Thursday, January 31, 2013

Green Homes, dream of a loafer!






If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing of those woods & making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious & enterprising citizen… Thoreau.

In my blog I have wrote about cities, developments, environment, nature but never about any personality & here is one such who is loafer at heart in Thoreau's definition & it will be unjust if I don't mention him as many of our society's green hopes relies on such loafers & he is Dr Shrikar Pardeshi, Commissioner of Pimpri Chinchvad Municipal Corporation. Many eye brows will be raised as a builder praising an administrator or a bureaucrat that too on environmental aspect! "Bat Kuch Hajam Nahi Hui!"

Well, because of my own loafergiri I do come across many of the officers i.e. bureaucrats working at various organizations but rarely with someone who want not just to change the system but make it work for the cause it has been designed. And I think that is very important because any Govt system has a basic purpose & that is to serve the society or common man in building a better, livable surrounding. We can name that organization in any way according to work jurisdiction for e.g. PMC, PCMC, PMPML, MSEB, Collector, Police etc, all these terms are meant to make life of aam admi more better. And this doesn't mean just to help him in terms of money or subsidies but making the surrounding around him better is the correct way.

And to achieve this purpose there are cadre of various posts who are supposed to see that the system works towards its goal. Without criticizing anybody in person what is the image of this cadre in eyes of common man? You don't have to be a celebrity to comment, any tom & harry will tell majority of the society is unhappy with the people who are occupying these post & reasons may be any but fact remains. On such scene when any individual like Dr.Pardeshi tries to give justice to his chair & that to by understanding the purpose of the chair I think we as society should not only acknowledge but appreciate it by joining his initiatives, that's real support such people need & not just applauds! To start with he has been to USA for studying Urban Living & unlike so many other officers who went abroad for studying various things about civic life & services & when back just forget about them without bothering to showcase to common man what they have even just seen over there! Here is where the difference strike not only this Comm himself tried to adopt so many good governance practices he experienced in country like USA but he himself made a detailed presentation with number of photographs & spend hours to display this presentation to stake holders of the society like developers, architects, ngo's & even his staff at PCMC! He organized a seminar on developing spaces within the city to make the city more beautiful & tried to get all segments of the society on one platform in doing so making them understand its every-bodies city & not just some organization like his!

Many will think I am going overboard in brightening image of our Commissioner but if you are thinking so you are wrong as main course is yet to come! We are day in & day out reading about Eco Housing or Environment Conservation or Green Homes; you call it anything but in the end its Nature Conservation & if nature survives then only we will is a bitter truth which we are conveniently considering as somebody else’s job! Our loafer commissioner not only realized this truth but started fighting for it once again a rare & lone start & what he did is he called in the most dejected segment on this front to join him i.e. the Developers of the city! I myself being a developer can vouch for many of my follows good work on Green Homes but unfortunately never appreciated by the Govt agencies leave apart by the society. One major reason is not many developers are aware on this front & for that I will blame the end user i.e. flat buyers! Many will say its passing the buck game I am playing like all others but I am making this statement with all responsibility & my experience in real estate as well environment! The end use ie the flat purchaser is interested in location of the project, costing, amenities the project is having & appreciation the project will get in terms of investment, that's all1 Green side of the project is last or not even on the agenda on home buying list! How can you blame just developers for not being interested on this front? No doubt one should be self responsible but like the famous sher (poetry) by Galib "Is jamaneme wafa ki ummid karte ho Galib, wo wakt aur tha jub loag pakke hote the aur makan kacche; ab makan pakke hote hai aur loag kachhe" ; In nut shell, who is following things like self discipline or social responsibility that we will expect the developers to do so?

Not that the predecessors of the Commissioner hasn't done anything on the front , there were some efforts but frankly insufficient if you go by the outcome of them. Realizing the scene Commissioner arranged a half day seminar about Green Housing & things related to that which involved NGO's like TERI, NRDC, Developers Organizations CREDAI & MBVP, Architects associations, nearly entire concerned departments of PCMC with town planning & even Media. On 22nd Jan the seminar went through at Auto cluster in PCMC where each of the stake holders represented their front. The Commissioner himself spoke at length explaining the subject & its importance to the entire stake holder & most importantly their respective roles on this front. He commented on the growth of the city & restrictions on resources like water & power at the same time mentioned limitations of PCMC alone to fight the byproduct of the city growth like traffic, deforestation, drainage & garbage. He elaborated the efforts PCMC taking about the same by roping in organizations like TERI & schemes like Griha & Swagriha by which most of the buildings will be rated under green norms. Not only this he told about the benefits the developers will have under the same & the residents of such projects also can avail them. He made a sincere appeal to all especially to the developer for making all future buildings as Green buildings as then only we can face our next generation is what he thinks. He also asked for the difficulties or suggestions the stake holders feel in implementing such norms.


Responding to which Credai an organization of developers made a presentation sharing developer’s side of the green buildings. Main factor is awareness & most developers think applying for green norms or certification is waste of time. Main reason is the time consumed in getting NOC's. The benefits for such projects should not be just subsidy in some premiums but is the project can be given a status like Green Channel in Customs & got all the necessary instant then  for any developer there no more incentive than time saving! Agreed that the present system will never accept that there is time delay in process & they may be true but truth is today not just PCMC but anywhere in our State to get a project sanctioned is most lengthy process causing mental as well financial stress is a truth. So if we want to promote green homes then why not treat the maker as special? This question was put forward by the developers. Then the norms should be practical as well clear for eg we want Drainage treatment plant but we don't allow them in margins or open spaces or amenity spaces & things like that. We don't know what is exactly rain water harvesting is & how to certify that it has been implemented successfully? The policies of different departments act against each other which in fact should work parallel & in only one direction i.e. Green Homes. The MSEB i.e. MSDCL gives free electricity to agriculture but charges at commercial rate to Water Recycling Plants making them non-viable, such are the examples of miss-communication between various Govt bodies involved on the front of Green Homes. A suggestion of forming a committee with representative from each stake holder & which will monitor such issues was made which the Commissioner accepted immediately. A list of such projects registered under the certification should be displayed on portal of PCMC as well list of the consultants needs to be shortlisted & informed to the developers so they can avail their services. Also suggestions were made for giving direct & immediate benefits to the residents of green buildings, as an incentive delayed is incentive denied in actual!

Then the presentation was made by NGO's covering details of such certification process & their assistance which can be availed by the developers interested in making their building green. The architect association also presented their views about making necessary changes in the bylaws so they can accommodate green initiatives in the new projects. It was a great effort in all & hopefully will be taken as first step for a long journey ahead by all stake holders towards the common goal; as the city is not just Builders or PCMC or NGO's or Media but we are just some supporting pillars of the city which is made by every living  soul in the city including the birds & animals & trees which are also very much part of the city & have equal right in space.

As the Thoreau said we need more & more loafers like this Commissioner here & not just the enterprises & industrialists; if only we want to face our future generation with pride & smile or else the writing is written on the wall very clearly & we will be the fools not to read it! And then surely the Green Home won't be just the dream of a loafer but a reality for all!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

http://visonoflife.blogspot.in/2013/01/identifying-good-builder.html

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157628805700569/
For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx
Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Celebreting Republic Day & Real Estate!





The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles”... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.


That way it's more significant day than even 15 Aug because on 15th Aug we got liberty but on 26th Jan 1950 we wrote the meaning of liberty. Being free doesn't mean we are free to do any thing but being free is a responsibility & there has to be a definition of responsibility which we prepared for the people of this free nation on 26th; that's why this date is more important. If we study history then right from French revolution to recent Egyptian revolution there has always been examples of people coming together & get their freedom against wrong rulers but because they were lacking of what next after freedom & didn't been defined the revolutions have failed. Here is where success of American revolution is important as after independence they wrote down exactly what next is to be done & so our leaders did.

Here is where greatness of our freedom leaders like Nehru & Ambedkar is marked significantly. As they didn't wasted the freedom which we have got out of sacrifice of millions. They studied our culture, heritage as it was very difficult to keep a country as diversified as ours to maintain on one platform especially when the freedom has achieved. And it required a very balance as well futuristic approach to make a document which will bind this nation not for few years but for many to come. This task needed inputs of many wise & balance men which we were fortunate to have. Those were the leaders who used to put interest of the nation above their self interest, a character which we are lacking now a days & that's why in mere 60 years from freedom we are facing problems which we never use to have in past & that is corruption by the people in power.

On 26th Jan 1950 Constitution of this country was made available for the people of the country & still today every person in this country is enjoying its fruits. Had the constitution wasn't in place I really wonder where we would have been by now? Like Russia we would have been split in many states as separate countries & disparity amongst the various religions or castes would have been worst. The Constitution gives right to every human being who is resident or citizen of this country to be equal on all fronts like justice or speech or following his/her religion but without disturbing others. It taught us to respect individual human being the way he or she is & conserved secularism which was & is backbone of this country.

Here many will wonder where this write up is going, especially in context of Real estate! As what 26th Jan i.e. republic Day has to do with our Real Estate Industry? Well I think if you have gone through the above content & the recent advertises of the majority of the projects as well the availability of the homes in & around Pune or even in major Metros of the country then you will realize we are forgetting the basics of our constitution! It mentions Equality, Fraternity & Freedom to choose our own way of living! But look where all these terms are when it comes to choosing your own home? I am not being too philanthropic but its high time we should think whether we are building the homes for need or greed? Recently I observed many of the advertises in the news paper of home where in bold letters the price of the unit is marked & the figure is above 

Rs 1crore! Meaning only those who have got paying capacity above that mark should contact for more information. Well nothing wrong its a open market after all & any home maker can decide what kind of product he wants to build. Yet the question tingles in my mind that isn't home making a service also for the society? As a home is not just a luxury product but a very basic need for many. If it is so then why more & more developers are trying to make the product more costlier by designing flats with big areas & luxurious amenities? Why can't they come up with some simple specifications & moderate size flat making the homes more affordable for masses?

Is it that the mind set of society changing & its only the people with more money will get better service or better life? Again many will say going on same line is it a crime that we earn more & if we have money then why we should be deprived of using or spending it by our choice? Very correct argument going by logic of it but then when we earn money then isn't our responsibility increases towards others who don't have it enough to fulfill their basic needs? Recently there was a controversy  over Ratan Tata commenting on Antalia, the famous 24 storied Mr.Mukesh Ambaini's residence in Central Mumbai. While Mr.Tata lives in a mere 4 bhk apartment, Mr. Ambani resides in a nearly Rs 1000 crore ( going by today's rates) home whole monthly electricity bill in itself is said to be over some Rs 30 lac per month! Again its individuals choice though we are not in position how Mr Ambani should live but surely coming from the level of Mr.Tata it does carry some weight. What I am trying to put forward on the occasion is the same point when it comes to home & living styles.

An affordable home is the very primary need of Urban India. From 1950 to 2013 in 63 years the pendulum of the population is clearly shifted towards cities; with more & more people have been migrated from Villages to Metros, the face of rural India is fast becoming urban. So what we need is homes & many of them with infrastructure to this migrated population. But what is the scene today on that front? Only two types of people now can afford home in Metros like Mumbai or Pune & they are super rich or super poor! Super Rich with money can have as per there wish & choice any where with their buying power & super poor take shelter any where they can get i.e. slum to illegal constructions as they hardly care for outcome. It's the middle class or higher middle class which is in fix while finding a home. As with their limited income source they cant afford a home in well developed locality where all basic infrastructure is available like water, market, roads, drainage, schools, hospitals etc; because of high rates & at such places with present trends the sizes of units are also designed keeping in mind super rich customer only! And then they can't survive in slums because of their so called white collar attitude! So all they can do is wait for something in their budget or go away from city center & spend their half of the life in paying EMI's & remaining half in travelling from work place to their home. That too in city like Pune with poor public transport they have to burn their own money & risk their life in traveling by their private vehicle!

Here is where the linkage comes between 26th ie Republic Day & real estate; as after all what a Republic means? It was supposed to be "by the people for the people of the people"; where as the situation in real estate is "by the few for the few & of  the few"!
The job is not just of developer's but of every one related to real estate to introspect & think about this aspect of life.
Last but least, when we can't think even for the homes of major middle class human beings, no wonder we don't see sparrows & other little birds in & around the cities any more! As for their homes we don't even bother at-all while building for our special customers.


Its high time that we shouldn't forget the efforts our past leaders have put in to make the constitution & carry the torch ahead. Celebrating 26th Jan isn't just flag hosting & giving speeches but to get in act what the constitution is telling us. Be committed to the job we are doing & put the country & country men ahead of our individual selfishness. I think if each of us can do that then we can say we deserve the freedom & what better day than to start the process than
Republic Day!

Jay Hind!




--
Sanjay Deshpande
Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157628805700569/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Future of Real Estate!







Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work...Vince Lombardi

Many will be surprised with the quote from the great American Football coach, who in himself like one man management institute; as what topic  this can lead especially in related to real estate? But a much ignored aspect in real estate industry which is directly related to the performance as well image of this industry is commitment of teammates in the different companies/ organizations in this industry. Here I will like to share some of my very recent personal experiences & then we can discuss the background or analyze the situation & its impact on entire industry; as though they may be my experiences yet I am sure they are nor exceptional & many of us in the industry have faced or facing the similar types daily!

Scene 1: Diwali vacations of 2012, our office was having holiday for four days & when its reopened two of our site engineers who were with us for six months didn’t reported back at site & no communication about being absent. We tried their cell it went unanswered, we tried to contact at their home but the family members said they don’t know. After 4 -5 days follow-up we as a management understood what must have happened& appointed new engineers at respected sites. Needless to say that those engineers have left the job without bothering to inform so.

Scene 2: We were having two young architects at our planning department with a good salary package & were working with us for eight months; on one fine morning they met my partner who looks after engineering & told him that they want to quit. He asked why & from when? They replied they want to find better opportunity & want to leave immediately. When my partner asked what about the charge of the work they were having at hand? There was no answer. They somehow worked till month end & left without even bothering to arrange the drawings files in order. I have to hold their salary, call them to give proper charge & then handed over their salary.

Scene 3: One of my good friends requested me that can I accommodate his daughter who has civil engg degree & masters in management from UK, just for experience? I immediately let that girl joined at our office, in just two months when she has yet to learn the working & handling charge of minor things like Extra works in flats demanded by clients, the girl came to me & said sir I want to leave. I asked why, she said she has got a god opportunity in a Multi National Company where they will be allowing her to work of her liking i.e. management of a project. I said she can hand over the communication details with the customers to the supporting staff & can leave by month end. She said ok & after leaving for the day messaged me on my cell that she won’t be coming from tomorrow only & she has given all files to her collogues i.e. charge of her work! And she didn’t come from the next day!

Scene 4: We were conducting interviews for engineers & shortlisted few candidates. After final round we selected some & gave them appointment letter. One of them collected appointment letter & informed he will be joining from a certain date. On that day neither he joined nor did any message come from him. With repeated follow-ups by our administration department he just messaged he has got a job with more salary so he couldn’t join our company.

I haven’t mentioned name of any of them as that’s not necessary as it’s the attitude we will be discussing & not the names. And I am sure many in our real estate industry must have faced such scenes & will say what big deal in it is? Well I surely must be getting old if I am getting intrigued with such incidences; rather irritated will be proper word. As what kind of attitude is this, especially by the generation who have just started their journey in professional world? Where are the words like Commitment, Teamwork, Values, Responsibility, Job at hand, Bonding and Relation etc! Agreed the developers may not be good pay masters but that was in early days; now look at the salary of people in engineering or marketing field of real estate, they are at par with any other industry at-least when freshers are compared. It is true that a proprietary or partnership firm in real estate has limitations to grow but for beginners it’s the best place to gather experience as most of the things have to be done with limited man power & that’s the best way to gather work experience from all dimensions. Here I remember my fresher’s days as site in charge at work, my roommate was mechanical engineer & in a big industry with salary four times of mine & work hours 3/4th of mine. He used to tease me about the work hours; I used to tell him if you didn’t go to your factory it won’t get closed but if I don’t reach to my site it surely would come to stand still. Such was the advantage of working in small set up.

Small set up or big MNC’s, the issue was about the commitment towards the job at hand & about the responsibility the management has put on us. Looking from fresher’s angle a job was an opportunity for us to apply whatever we have learned in our education & we were eager to grab the opportunity the best way we could. And it wasn’t just one like myself our whole generation was like that working without looking at watch, never thinking what is my work & what I am doing or nobody has told me to do this then why I am doing this? These types of questions were never entered in our mind. We never thought of shifting a job for few rupees rise & kept looking other opportunities while working with one group. May be we were fools in eyes of today’s youngsters. Nobody is against growth & aiming higher when its carrier but then each organization is in itself a learning institute also, at least in starting days that’s important to understand which we did.

I really wonder what makes these youngsters behave the way they are behaving when its job. How can we rely on them for bigger responsibilities when the foundation of mind set is so shallow & then these are the future of the industry! Here again many will blame the developers or employers in the industry for not treating them well. But those were old days when the builder weren’t paying well & stability was a problem for the employees, now the things have changed. Many of the big real estate group has understood importance of keeping the work team constant as it avoids many work problems if you have a consistent team with you. Mainly in real estate industry right from site supervision too customer handling personal touch is very much essential as still this industry hasn’t computerized or mechanized like other industries. For example a site engineer whom you have trained to check quality of finishing items like plastering, tiling or painting is an asset as for next project all you have to do is appoint him a t that work stage & relax on his skills. If he leaves suddenly then again you have to find another guy, make him understand your standards of workmanship & accept his mistakes till he gets trained. And unlike other industries here there is no “Un Do” button here. Once an activity is wrongly completed you have to break the thing & then re do it, causing time as well financial losses.

On such background having a consistent team of trained people has utmost importance. But with such time of increasing attitude which is non committal , day by day things are getting difficult in real estate. After IT industry the largest turn over in man power moment is in real estate & it’s not a healthy sign for the industry. As it’s the staff or the team, which makes the image or face of any organization. And if this face is changing constantly then obliviously it is going to affect directly your relation with your customers as well quality of the product you are making.

Here role of the developers is very important as all the words which I used above i.e. Commitment, Morals, Values, Trust etc should not be restricted to your vocabulary or in books but should come in actual life & thats only possible by your own act. We should accept that gone are days where people used to boast that they have worked for their life time in a single company. It was the culture of commitments & so the youngsters then were trained in that atmosphere. Also remind ourselves that there is some fault with us too for this tendency of the youths towards the job. We need to take them in confidence, speak to them, and try to cultivate the meaning of commitment within them. For that we have to open up ourselves; be more sharing, implement welfare schemes for the staff, make them feel secure & important. Ultimately being a builder isn’t restricted to building concrete structures but we are building carriers of these youngsters too who in future will become face of this industry & not just our group or company.

At the same time some where the syllabus of the professional courses needs to acknowledge this tendency of the youngsters & subjects regarding to these tendencies has to be included in the course. By which the students will understand the importance of the terms like Commitments right when they are studying.

In this context I will like to share a story in Zen; “A boy went to learn sword fight to a Zen master & asked how much time it will require to become a god sword fighter? The master replied ten years. Hearing that the boy said I don’t have that much time, I will leave everything & will dedicate all my time to sword training ,in that case how many years I will need to become a good fighter? The master replied, 20 years! The surprised boy asked what it means. The master said I want you to live your life & become a sword fighter, leaving everything doesn’t mean you will become a good sword’s man but instead following dedicatedly what I teach is a sure way to achieve your goal in shortest time.”  

I think this is an eye opener story & what I will say to the fresher’s or beginners or youngsters, who wants to make carrier in real estate is don’t just run towards making fast money as it vanishes more faster than it comes to you. If you acquire real skill or expertise in whatever field you are working then the money will come to you only. But for that one has to be patient & hard working with committed attitude. It’s this attitude which will decide what you are going to be in the coming years. And some day you will be also in the role of a boss or owner of a group, that day while looking back you should not repent for the culture you only have cultivated!

--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani ! (Click the links below)

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157628805700569/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

Identifying a Good Builder!






Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders... Seneca

I have used this quote quite a number of times at various places & always get fascinated by the sheer reality in it & the way the wise man has put it! Though I wonder as in his times the term builder wasn’t as common as it is today yet it seems that the general feeling about the specie was same! Here many of my fellow colleagues will get offended but wait, its just a famous quote by a wise man not mine! Recently my friend Ravi Karandikar who himself is a well respected critics on real estate was having a chat with me & he asked how to identify a good builder? For a moment I was taken back as it would have been too egoistic to say you are talking with one! Just joking, but I replied, to me a good builder has to be a good person by himself first! Very hypothetical reply, I myself realized that as this logic is applicable to every profession, so again the basic question remains; what are characteristics of a good builder? Here I remember once my school going son shared a joke with me "Baba I will tell you a joke he said, I said go ahead & he said two Sardar were playing chess!"  I said where is the joke? He replied baba, that was the joke! Here I meant no offense for any community, it was just a joke but on similar line most of the people will call this question about indentifying a good builder as a good joke! As for many the term good builder in itself doesn't exist!

It’s a sad scenario for the industry I am in, but however we deny it, the opinion of a common man about real estate wasn't & isn't good is a fact which even the builders will acknowledge. And it’s not just for last few years or in our country, all around the globe this is a common feeling when builders are mentioned. You take USA or any developed country there also builders have never acclaimed to be fairest of the persons & all our movies portrays the same picture of builder i.e. a bad person who is mostly on wrong side of the law or table! Then how to identify a good builder? For that we need to understand why the profession has reached at today's image then we will be able to answer the question. As to find a good person one has to understand what the bad qualities are first. Arya Chankya, the great  administrator from the history has wrote a very famous book "Kautilyache Artha Shastra", where he has specified how to identify many of the professionals right from Gold-smith to even a Horse- dealer & all his recommendations are applicable even today such was his greatness in analyzing the people & their attitude towards their profession. Unfortunate that in his times the term or the specie named Builder wasn't there, as then Ravi's question would have been much easier for me to answer as I would have simply given him a copy of that book!

Time & again allegation has been made against the builder community is that they are very much money minded but then who is not in today's world? Then they are arrogant & hardly cares for customer's satisfaction is another but again in our country customer care wasn't a approach followed by many companies why just builders? Remember the kind of scooters or four wheelers we used to get by waiting period over a year & paying premium for the delivery of the same? They never bothered for any R & D for the product & looked in to the needs of customer’s demands about the product; only until those companies started facing serious competition from the foreign brand! And when the survival become the issue then only our automobile companies have stared improving their products & customer care attitude is known history, so why to blame only builders for that kind of attitude? Another issue is their inaccessibility to the customer; well no industrialist or business man was known that way in our country for this aspect except Tata's but then each rule has exception so was Tata! Then builders are blamed for their nexus with politicians as well thugs of the society; here too there are many examples from various industries of being very close to power circles of politics & getting policies in the favor using those connections. This is nothing new for a country where the top level politicians put their personal agenda above the countries! Why to blame just builders for this? I think the when it’s a product as sensitive as home in our country the most important aspect is the builders commitment towards the product. This is the factor which has played in damaging the image of the developer. If you take out all the complaints of a customer against his builder then you find 90% are for not following the commitments. And in this category we have like there may be not following commitments regarding possession date, regarding not specifications committed, not providing facilities committed, not honoring payment terms committed ,not obeying committed terms & conditions with the sanctioning authorities & the list goes on. Nature of complaints may be any but the core of the complaint is same & that is failing the commitments & not even regretting about the same even when the failure is brought to attention of the developer!

So is it that a good builder is the one who follows his commitment? Speaking frankly, to me no good can be expressed in terms of any single characteristic but good is something combination of many fronts but surely to me the main criteria by me is he has to be a man of commitment! This doesn't mean that all other aspects of his business right from his investors to attitude towards the customer doesn’t count but if a person is committed to the cause then there are very less chance that he will do wrong things. Long back one of my elder friends has asked me another interesting question, "In a village they need a school & seeking for donations, a gangster involved in extortion & smuggling, who is native from the village & operates his bad deeds in a far away Metro decides to give big donation for school building whether the villagers should accept it?" Very difficult question to answer as what is important here the cause getting fulfilled or the source behind the fulfillment? I think when we say commitment is important then the supporting things like the company builder is keeping as well his attitude towards the customer care & product improvement also comes in lime light. What if a builder is delivering good quality homes in time but his finance is from underworld or corrupt people? Many will say why the customer has to bother about it; isn’t he getting what has been committed to him? Here I will say the call has to be taken by the customer as whether he wants to sleep in the four walls which he call home, knowing that the walls have been build on somebody's blood & sweat!

Another aspect which is neglected my most of the customer is look at the other characteristics like the group or the person’s social contribution as well their attitude towards this aspect of life. Making money has to be prime aim of any business but the way they spend is also equally important as that shows the character of the group or the person. No bad person will think for needy ones in the society & do good things for them or spend for the cause like environment conservation or public health or education for poor o even conserving culture as that's backbone of any healthy society. If you can think for others then definitely you are going to care for those whom you have committed is a simple logic. So any builder what he or his group doing for the society is something I will look in while finding a good builder.

Checking the pay-degree of the builder is equally necessary as your past is the best mirror of your present as well key to your future, is what our fore-fathers have said. Instead of rating someone just by news in media or large advertises or some famous brand ambassador; I will say just go & meet his existing customers residing in the projects the builder has build & share their experiences during the entire process right from booking to possession & the truth will reflect like a mirror! See that how much efforts he has taken to make the life of residents more comfortable by his planning of the project, construction as well after sales service! If the firm is new then visit ongoing projects, speak to the staff & judge them by the way of their communication i.e. promptness in replying your quarries as well transparency in doing so. As the staff is face of the builder or the organization, they will behave the way their boss treats them & you will be able to know about the main person then in better way.

So go ahead & start your search for one such good builder & let me tell you there are many around. Before that, lastly most important thing, do remember identifying a good builder needs you to be a good customer too! As goodness can only be acknowledged by being good & some where we need to remind this to our own self on our journey to search a good builder!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157628805700569/

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