Akar Realty is the real estate arm of the Borkar family, a 105-year-old business family having diversified presence in various sectors such as packaging, retail, hospitality and real estate. Akar has also forayed into Hospitality with its first business hotel, The Sapphire, opening its doors in 2009. Akar has always been known for its innovative projects in Goa, many of which have become landmarks of the area. Director of Akar Realty Chinmay Borkar spoke to VIKANT SAHAY on plans for the future
As a real estate company, how many projects have you completed and what are your upcoming plans?
CHINMAY BORKAR: Since Akar’s inception in 1981, we have completed 31 projects, have three ongoing projects and have four projects in the pipeline for the near future.
Your company is undertaking a significant step to provide homes to Goans. What plans do you have?
CB: This month we are launching a new project called Akar Suburbia. This project is designed keeping local Goans in mind. This project shall make luxury, affordable to them. Today most villas in Goa are priced above Rs 1.25 crore making them unaffordable to Goans. At Akar Suburbia the villas start at Rs 75 lakh with most of the villas being priced below Rs one crore. Akar Suburbia will be home to about 250 villas spread over about 25 acres of land. This project boasts of international standard infrastructure, with wide hot mixed roads with footpaths, underground electrical cabling, and covered storm water drains. Special attention has been given to safety and security of its residents with CCTV cameras all around the property, patrolling management system and 24 hours trained security service. With almost four acres of themed landscaped gardens all around the property each and every villa is going to be less than 100 metres from a green space. Environment friendly features such as solar water heaters, effluent water treatment plants and vermicomposting systems have also been planned in the project.
Goans normally do not prefer to stay in modern flats as they prefer traditional villas or bungalows. What plans do you have for them?
CB: A lot of Goans have spent their childhoods closer to nature in houses having its own garden areas. These people today have outgrown their old houses and are looking to move into new homes. They are never fully satisfied living in an apartment and always prefer to live in villas or bungalows with their own private gardens. Taking this into consideration we have planned only villas at Akar Suburbia and each villas will have its private garden space.
What are your immediate challenges? Will you be concentrating only in South Goa or do you have plans to spread across Goa? If so, where?
CB: So far there are no major challenges that we foresee for ourselves. Currently our focus is primarily in South Goa but we are always looking out for interesting opportunities in other part of Goa as well. Recently we have been exploring possibilities in and around Panjim.
How is the real estate market doing in Goa?
CB: The real estate market in Goa went through a rough patch for about 24-30 months but since the last four months we have noticed an upbeat trend again. We think that this trend is here to stay and are expecting significant improvements in the economy in the near future. The number of enquiries for villas and apartments has almost doubled in these last few months. Sales have also improved drastically in this same period. We are looking forward to a period of improved enthusiasm in the real estate market.
What uniqueness do you have in your new project?
CB: There are rare opportunities that we get to create something unique. Akar Suburbia is just such opportunity where we were able to conceptualise a project that has never been done in South Goa before. This project has the freedom of owning your own plot while still enjoying the facilities of a gated community. With Akar Suburbia we have tried to create a new suburban locale with immense focus on infrastructure, security and quality of life for its residents. This project, which is just a ten minute drive away from Margao Municipality, has villas priced lower than an apartment in Margao.