various commercial sites in the Sector-70, Community Centre on Wednesday. Commercial chunk, group housing, school, hotel and food court sites and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) were the top grossers.
Sep 24, 2015
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is planning to penalise real estate major Emaar MGF, the project developer of Commonwealth Games Village, for violation in construction of the project.
Sep 23, 2015
The embattled prime minister of Malaysia, facing mounting political turmoil and a parade of inquiries at home and abroad into a sovereign wealth fund that he oversees, is now coming under the scrutiny of American investigators as well.
Sep 22, 2015
NOIDA: Ten housing projects caught in the legal wrangle of demarcating an eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary have received completion certificates from the Noida Authority, paving the way for 7,000 buyers to take possession of their homes.

Latest Realty News Of State

Realty Talk's