M.R. Jaishankar, chairman and managing director of real estate firm Brigade Enterprises, the youngest of 12 siblings, started his career in the family business of growing coffee beans.
But after a nasty labor dispute, which resulted in the burning down of his factory in 1984, he saw an opportunity in the real estate business in the then sleepy Bangalore city — and tasted big success.
Everyone of us has our own ideas about a dream home and usually wonder if it makes a good investment or not.
But for Abhijit Mukherjee, president of the pharma firm Dr. Reddy’s, the choice is very clear — He is not a big fan of real estate investment.
The world was built on ideas and in the absence of innovation, mankind would have continued to live in stone age.
Of course, Rostow Ravanan, chief financial officer of Mindtree, would subscribe to the view that new ideas are absolutely necessary to promote business growth. Well, who wouldn’t? While talking to journalists at Reuters India Investment Summit, he vigorously defended his company’s foray into designing smart phones saying it is a new idea, which may as well pay off.
As the old adage goes, it is easy to build a new house as compared to remodeling an old one. If one would like to extend this adage to the new-age IT industry, then we could use what L. Ravichandran, president, IT Services of Tech Mahindra, told the Journalists at Reuters India Investment Summit in Bangalore: it is easy to negotiate new contracts with the clients rather than renegotiating old ones. He likened the new contracts to that of a honeymoon — both the customer and the service provider are happy. But, of course, he did not extend his metaphor to old contracts by likening it to a marriage gone vinegary.
Ravichandran also pondered over the fate of fixed lines telephones. According to him, the fixed line phone will not be done away with altogether. Instead, it will be increasingly used to deliver other digital services like broadband internet, IPTV etc. So in a perverse way, landlines may continue to be used, but not much to make phone calls though.
When the term “real estate” is mentioned, people immediately get images of bricks, cement, sand, gravel, dusty construction sites and so on. And the business is rightfully termed as “brick-and-mortar” or categorized as “old economy.”
Many youngsters nowadays would prefer to work in swanky offices of a software company or an investment bank instead of sweating it out in dust and heat at construction locations.
Executives of real estate, technology and pharmaceutical firms will be exclusively talking to Reuters journalists about their companies’ growth plans, challenges they face and business opportunities that are available within the wider context of India investment story.