We had a chance to interact with Mr. Ankit Kansal (MD- Axon), wherein he discussed the various facets of the Indian holiday home market, ongoing transformation in the segment, and a visible appetite among home buyers to own such properties. He also highlighted how as an entity Axon Developer wants to build sustainable real estate in the country, where the focus will be on building iconic projects that can also contribute significantly to local growth.
What exactly is the concept behind sustainable real estate?
Sustainable real estate is the idea of property development that also positively impacts the stakeholders involved. Unlike other real estate businesses, the focus is not solely on profit-making but also on ensuring holistic growth & development.
Honestly speaking, there is no clearly defined blueprint for sustainable development, as it incorporates multiple actions simultaneously. However, broadly speaking a sustainable development project believes in preserving nature, adding value to the lives of the local community, and creating an institutional framework that can help in the progress of the overall region. Meanwhile, it also gives proper attention to the health and well-being of the residents and endeavors to give them elevated living experiences.
As a brand how Axon ensures sustainable growth & progress for everyone involved. Does it mean compromising on profitability?
Like any other commercial enterprise, Axon is a business entity, and making profits is the core agenda. However, at the same time as business owners, we are very clear that while making profits we would never bypass the interest of other stakeholders involved. Our business will also be in the larger interest of other communities & stakeholders alongside making profits. Ethics are not just a buzzword for us, but something that has been deeply ingrained in our organization and parent companies.
We generally develop large-scale projects that are instrumental in bringing the spotlight to the entire region. This helps in magnetizing more investments and supports other commercial activities. We closely work with the local development agencies and community to boost indigenous infrastructure. Likewise, we always ensure that growth won’t be done by exploiting natural resources. Rather, our projects are designed and developed in such a way that it tries to bring the best out of nature.
Constructive advocacy is also a key instrument in our approach. We proactively work with governing agencies, community leaders, media, and other businesses to build consensus about sustainable growth and limit malpractices that can undermine natural resources.
Can You Give some examples, wherein you have set an example of sustainable real estate?
Presently we are working on a large-sized project in Sasoli, in the Sindhudurg district, near the newly built MOPA airport. The 600-acre+ project comprises second homes, farmhouses, hotels, resorts, high street retail, F&B, etc. It is a perfect gateway for someone living in congested cities in India to go and spend quality amid lush greeneries, verdant environs, and pollution-free set-ups.
In the project, we are also working with the local village community to develop and fund schools, drinking water facilities, temples, roadways, etc. In this way, the project is not just an icon of premium-style second homes but also will help in improving the livability of local villagers. During the construction work, we are ensuring that the maximum amount of employment goes to the local populace.
Meanwhile, we have also tactically named the project “The Origin Sasoli”. We could have just named it “The Origin” but have used Sasoli to give a local flavor. This will also bring an increased spotlight on the Sasoli region and going forward draw the attention of investors, businesses, and talented manpower from all over India. The name Sasoli will also help to get increased attention of the administration and governing agencies.
What do you think is the future of second homes in India?
The second home market and other related categories such as farmhouses, vacation villas, and holiday homes are poised to grow fast in India. The market is presently sized at USD 2.14 billion and is growing at a CAGR of 22-25%, as per internal research by Axon.
There is a visible appetite among people to spend time amid calm & serene environs and bond with nature. The demand for second homes is jumping not just in snowcapped Himalayan mountains and picturesque sea beaches, but also across verdant rural backyards. Other activities such as wellness retreats, staycations, adventure sports campaigns, etc. are also driving the demand.
There is a visible overlapping of second homes, wellness, and tourism, which is also driving the segment forward. Many regular tourists now do not prefer hotels. Rather they opt for vacation villas and serviced apartments, as the approach is more personalized in such places.
Q. What future projects is Axon Planning?
In addition to The Origin Sasoli, we are coming up with numerous branded land development projects in Assam, Uttarakhand, Goa, etc. We are also in talks with governing agencies in Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh to develop large-scale projects. Meanwhile, in Gurgaon, we have recently unveiled a modern retail space, named Gallexie-91. Our business development team is constantly looking out for new project opportunities all over India.