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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Real Estate with a Social Conscience: Rich India



Headquartered in Kodambakkam, with branch offices in Trichy, Karur, Tirupur, Erode and Coimbatore, the Rich India Housing group of companies has sold 88,000 plots and served more than 70,000 customers since its inception in 2004. Chief Business Officer Abhay Raj said the group has big plans for the future, not of all them revolving around the making of (lots of) money. On the contrary, Rich India seems to be genuinely interested in social welfare and social improvement, and helping the nation to reach its full potential. The company runs a charitable trust and a school, called the Civil Services Academy. This is a real estate company with a social conscience, and serves as a model example of how (aspiring) rich India can help (aspiring) poor India. As Mr Raj pointed out in an email to me recently: "Rich India Civil Services Academy provides free Training for Candidates from economically weaker section along with free food & accommodation provided at, (commenced less than a year ago, till date 149 candidates have been enrolled and are being trained by professionals), with facilities like air-conditioned Library & Training hall. (The) Rich India School at Trichy would offer Free Education to Students from economically weaker section (including orphaned children) along with free food & accommodation." Within the next 10 to 15 years, there is hoped to be a Rich India school in every district in Tamil Nadu.

Image courtesy Rich India Housing Pty Ltd, Chennai, India.

On the business front, the company has unveiled details of Cynosure, a new DTCP project at Singaperumal Koil (SP Koil). Situated on a tar road and Government bus route (Tambaram-Vadagal via SP Koil & MW City) 45km from Kathipara, the entire project boasts tar (black-topped) roads and street lights, a picturesque location, pollution-free environs, and abundant & potable underground water. Dr Raj said while the Govt Guideline value for the project was Rs.900/- per sqft, the Rich India selling price is only Rs.599/- per sqft. For more information on you can purchase plots, visit the Rich India website. Daily site visits are arranged from our offices by air-conditioned cars, as per your convenience.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Improved Performance in IT/ITES Services Boosts Demand for Residential Properties


INCREASED JOB SECURITY IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ENABLED SERVCIES (ITES) ARE LIKELY TO HELP SPUR DEMAND FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN CHENNAI, ACCORDING TO LOCAL MEDIA REPORTS. Property sales in Chennai rose in the final quarter of 2011 on increased buyer interest, a trend that was followed in most Indian metros. Over the past year (2011), by contrast, residential sales in Mumbai dropped by 28 per cent. Interestingly, the preferred size for 3BHK apartments has also increased since the end of the recession. Jones Lang LaSalle India's residential services head for Chennai, Siva Krishnan, claims this is down to an improvement in the performance of IT and ITES industries. "Over the last 12 months, it has become increasingly evident that Chennai’s residential real estate market is significantly dependent on the IT/ITES sectors," Mr Krishnan told City Express last month. "With employment stability in these sectors looking a lot better now than it did in 2010, demand for homes has now reached a comfortable and dependable growth trajectory from which developers are taking their market cues."


ABOUT 13 DEGREES NORTH, 80 DEGREES EAST, THAT IS WHERE YOU WILL FIND CHENNAI. Formerly known as Madras. Capital of Tamil Nadu, and spiritual home for all of the South Indians (in my point of the view the real Indians, untouched by the Aryan invasion, and bearers of the Dravidian purity.) But that is another story. According to Wikipedia Chennai is a city divided into five talukas: Egmore-Nungambakam, Fort Tondiarpet, Mambalam-Guindy, Mylapore-Triplicane and Perambur-Purasawalkkam. Just like Tokyo in the 1980s and Sydney in the 1990s/2000s, and just like other big cities in India, purchase and rental values in Chennai are going through the proverbial roof. The prices may be high, but there are many NRIs who think that Chennai is a bargain place to invest:

That's right, the NRIs are returning to the Motherland, hoping to convert their foreign earnings into Indian property. Chennai is one of the places they are flocking to. Do Tamil real estate agencies try to force interested parties into buying property, as this video infers? -- that would seem to be the standard Indian sales technique. Whatever the case, one thing which will strike any NRI once they return to Chennai is, Chennai has changed. Is Chennai a good place to live, or at least spend some time? My old Lonely Planet Guide to India didn't seem to think so, calling this a city of oversized billboards (I have to confess I love billboards in Asian cities, whether they be in Mumbai or Bangkok or Saigon!) On the Ganga Mail (aka Bishwanath Ghosh) wrote in April 2009, quoting newcomers: "'People here are more civilised. They let you be," says Pooja Dey, a 27-year-old homemaker who moved from Kolkata to Chennai ten months ago. 'In Kolkata, they are overfriendly and that can get onto your nerves. Besides, I find this place much more developed and a lot cleaner.' Pooja's husband Sushanto, 30, whose family runs the SreeLeathers chain of stores that sell leather goods and who is now set to open its outlet in Chennai, nods in agreement. 'Recently, some parties called for a bandh in Chennai (the Feb 4 bandh in support of Sri Lankan Tamils), but life was normal on the bandh day. In Kolkata, a bandh literally means a bandh. Everything comes to a standstill. That way, law and order in this city is good.' Sushanto goes a step further to praise Chennai's roads and traffic, even though many hardcore Chennaiites would be hesitant in sharing his enthusiasm. 'It is still a pleasure to drive in Chennai, at least when compared to driving in Kolkata, where the rickety Ambassadors really test your patience," he says.

"Pooja and Sushanto must listen to what a Tamilian -- who was born in Chennai but grew up in Kolkata and then returned to Chennai to study and went to Mumbai to pursue an impressive career and who has now returned to Chennai to spend his post-retirement years -- has to say. 'I still feel Kolkata is the best place to live among all the metros. People are very social, the cost of living is low. That will be my first choice,' says G Ananthanarayan, who retired a few years ago as a vice-president of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and now lives in Ashok Nagar..."

w h e r e + i s + t h e + b e s t + p l a c e + t o + l i v e + i n + c h e n n a i ?

WHETHER YOU ARE AN NRI OR NOT, HERE ARE SOME PRIME PLACES TO LIVE IN CHENNAI:

ADAMCITY: Otherwise known as Adambakkam. Elevation 7 meters. Wikipedia says: "Adambakkam is surrounded by suburbs such as Alandur, Palavanthangal, Nanganallur Vanumpet, Puzhuthivakkam, Velachery and Guindy. The residents mostly belong to the middle and upper middle classes. Unlike many other suburbs in Chennai, this place has more individual houses rather than apartments and so it makes an ideal residential place."

w h e r e + i s + t h e + b e s t + p l a c e + t o + i n v e s t ?

WHETHER YOU ARE AN NRI OR NOT, HERE ARE SOME PRIME PLACES TO LIVE IN CHENNAI:

India has also surpassed China as the leading country of origin for internationapen Doors 2002 report, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) said.

"Interestingly, around 30 per cent of the visiting Indian students are women. The report released by the IIE observed that more than 67,000 Indians are currently enrolled in the institutions of higher learning, with the Chinese closely following with 63,000. In 2003 itself, nearly 90,000 Indian students enrolled in American colleges. Overall, India accounts for 11.5 per cent of international students enrolled in American universities. "Studies reveal that almost 90 per cent of foreign students stay back in the US because immediately after completing education, they are allowed to work legally for a year to gain 'practical work experience'. During this period, most students seek employers' help in converting their visa from student visa to H1 visa , whereby they can work for three years, extendable by another three years."

"In such a scenario, a freeze on visas signifies that eventually, the rate of growth of the American economy will be inversely affected as Indians and non-Americans comprise a huge chunk of the potential workforce. Tightening of visa norms post-September 11, an outcry against US jobs being filled by Indians and reducing the cap on H1-B visas maybe America's way of safeguarding jobs."

There will be more about this particular incident life later in the article, and the impact on Indo-Malaysian relations. But first I want to trump up the positives to working in Malaysia -- there is enough negativity in the world as it is, without me adding to it.

o n l i n e + p r o p e r t i e s

SO, YOU HAVE MADE UP YOUR MIND -- YOU WANT TO LIVE OR INVEST IN CHENNAI. Well, here are some jobs for those looking for jobs in Malaysia, specifically the Kuala Lumpur area, and specifically in the IT trade. If you are interested in studying IT or another tech or other field in Malaysia, there is a special site for you -- click here:

99 Acres: http://www.99acres.com/Chennai-Real-Estate.htm.
99 Acres offers properties to buy, rent or sell in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi/NCR, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune. You can advertise your property and get responses over phone, email and the mighty SMS.
Agilent Malaysia conducts yearly campus visits, recruitment drives and career exhibitions locally and overseas (Australia, Taiwan, Japan, UK and USA). On-line and print advertisements are placed on campus web-sites and on notice boards to inform students of upcoming Agilent events and invite applications. Students are also encouraged to apply for jobs on the website listed above.

Ad-Mag: http://www.admag.com/0/?cityid=14&lang=en&search=&catid=0&view=ads.
Ad-Mag has classifieds from all over India. You might occasionally find properties listed here in Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, or the other Tamil cities. And oh -- you can also look for paying guest items, which might be what I go after when I move to India later this decade!

BBC City Paark: Valsarwakkam, Chennai.

In Spain they call a park a "parc", in Tamil Nadu you evidently call it a "paark" instead! And not just a regular paark, but there is a falling accent on the final "a" in the name here. Which kind of reminds me of the strangely accented English and French ripoffs I have seen over the years here in Tokyo, Japan. Only today I passed a mansion (in fact a shoebox style apartment block) called Gland Claire. If only I had such luck with Claire's glands! If only I could have had Cathy and Claire together! That happened in another universe. BBC City Paark is described as "peace in over 2.55 acres. Lush green lawns, chirping birds, rippling water, long jogs, laugher of children, peace of mind and so much more wouldn't it be lovely to wake up to this, everyday, all your life..."

Chennai Flats: Chennai Builders.
This site features a search engine listing apartments, houses, plot and pieces of land, for either sale or rent. There are cheap flats in Chennai priced from 20 to 35Lkhs, apartments for sale from 40 Lkhs to 1.5Cr, and luxury apartments from 1.5 to 5Cr. The last time I visited this site (March 2012), there was a residential plot available at Arakonam near Anvarthikanpet Railway Station for 110Rs. per square foot. Rental apartments seem to start at about 5000Rs. per month.

Craigs List: http://chennai.craigslist.co.in/apa/.
Houses and apartments for rent from 7500Rs a month.
Who wouldn't want to work for the coolest company in the world? Google has a Research and Development Centre in Bangalore (to be more precise: Vittal Mallya Road (Grant Road)). There is another Google Centre in Hyderabad. If you want to see a list of the current job opportunities at Google Bangalore, click here. In typical Amazon fashion, you can add the jobs you are interested in to a shopping cart, before proceeding to check-out. Which goes to show that even a job can be a commodity.

GetAFreelancer: http://chennai.craigslist.co.in/apa/.
: "Try this site.. www.getafreelancer.com
I got a project for which i get 10K everytime I complete a project. I have complete 1 so far. Have 5K in my bank... and the remaining 5k i blew up on RAM..DVD writer.. :D
Already, 2 more have been queued up. 20K
more... ::droool::
Dudes, dont waste ur precious time on adsense.. get a real online part time job. :D I am not an advertiser for getafreelancer... I am just spreading the word coz I found it to be a "moneyplant" :P (Heard of the adage "money doesnt grow on trees...!")

Indian Space Research Organisation: http://www.isro.org/.
Amongst other things Bangalore is the centre for Indian space. As in the exploration of space... Outer Space. The Times Online from the UK reported recently: "Dreams of establishing a manned Moon base could become reality within two decades after India's first lunar mission found evidence of large quantities of water on its surface.
"Data from Chandrayaan-1 also suggests that water is still being formed on the Moon. Scientists said the breakthrough -- to be announced by Nasa at a press conference today -- would change the face of lunar exploration.
"The discovery is a significant boost for India in its space race against China. Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, the mission's project director at the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bangalore, said: "It's very satisfying..."
The Deep Space Network (DSN) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at Byalalu, about 40 km from this tech hub, will take charge of the spacecraft and become a ‘hotlineEbetween its payloads and space scientists over the next two years. “The ground facilities of the Chandrayaan mission comprising the spacecraft control centre (SSC) at Istrac, DSN and space science data centre (ISSDC) at Byalalu will be the channel of communication, monitoring the spacecraft’s health, including its orbit and altitude and conduct its payload operations,EIstrac director S.K. Shivakumar told IANS. These three ground facilities will also process the wealth of data from the mission for integrated circuit engineering, integrated circuit manufacturing, hardware engineering, software engineering, hardware manufacturing, facilities and site services, Information Technology (IT), Finance, sales and marketing, ebusiness, supply network, materials, legal, human resources, research and development (r&d) and quality and reliability. If any of these job descriptions fit your bill, you should hit the Intel Malaysia site listed above, to search for positions.

Jobs in Dubai: Dubai's Largest e-Recruitment Service.
Find jobs in accounting, advertising, finance, construction, customer service, engineering, hotels and hospitality, Internet and the media, nursing and even teeaching languages like English.
Gold member Mishkath Misbah writes: "Being in Sri Lanka, I looking for a good and a reliable source to find jobs in UAE. Not only jobs, but career guidance and resume preparation as well. JID had all of it. Not only it my RESUME reached many top firms in the Middle East, but also trained JID staff advised on how to better present my profile to match the job category I was applying, I got all in one service. Being a Gold Member, I am enjoying individual attention to my profile.
"I have recommended JID to many of my friends and they found it very useful for their job search."

JobsDB: http://www.jobsdb.com/MY/EN/V6HTML/JobSeeker/jobalert/jobalert_e.htm.
Subscribe to Job Alert and JobsDB will do the job matching for you. This free service notifies you of new job vacancies based on position, monthly salary, qualifications, location, and so on. New job openings will be sent to your email account every day.

Job Street: http://my.jobstreet.com/default.htm.
A wide range of services offered here, most obviously job search and job alert. Also plenty of up-to-date info about job fairs and career seminars in Malaysia, top job categories, classifieds, jobs for disabled folk, and so on. Worth a click or two.

MicroLand: http://www.microland.com/.
Image courtesy MicroLand Bangalore This is a resource bank for people who want to live, study or travel abroad. There are listings of jobs, schools, places of accommodation, translators, hostels, discussion forums and information about travel and visas. You can search jobs by location, and category. Naturally, Information Technology (IT) gets a high priority on the Malaysian page, and the last time I checked, there were jobs available at such places as SK InfoTech, Adance Marine Services (database developer), Vantronic Industries, Technexel (Java developers), NTi Systems & Solutions in Subang Jaya (IT technician), Northern VIT in Penang (web developer), Applied Business Systems in Kuala Lumpur (Oracle consultant), and so on, and on. The service is available in English, French, German and Spanish.

Metroplots: http://www.metroplots.com/.
Image courtesy Metroplots Listing upcoming residential projects, flats, land and houses, with an exclusive Chennai focus. Properties are available in Adambakkam, Adyar, Alapakkam, Annanur, Ashok Nagar, Chromepet, ECR, Egmore, Guindy, Kellys, Kilpauk, KK Nagar, Mandaveli, Mylapore, Otteri, Padi, Pammal, Porur, Red Hills, Saidapet, Sembakkam, Tambaram, Ullagaram, Vandalur, and more.

Sulehka Classifieds: http://classifieds.sulekha.com/chennai/alllocalities/real-estate/allsubcategories/adlistings.aspx.
Sulehka has been on the Internet even longer than I have -- I remember pilfering one of their images back in the late 1990s. It is called Cult for the Communal. It is a one-stop site for Indians both in India and abroad. In Sulehka's classifieds and Yellow Pages section, there are currently 4716 Chennai real estate listings. In conjunction with CareerBuilder.com, Sologig has three times more projects than the other leading freelance websites. Don't get lost in the shuffle! Employers outnumber Freelancers five to one, which create good odds for the jobseeker willing to take a punt on the freelance side.

Target Homes: Pallikaranai.
Bengaluru/Bangalore Jobs. Times Jobs seem to specialise in jobs in India and the Gulf. The last time I checked (October 7 2009) they had 8314 jobs listed in the Bangalore metropolis, covering international call centre staff, Oracle retail sales audit, invoice matching, accounting, hardware engineering, and so on. The spiel reads: " Bangalore is THE place to be if you need an IT Job or want to work in that industry. If you are looking for a Job in Bangalore, register on TimesJobs.com to view and apply to available jobs..." Feel free to post your resume here.

Terraspace: Pallikaranai.
Space on the land here.

TVH Lumbini Square: Purasaivakkam.
If you have lived in this property, please send me your impressions!

n e w + d e v e l o p m e n t s

Many new Residential Projects have been launched by Navin Housing & Properties in Chennai. The details are as follows: Dayton Heights: A multi-storey residential apartments located at Nelson Manickam Road Merrylands: Three bedroom residential apartments located at Maedavakkam Subha Mangala: An upcoming project featuring two and three bedroom apartments. Brookfield: Another upcoming residential project having provision for two and three bedroom apartments. Rajamani: A new residential project comprising eight apartments and four floors.

".

"This was the outcome of a dawn swoop in search of illegal immigrants on one high-rise apartment in the ethnic Indian dominated Brickfields neighbourhood in central Kuala Lumpur.

"'There were around 270 of us, and we have already got the signatures of 178, and we'll get the rest by Monday,' said Dilip, an IT professional, who presented a petition to the Indian High Commission on behalf of all those detained after being released on Sunday night.

"A Malaysian police officer had earlier told PTI that some 164 Indians had been picked up during a raid on one building adding they were released following the intervention of the Indian High Commission and proof that they had valid visas.

"Some showed they were working for companies registered in Malaysia's Multi-media Super Corridor, the Information Technology project zone running from Kuala Lumpur to the new development of Cyberjaya, some 45 minutes' drive away, he said.

"'This has been a black day for all of us,' Indian High Commissioner Veena Sikri said addressing the detainees after their release.

""We have taken the matter to the highest authority, and we will get to the bottom of the issue.'

"There were, in addition, three further ethnic and religious groups whose political and economic importance in Malaya far exceeded their numerical strength. Two were important business communities the Chettiars, a money lending caste from Madras, and the South Indian Muslims (Moplahs and Marakkayars) who were mainly wholesalers. The third group were the Ceylonese Tamils who were employed principally in the lower levels of the Civil Service and in the professions.

"The close correspondence between the ethnic and occupational divisions of the Indian community was inevitably reflected in the community's geographical distribution in Malaya. The South Indian Tamils were concentrated mainly in Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan, on the rubber estates and railways, though a significant proportion found employment on the docks in Penang and Singapore The Telegus were mainly on the rubber estates of Lower Perak and parts of Selangor, while the Malayalees were located predominantly in Lower Perak, Kuala Lumpur, parts of Negri Sembilan, and Johore Bahru. The business communities, the Gujeratis, Sindhis, Chettiars, and South Indian Muslims, were concentrated in the urban areas, principally Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, and Singapore. The Ceylon Tamils were also mainly an urban community, though some were found in rural areas working as subordinate staff on the estates...."

The Tamil Nation goes on to record: "Despite the fact that the Indians constitute about 8% of the country's population of 22 million they own less than 2% of its national wealth. According to The Economist (22nd Feb 2003), they make up 14% of its juvenile delinquents, 20% of its wife and child beaters and 41% of its beggars. They make up less than 5% of the successful university applicants. The story of the Indians has been a case of progressive deterioration from the time Malaysia became independent in 1957..."

o n l i n e + f i n a n c e

RupeeTalk HAS SOME GOOD ARTICLES, CALCULATORS AND ONLINE TOOLS FOR THE INDIAN HOME BUYER. You can, for example, compare home loans from the likes of ING Vysya, the Bank of Baroda, and Citibank. It has some advice like this: "On average, your monthly home loan repayments should not exceed 40% of your gross monthly income to calculate an affordable repayment amount. This ensures that you maintain your lifestyle and still afford the loan repayments, in case, interest rates rise." If you are looking for some financial resources on the Internet, here is a rough but growing guide:

Public Bank Berhad: 68 Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields. Phone: 03/2272 5930, 03/2273 6494.

g e t t i n g + t h e r e

To get to Little India from Masjid Jamek station you can take either the Star LRT or Putra LRT.
Brickfields can be accessed through the Tun Sambanthan and KL Sentral monorail stations.



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