Interview with Nirvana Chaudhary on Chaudhary Group reentering Real estate Business

Niravana Chaudhary took over the role of managing director of Chaudhary Group (CG) in 2010.Thus, his name has now become synonymous with the CG.The group was the first corporate house in the country to venture into the housing sector with Kathmandu Residency in 2000. And in 2003, it came up with Mount View Residency (MVR) phase I and phase II at Harisiddhi, which had both independent and duplex houses. CG is involved in almost every possible segment of business sector, ranging from food and beverage, automobiles, financial services to electronic appliances.While the group took a break from housing sector after 2003, they recently decided to resume the project.

Chaudhary talked with THT Property Plus regarding the come back into the housing sector. Excerpts:

The housing sector is facing a tough time, with the prices falling, and the number of transactions in the market dwindling in the recent times.In such a situation, why is CG coming up with the new housing projects?
The transaction in real estate sector is very slow, as it has been affected by the liquidity crisis and the hike in the interest rate on home loans. Despite these problems, there is still a huge market of housing sector in the country and we are confident that common people's need for housing sector has not diminished. And we hope that it will peak up within a year or two.

In addition to it, the demand of independent houses are growing as compared to the apartments.If the right product is introduced at the right time, liquidity will not affect it as much.

What are your new projects and what kind of investment is being made?
We are developing two housing projects. One is the extension of MVR and named MVR phase III in Harisiddhi, Lalitpur. It will have nine independent houses. And the next one is CG Hills in Hattigauda, Kathmandu, which will include 60 stand alone and row houses.

The total investment in these projects is Rs 540 million, where four to six aana of land is allocated for each house at CG Hill. We are satisfied with the positive feedback of MVR phase III, as all the houses have already been booked. The houses in both the projects are priced between Rs 10 million and Rs 15 million.

In addition to these, we are also planning to develop a commercial complex outside the valley, as it is high time we broke the Kathmandu centric housing projects. We are commencing it from Bharatpur, Chitwan, which will be replicated in other cities -Pokhara, Itahari and Butwal. It will be the first of its kind in Nepal and we have termed it as a mixed development, since it includes shopping mall, multiplex, food court and a hotel under one roof. The complex will be 11-storied building consisting of three-star hotel with 56 rooms.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 550 million. What is the unique selling point (USP) of your projects?
Exterior design of all the houses will give a glimpse of our culture as they will resemble the architecture of Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar squares, but will also include a touch of f modern architecture. And we are coming up with a package of `customer attractive prices' within a month, which will make the houses more affordable for the customers.

What are the future plans of CG in this sector?
Our projects up to now are only targeted for the middle and upper middle classes, but we are planning to come up with other projects that will expand our focus to all groups.

source: The Himalayan times(2011),"CHAUDHARY GROUP RESUMES REAL ESTATE BUSINESS ", The Himalayan times : Property Plus,12 March 2011

Photo courtesy: The Himalayan Times

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