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Tatas go Nano way with low-cost apartments

After the affordable car Nano and no-frills hotel chain Ginger, it is now time for low-cost homes starting at under Rs. 4 lakh from the House of Tatas. HT Correspondent reports.

business Updated: May 06, 2009 23:26 IST

After the affordable car Nano and no-frills hotel chain Ginger, it is now time for low-cost homes starting at under Rs. 4 lakh from the House of Tatas.

The Tatas have entered untapped low-cost housing with ambitious growth plans, perhaps inspired by management guru C.K. Prahalad, the author of “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” who played a role in the launch of the Ginger chain.

Tata Housing, a subsidiary of Tata Sons and the group’s real estate arm, has launched Shubh Griha, whose first project is coming up on a 67-acre patch at Boisar, an industrial area 120 km away from South Mumbai.

“We have been working on this project for last 18 months and we see a huge opportunity in value homes.It will be one of our thrust areas,” said Brotin Banerjee, Tata Housing’s managing director.

The company expects a “handsome profit” with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore in the 7-acre first phase, Banerjee said. The larger development will include play areas, schools and hospitals.

A 283-square-feet one-room and kitchen flat has been priced at Rs 3.9 lakh while it would cost Rs 6.7 lakh for a 465-square feet flat with a hall thrown in. The price per square foot works out between Rs 1,378 to Rs 1,440, possibly the lowest in urban markets. The homes will be delivered by 2011.

“These homes are best suited for people who commute long distances to work or stay at rented houses near factories,” Banerjee said.

By the end of 2009, Tata Housing plans to develop similar projects in Delhi/NCR and Bangalore. In the next phase it would set up projects in Chennai, Kolkata and Thane.

Tata Housing has tied up with Stake Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC to provide loans, and as in the case of Nano, applications for the first batch of 1,200 apartments will be available at select SBI branches. The applicants will need to buy forms for Rs 200 and to make an initial payment of Rs 10,000 for booking. The qualifiers will be announced in a month and others will get refunds.

“There will be a lock-in period of six to eight months so that only genuine end users can apply,” Banerjee said.