RICS appoints Sachin Sandhir as ‘Global Managing Director – Emerging Business’

RICS, the global professional body for chartered qualifications and standards in real estate and construction, announced the appointment of Sachin Sandhir as Global Managing Director – Emerging Business. He will retain his current role as Managing Director, South Asia but will be taking on additional responsibility for evaluating growth avenues and developing new emerging business opportunities across the globe in standards, qualifications and training.

Announcing Sachin’s appointment, Will Myles, Regional Managing Director Asia Pacific, RICS said “The Executive Team at RICS is immensely pleased with the work Sachin has done to establish RICS in South Asia, including the recent establishment of the RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University. Sachin has demonstrated leading edge thinking in shaping our business in South Asia. RICS has now asked Sachin to take on the additional role of Global Managing Director – Emerging Business to focus on the wider development of standards, qualifications and training in this sector.”

Sachin Sandhir - Global MD, Emerging Business - RICS

Sachin Sandhir – Global MD, Emerging Business – RICS

On his appointment, Sachin Sandhir said, “It is a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to establish emerging business opportunities for a prestigious international institution like RICS, which is committed to instilling confidence in global real estate and construction markets”

Sachin Sandhir was appointed RICS Managing Director for RICS India in 2008, and promoted to Managing Director South Asia in 2011. Sachin describes his role in RICS as ‘a catalyst of creating change and professionalism’ in the real estate and construction industry in India. As an advocate of institutionalizing best practices and standards in the real estate and construction sector, he is working to ensure international standards and best practices disseminated by RICS, are adopted by industry to make the South Asia region a more transparent and professional marketplace. Sachin conceived the idea of the RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University and took a leading role in establishing the School – a milestone for RICS in its role as an education body and provider of professional (chartered) qualifications.

About RICS

RICS is a global professional body. We promote and enforce the highest professional qualification and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards – bringing confidence to the markets we serve. The work of our professionals creates a safer world: we are proud of our profession’s reputation and we guard it fiercely. See www.rics.org

For more information, please contact:

In London:

Chevon Erasmus Porter, RICS Communications & External Relations Advisor, London

Tel : +44 (0)20 7695 1601 • Mobile : +44 (0) 79 44 863 495 • Email: cerasmusporter@rics.org

In New Delhi:

Devesh Srivastava, Manager – PR and Communications, South Asia

Mobile: +91-9871654445 • Email: dcsrivastava@rics.org

Air Canada Partners with Concur TripLink to Enable Full Visibility for Corporate Travelers

Concur® (Nasdaq: CNQR), the leading provider of spend management solutions and services, today announced at Fusion Exchange in Toronto a partnership with Air Canada to develop and enable corporate travel booking solutions functionality for aircanada.com and Air Canada apps. By leveraging Concur TripLink, companies can capture direct Air Canada corporate bookings while still receiving their corporate benefits and meeting their corporate travel reporting requirements through Concur.

Concur TripLink complements travel programs by providing visibility and information continuity to enable travelers and companies to book directly with Air Canada. Through TripLink, corporate travelers can use Air Canada channels to book their corporate fares and automatically have the trip data sent back to Concur to populate travel and expense reports on Concur and related platforms. In addition, travelers who link their profiles to Air Canada receive great benefits, including:

  • More Choice: Whether a traveler chooses to book through Concur Travel, their TMC or directly with Air Canada, Concur TripLink accommodates the travelers’ choice by allowing the user to define their travel shopping experience.
  • Greater Value: Concur TripLink enables travelers to take advantage of their corporate programs regardless of where they book travel; travelers and their companies get better visibility, negotiating power and control. Organizations and their TMCs can use the information to drive programs and services to increase compliance.
  • Improved Traveler Tracking: By capturing out-of-program bookings, companies know where their employees are traveling at all times, supporting their Duty of Care requirements. This also enables their TMCs to support these travelers and deliver new services.

  • “Air Canada is very excited about partnering with Concur to ensure our high value corporate customers always have access to the best, richest Air Canada content, while maintaining the benefits of tracking and reporting of expense through Concur,” said Keith Wallis, Manager of Distribution Business Development for Air Canada. “Air Canada has a long history of being an early adopter of innovative technology to meet and exceed their customers’ high expectations. Integrating Concur technology directly into the Air Canada website is the next step in the evolution of corporate travel as we seek to deliver exceptional benefits to our corporate customers.”

    “Corporate travelers want to stay compliant with corporate policies, but at the same time, they crave the convenience of direct booking. With today’s announcement, we are giving our mutual customers a transparent and seamless experience so they can get the most out of their travel budgets,” said Steve Singh, chairman and CEO at Concur. “By enabling direct booking at an enterprise-level, we are creating a new and deeper level of customer experience that is centered on direct end-user connections. These are the same types of connections that have transformed other industries.”

    To date, Concur TripLink has the following partners, including: Airbnb, Avis, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Marriott Hotels, Starwood Hotels, and United Airlines.

    About Concur

    Concur is the leading provider of spend management solutions and services in the world, helping companies of all sizes transform the way they manage spend so they can focus on what matters most. Through Concur’s open platform, the entire travel and expense ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and developers can access and extend Concur’s T&E cloud. Concur’s systems adapt to individual employee preferences and scale to meet the needs of companies from small to large. Learn more at www.concur.com or the Concur blog. The Concur Perfect Trip Fund invests in leading edge travel technology companies and is awarding $100,000 in innovation funding at the awards at The Perfect Trip DevCon 2014, from Concur & TripIt. Learn more at www.concur.com or the Concur blog.

    Press Contact:

    Shripad Sukenkar

    20:20 MSL

    981 949 9303


    BJP’s Majority Show: Impact On Infrastructure And Real Estate Initiatives

    Ramesh Nair, COO, JLL India

    Ramesh Nair, COO, JLL India

    With BJP controlling the Centre and the two biggest real estate markets in India – Mumbai and Gurgaon – the government has to focus on 3 I’s – Infrastructure, Interest reduction and Income generation. With the BJP’s remarkable show in Maharashtra, the state will give a new lease of life to its infrastructure projects across all sectors. The projects which are being monitored by the central government will get accelerated with the BJP government’s assumption of political power in Maharashtra.

    We have seen the Central Government take a keen interest in the real estate sector. It is evident that it has understood that enhancements in real estate can provide an impetus for growth across various sectors, generating tremendous employment and thereby boost the entire economic outlook for the country. The BJP-led Maharashtra State government can be seen drawing lines along the same goal.

    With several infrastructure and real estate initiatives mentioned by BJP in its manifesto, and with the intent to facilitate projects worth INR 11 lakh crore, these projects are likely to get a push in Maharashtra in the coming days. The government is expected to fast-track the new international airport in Panvel, the 22 km Trans-Harbour Link connecting Sewri and Nhava Seva and the Bullet Train connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The airport and trans-harbour link will be game-changers for the Navi Mumbai real estate market, and help to decongest Mumbai by releasing vast tracts of land in Navi Mumbai for development.

    The BJP-led state government plans to have a business district like BKC in all the municipalities within MMR. With a business district in each one of the seven MMR municipalities – Greater Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Ulhasnagar – the state will receive quite a few Peripheral Business Districts (PBDs) in the MMR region and enable the local populations to get jobs closer to their homes. This, in turn, will help attract IT/ITES companies that typically prefer lower-cost cities such as Bangalore and Pune, and generate much-needed jobs in Mumbai. This, in turn, will fuel the affordable housing segment and create much-needed IT, R&D and campus-style business parks across the city.

    The next phases of the elevated railway, water transport, metro and monorail projects envisaged long back will again be in the spotlight as they hold great potential for enhancing connectivity in all micro-markets of Mumbai. The Thane market will see significantly accelerated growth if the feasibility studies favour the setting-up of an airport in the Kalyan-Ambernath belt. As far as water transport is concerned, Mumbai will be an important hub for the water transport initiative along the Konkan coast. This will benefit CBD and SBD North, which are the prospective areas from where the city will be connected.

    The Government plans to widen the Mumbai-Goa Highway to a 4-lane highway and the area surrounding the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will be taken up for development. This will have a positive impact on Navi Mumbai, as it is the primary micro-market in the vicinity.

    ‘Make in Maharashtra’, an offshoot of the Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative, will be a major game-changer for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the manufacturing hub of Pune. Mumbai will be the logical choice for almost all the MNC companies for establishing front offices to complement any investment in Maharashtra.

    The IT industry will be promoted in a big way to attract business parks and IT jobs into the state with a view to compete with destinations like Bangalore and Hyderabad. IT Industry Area Development Authority will be established to promote the IT sector in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Kolhapur. With the India Shining sentiment making a decisive comeback, more opportunities will arise in office space transactions. The state governments’ proposal to establish 10 smart cities in Maharashtra has very favourable connotations for the commercial capital of India.

    The Governments’ initiative to install CCTVs across Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur will not only increase the overall safety and security quotient in these cities, but also present a favourable image of Maharashtra to MNC players who give significant importance to the safety and security aspects. Apart from this, several other initiatives such as fast broadband for the entire state, fast-tracked IT hardware production and creation of a hardware hubs along with the promotion of the mobile applications, gaming development and cyber security industries will help push up office space demand.

    The digitizing of public and land documents such as 7/12 forms and making these available online will not only improve transparency but also promote faster approvals for land transactions.

    The relaxation of FSI norms has been received very positively by developers, and will be a major catalyst for more purchases of raw land for development. However, the increase in FSI can also lead to further stagnation of residential property values. The perceived influx of supply in the market may lead to a correction in prices on Mumbai’s real estate market. However, market sentiments will turn more positive and this should increase funding requirements, as developers will actively take up more projects.

    The Government’s focus on better governance and its initiative to implement new reforms such as the Real Estate Bill and single-window project clearances will not only help rein in real estate-related corruption but also regularize the functioning of the real estate sector. The state Government is expected to further push and implement the NDA’s central manifesto of housing for all by 2022.

    There is an express need for the approval process to be streamlined and expedited. Easy approvals will lead to faster clearances and thereby a steady supply in the market, which will keep property prices affordable. We definitely expect the Government to be more developer-friendly. Fast-tracked reform measures in the environmental approval process and clear policies on real estate will add more clarity and lead to faster execution. If the BMC sees power realignment, and if this helps new reforms and regulations to come through faster, then Mumbai’s real estate sector will definitely be a clear winner.

    Leading consumer paint brand, Dulux, takes technology and colour innovation to the next level

    Launches innovative app “Dulux Visualizer” using latest augmented-reality technology

    Unveils latest edition of its annual global study of colour trends, “ColourFuturesTM 2015”

    AkzoNobel, the leading global paints and coatings company and the makers of Dulux Paints is stepping up its offerings to provide latest solutions based on the changing consumer trends. At a high voltage launch, AkzoNobel announced two key initiatives. The Company introduced ‘Dulux Visualizer’- an innovative and user-friendly app in the paints industry that uses augmented-reality technology to gratify the evolving needs of the new age consumer and also released the latest edition of its annual global study of colour trends, ‘ColourFuturesTM 2015’, unveiling Copper Orange as the Colour of the year 2015.

    Speaking at the launch, Jeremy Rowe, Managing Director, Decorative Paints, South East & South Asia, AkzoNobel said, “The demand for decorative paints in India has increased with the global trend of urbanization, the country’s impetus on strengthening infrastructure and development of emerging cities. India is a high growth market for AkzoNobel and we have made significant investments in strengthening our capabilities in the country. Our global presence, permeated by insights into consumer trends gives us the opportunity to apply innovations and best practices from around the world to design products best suited to each global geography, including India.”
    Sharing his insights on AkzoNobel’s Decorative Business in India, Rajiv Rajgopal, Director, Decorative Paints, AkzoNobel India said, “Dulux has continued to drive growth with its superior value proposition and consumer-connect in all markets. The mounting consumer appreciation has been reflective of the trust in our innovative products and services. This year has been particular encouraging with Dulux Superclean being voted as ‘Product of the year’ while brand Dulux has been selected as a ‘Superbrand’. The Dulux Visualizer is our latest offering to the Indian consumer in order to facilitate the ease of choosing colours that go with his family’s personality. Even before its formal release today, we have seen over 100,000 downloads and a very positive rating in app stores.”

    Farhan Akhtar, Actor, Director, Singer and Brand Ambassador, Dulux, said, “Backed by a rich heritage and international standards of quality, Dulux has emerged as a leading player in styling décor. Its products give both an aesthetic and functional edge, taking product performance to a whole new level. I am privileged to be associated with Dulux. Its legacy and lineage are unmistakeably distinct.”

    The Dulux visualizer app with its augmented-reality feature, allows one to picture the walls even before painting them. The app gives an instant and realistic impression of how any room will look, in the colours of one’s choice.

    The App is available free of charge in the Apple store and in Google Play.

    ColourFuturesTM 2015 is a global trend and forecasting document, brought out by AkzoNobel, working with an invited panel of independent design and colour experts. AkzoNobel has announced the colour ‘Copper Orange’ as the colour of the year 2015. Warm and surprising, Copper Orange reflects a more positive outlook on the world while representing a new emphasis on putting the + (plus) in everyday. By exploring underutilized spaces, as well as our relationships both with each other and with our environment as a whole, we are learning to look at the world around us in new and unique ways. This colour has a depth which combines perfectly with pinks, neutrals, whites and other orange hues, as well as, metallic colours and wood tones.

    About AkzoNobel India:

    Present in India for 60 years and a significant player in the paints industry. Over the years, it has witnessed sustained expansion, growth and transformation. In 2008, Akzo Nobel N.V. became owner of the entire equity share capital of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd., by virtue of which the company became a member of the AkzoNobel Group.

    AkzoNobel India manufactures and markets a wide range of coatings covering Decorative paints Protective coatings and Specialty chemicals. We provide solutions to many industries and sectors including automotive, consumer electronics, power, aviation, shipping and leisure craft, construction, oil and gas, water and waste water, food and beverages, etc. We supply industries and consumer with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Interpon. Our employee strength is close to 1900.

    AkzoNobel India has manufacturing sites, offices and distribution network spread across the country. All manufacturing facilities have state-of-art environmental management system. Its commitment to Health, Safety, Environment & Security (HSE&S) has been amongst the best in class globally, with due care being taken to protect the people and the environment.

    Company Contacts:

    Country Communications, AkzoNobel India: Humsa Dhir, humsa.dhir@akzonobel.com; +91-124-4852538

    Shankhadipa Talukdar, Genesis B-M; shankhadipa.talukdar@bm.com; +91 99999 56546

    Cybage adjudged a leader in building Consumer and Enterprise software products

    Cybage, a global leader in outsourced product development, has been positioned in the Leadership category by Zinnov Management Consulting, in a detailed and independent survey of R&D Services organizations—the Global R&D Service Providers Rating (GSPR) 2014 gauging over 50 services companies. Cybage has been rated as a leader in Enterprise Software and Consumer Software categories of Outsourced Software Product Development industry.

    The GSPR rating is a testimony to the strong focus of Cybage on cutting-edge technologies, R&D hubs in the form of Centers of Excellence, and all-round expertise in end-to-end product development life cycle.

    Arun Nathani, CEO, Cybage Software Pvt. Ltd., said, “The ranking strengthens our position as a global leader in outsourced product development. This substantiates our scientific approach towards delivery excellence and also endorses our agility in adapting to the shifting technology landscape.”

    Sundararaman Viswanathan, Associate Director, Consulting, Zinnov, said, “Cybage over the last few years has been strengthening its deep expertise in software product development space. With a good set of offerings and strong delivery capability Cybage can be an ideal partner for software product companies. They also are invested in building strong agile teams and domain specific competencies which over a period of time will help Cybage gain significant competitive advantage in addressing the rapidly changing needs of the customers in the software products space.”

    Cybage Logo hi-res
    Zinnov’s GSPR is based on a proprietary framework that effectively quantifies qualitative data using Analytic Hierarchy Process model. The companies are assessed on different parameters – Human Capital, Capabilities & Innovation, Financials, Ecosystem Linkages, Infrastructure, and Business sustainability.

    Not In My Backyard – NIMBYism In Indian Real Estate

    Kishor Pate, CMD - Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

    Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

    NIMBY is not a term we often hear in India, though it is quite a popular word (and a dynamic concept) in the West. That said, NIMBY – an acronym for ‘Not In My Back Yard – is definitely an unspoken mind-set when it comes to residential real estate in India.
    Basically, ‘Nimbys’ are residents of a locality of project who are opposed to the implementation of a certain initiative by the Government, industries or private developers in their neighbourhood. Classic examples in the Indian context are flyovers, chemical factories, power plants and in fact any kind of development that could conceivably obstruct the view, disrupt the peace or pollute the air.

    ‘Nimbyism’ does exist in the Indian real estate space, but the choices of opponents to certain developments within their neighbourhoods is generally quite restricted. The Indian real estate space is still largely unorganized, and problems such as encroachment, unauthorized structures and lack of scientific town planning are still the order of the day in most of our cities.

    The concepts of regulated real estate development and macro-level town planning are beginning to take hold and are, in fact, already operational in cities like Chandigarh, Navi Mumbai and even in Pune. While this evolution is happening against a large backdrop of damage that already been done and is difficult to undo, this does not mean that ‘Nimbyism’ is a futile and impotent concept in India.

    In Indian residential real estate, middle-class housing societies – administrative bodies comprised of residents within a registered housing complex – have the right to refuse unscheduled construction within the complex premises. That said, they have little or no control over what happens beyond the compound walls. In cities like Mumbai and Delhi, upscale housing complexes continue to co-exist cheek-to-jowl with slums and slapdash tenements. This is more or less accepted as a reality of life, since slums are often under the political protection.

    The ultra-luxury segment presents a rather different picture. Indian cities do have their elite pockets, such as Lutyens Zone in Delhi, Nariman Point in Mumbai, Sahakar Nagar in Pune, Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, and so on. In these areas, residents have a stronger voice over what happens in their immediate neighbourhoods – and they do raise them. This level of influence derives from a combination of factors – including the financial clout of the residents, the fact that the zones themselves are under the purview of stricter-than-usual zoning guidelines.

    As such, Nimbyism is definitely not a negative concept – in fact, cities like Pune need a larger dose of it. Residents should have a say in what happens in their neighbourhoods. This is especially true if the developments they are opposing are taking place outside of the existing zoning laws and are serious threats to the health, harmony and safety. What is needed is more exacting city planning, which should ideally be part of the overall development plan for the city. Likewise, developers also have a responsibility towards ensuring the sanctity of the residential projects they create.

    Investing In Pune Luxury Homes

    Kishor Pate, CMD - Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

    Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

    During 2013, the investment potential for residential properties in the financial capital of Mumbai remained largely flat and unexciting. Most serious property investors in Mumbai who chose residential property are now content to exit with moderate profits. Pune, on the other hand, showed an almost uniform appreciation of 14-16% in property prices. Vacancy levels in Pune stand at between 20-22%, while in Mumbai they are close to 35%. As a result, investors are staying invested.

    One question being asked by investors interested in Pune real estate is whether they should prefer mid-income or luxury housing. To be sure, Pune has a number of options in both segments. Mid-income apartments are definitely the faster-moving product on the market. However, luxury housing in Pune has been getting a lot of exposure of late, mainly because it is a much more vibrant segment in this city than in Mumbai.

    It has been argued that Pune has seen far too many luxury projects being launched in the last two to three years. However, the fact is that these projects are not aimed primarily at property investors but at NRI and HNI buyers who are purchasing such homes for personal use. Property investors focused on Pune have always been more interested in acquiring mid-range flats which they can dispose of faster. This is a limited perspective, usually brought on my budget constraints.

    There is, in fact, a very high demand for luxury property in Pune from self-use buyers, which is why developers continue to see sense in launching premium housing. It must be remembered that as long as there is demand, supply will follow. And as long as the demand is from buyers who wish to own such properties for personal use, there is no glut on the market – these units will not be put up for sale again for a very long time.

    For this reason, investment in luxury property in Pune does make sense for long-term investors. These are premium offerings in locations which will eventually not be able to accommodate further development. However, it is a play which requires high investment power and the ability to hold on to the property for at least five to seven years. After such a period, the real estate development potential of a location which is popular today will be almost exhausted and demand will begin peaking.

    There is no doubt that demand for luxury housing in Pune is very sustainable. An increasing number of multinational companies are recognizing Pune’s unique advantages in terms of trained manpower, cheaper real estate costs and reduced logistical hassles. The result is that more and more high-paying jobs are being created every year, which leads to a steady demand for high-end homes. At the same time, more and more NRIs from Pune who have completed their high-paying tenures abroad are returning every year.

    Obviously, luxury homes in key areas such as Aundh, Baner, Sahakarnagar, Model Colony, Aundh, Koregaon Park, Kalyaninagar and Viman Nagar will become increasingly valuable over time. But within a span of five to seven years, even newer areas will have been made valuable because of increased infrastructure and accelerated saturation. Investing in a luxury property in such an area today can pay off handsomely over the long term.

    The Advantages Of Buying Vs. Renting A Home

    Arvind Jain, Managing Director - Pride Group

    Arvind Jain, Managing Director – Pride Group

    If you’ve been indecisive about buying a home and have so far preferred to rent instead, this is a good time to finally make your move. Home ownership is one of life’s greatest joys, but that is not the only reason why you should finally take the plunge.

    The advantages of home ownership today include:

    1. Bargains:

    It is a buyer’s market now. There have never been more developers in the fray, and there is a huge number of projects out there to choose from. This means that you can get a real bargain today – and that too with top developers who are known for excellent locations, construction and project amenities. Even with a less-than-spectacular budget, you can now own a decent home in a good neighbourhood. Banks are also falling over each other to sanction home loans. In other words, your application will get successfully processed faster than ever before.

    2. Investment Value:

    When you pay rent on a home, the money is basically gone forever. You get no returns and no security – all that your money has paid for is accommodation. The landlord gets richer, but you have not reaped any investment benefits. It is true that buying a home involves a large initial financial expense. However, unlike with paying rent, these expenses are recovered over time, because you are building equity in your own home. Residential property in major Indian cities appreciates very well indeed. Remember, home ownership is not only about occupancy but also about long-term investment. Also, you save tax on your home loan.

    3. A Sense Of Community And Belonging:

    People who rent homes in a major city never really build firm relationships with their neighbours. When you own a home, your children make long-lasting friendships, and the adults in your family become part of a long-term support system. Research has proved that people who have healthy relationships tend to be happier and have less stress in their lives.

    4. The Security Of Ownership:

    Obviously, home ownership means that the home is yours – not somebody else’s. There are various advantages built into this, because you have the right to do what you want with your home. In other words, you can renovate, refurbish, paint and decorate it as much as you please (within the bounds of the housing society byelaws, of course). In short, you can make your own residential property into a real home. Also, you have the financial assurance of a rock-solid asset to fall back on if the need arises.

    Can The Government Do More For Affordable Housing?

    Sachin Agarwal, CMD - Maple Shelters

    Sachin Agarwal, CMD – Maple Shelters

    Narendra Modi’s government has made massive forward strides within a short period. The progress in such a short period is remarkable, considering that the government is still hamstrung by a disproportionate fiscal deficit and its ability to induce further growth through public investment.

    It is evident that the Modi Government cannot leave any stone unturned in order to bring about an environment that is attractive as easy to navigate for private investors. But judging from what we have seen so far, the real estate industry in India is definitely back on track in 2014. Still, there are complex challenges that remain. Two of these are inflation and, despite the demonstrated good intention, affordable housing.

    On the inflation front, the RBI and the Modi government have taken a determined stand. From a larger perspective, inflation obviously impacts the overall borrowing cost in the economy and as a result is a major stumbling block for faster economic growth. But the effect of inflation on real estate as an industry is quite pronounced because it acts as a deterrent to spending by consumers and increases the financial burden of home loan borrowing. In such an environment, home purchase sentiment will remain subdued.

    But inflation also has a grievous effect on the construction sector. The Indian construction industry is very dependent on raw materials like steel and cement. The higher the cost of constructing a residential project, the higher will be the cost of flats. Indian developers are seriously challenged by the constantly increasing cost of construction. The rise in this cost has been no less than 18% every year for the last four years. It is surprising and extremely worrying that the recent Union Budget did not make any provisions to bring the cost of construction down.

    Inflation should not be tackled only by keeping borrowing rates high. Another way to bring it down which is very pertinent to the real estate construction industry is to fast-track the development of roads and highways so that goods can be transported more quickly and efficiently. Raw materials for construction are constantly sourced from all over the country. At the same time, the method in which tax is levied on such goods as they cross state borders must be simplified. In other words, the introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax) system is very important at this stage.

    When it comes to affordable housing as a segment, many of the measures that were pending for a long time materialized in the recent Union Budget. The affordable housing segment was finally given priority by granting the benefits of infrastructure status. The RBI also increased the limit for home loans availed for purchasing budget homes. Previously, the limit was a mere Rs. 25 lakh and this has now been raised to Rs 65 lakhs in the primary Indian cities and Rs. 50 lakh in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and towns.

    But there is more to encouraging affordable housing than just incentivizing banks. Developers of such housing projects must also be given more breaks so that affordable housing development becomes more attractive and therefore encourages more builders to join the bandwagon. The ‘smart cities’ concept is getting a lot of limelight today, but what a country like India really needs is ‘affordable cities’.

    Finally, there is a lot of land in the core areas of our cities that is being held by various government bodies. We have seen enough instances where such land is auctioned off to the highest-bidding developers who want to build luxury housing on these plots. If the current government is really focused on encouraging affordable housing in India, then it must release such land solely for the creation of such housing.

    CA Technologies Delivers Latest SaaS-Based Enterprise Mobility Management Suite with Zero-Day Support for iOS 8

    CA Technologies is continuing to transform enterprises into being “Mobile First” with the release of its SaaS-based Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution suite and providing zero-day support for iOS 8 across mobile device, application, content and email management.

    Further expanding on the industry’s first CA Management Cloud for Mobility portfolio and based on its patent-pending Smart Containerization™ technology, this new SaaS solution gives enterprises deployment flexibility, increased agility, and significant cost savings.

    “The application economy has made mobility management a cornerstone of employee and business productivity. CA’s new SaaS solution unlocks the full potential of enterprise mobility by focusing on what matters to customers: innovation, efficiency and accelerated development of new mobile apps and services to drive productivity and revenue,” said Ram Varadarajan, general manager, New Business Innovation, CA Technologies.

    According to recent Gartner research*, the current global EMM market is roughly 70% on-premises and 30% SaaS, but Gartner projects SaaS uptake to increase as more enterprises realize the challenges of managing EMM/MDM solutions on their own.

    With today’s announcement, enterprises can now leverage iOS 8 features across SaaS and on-premise deployment models. In addition, the out-of-the-box iOS8 support – available for all of CA’s EMM products – enables app wrapping, security and management for mobile apps developed using the new SWIFT programming language.

    To further help customers effectively use mobility management solutions based on specific scenarios and IT policies, CA is offering customers a free CA Mobile Device Management perpetual license with the purchase of any CA EMM solution.