What made you join the real estate business?
When I came back from the US, we discussed in the family about the available opportunities and options for me. Real estate interested me and I opted for it. I joined at a great time barring the brief downturn that the industry witnessed. In 2004, when I initially joined the group’s business (as manager), it was very small. Now it has grown to 10 cities.
What is the potential of this business in the group?
Five years ago it comprised only 2 per cent of the group’s turnover. It is rising fast and would be the fastest growing business in the group and a key growth driver. Five years ago we had a profit of Rs 4 crore, this is up to Rs 110 crore.
What are your responsibilities in Godrej Properties?
I am helping in marketing, heading a forum on affordable housing, setting up processes in human resources and finance. I am also involved in project finalisation and execution. We have a professional team that runs the business and the family never interferes.
How committed are you to affordable housing?
We are still debating on the price range. We are already building houses in the Rs 15-20 lakh band. The opportunity is huge and the demand is unlimited. I can’t say much more.
What is your business model?
We are more into joint venture development. We share our profits with landowners. The profits may be less for us but the return on investment is higher. There are disadvantages in a booming market, but we are conservative in our approach.
What is your vision for the company?
We want to be known for quality. We have benchmarked against the best in the world. We will be known for our green buildings and ethical practices. We will aspire to be globally outstanding.
You did summer internships at Hillary Clinton’s office and at the Ministry of External Affairs...
I have always been interested in political affairs. At Columbia University, I had done Masters of International Affairs and wanted to fine-tune my skills. It was a great experience.
Beyond business, what do you enjoy the most?
I love food. I like any food that is tasty. I sometimes even cook myself. I love seafood at Gazali and Trishna (popular restaurants in Mumbai). I also love travelling. I have travelled to 50 countries in five continents.