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Published on: July 9, 2023, 4:58 p.m.
How PS Group built a reputation for itself
  • Chopra and Dugar with their sons Prashant and Gaurav: building a credible image; Pix: SAJAL BOSE

By Sajal Bose. Executive Editor, Business India

Prominent housing developer of Kolkata, P S Group has built a reputation of being innovative. It works towards creating a pleasant impression for the holistic community living. Primarily a city-based player known for its premium projects, it has gradually ventured into peripheral areas for setting up large housing colonies for HIG (High Income Group) and MIG (Middle Income Group). 

“We have been following three business principles – honesty, accountability and dedication – that define our success,” says Surendra Kumar Dugar, managing director, P S Group. His partner, chairman Pradip Kumar Chopra concurs: “We value our customers who buys our flat with their hard-earned money and we always aim to deliver more than what we promise. Customers’ delight brings our satisfaction and reputation.” “There are several instances of three generations from one family buying apartment from us,” Chopra recalls. The company’s office is located on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass overlooking Science City. 

P S Group is building several projects in and around Kolkata city – Aurus, New Vyom, Panache, The 102, The Soul and Montage – for MIG and HIG, as also a luxury residence called Vaanya at New Town. The company’s 20 under construction projects cover a total of 5 million sq ft and are worth Rs1,250 crore.

The P S Group saga started in 1985 when two friends, Chopra and Dugar, made plans to do things differently. It was the time when small-time developers used to rule the market. There was hardly any concept of quality living or provision of amenities on offer from these dubious developers, who would perpetually deliver projects behind schedule or end up in litigation.

The duo found this an opportunity and their creative mind decided to make a difference in the way people live, by building homes that are more than just four walls. Their mission was to offer a holistic approach to community living. Their well-thought-out business sense has helped the company to remain a significant player in the segment.

The company’s first project was to build a house for leading actress Jamuna Barua (wife of Pramathesh Barua, a leading actor, director and screenwriter) at Chakraberia in South Calcutta. After that, the group built several niche projects and made timely delivery too. Their projects truly showcased the concept of gated community with modern amenities and open space, which generated interest among homebuyers in higher and middle-income group. After tasting success, the group got an opening to enter big-ticket projects. The market appreciated the company’s ahead-of-time vision. The group did not look back thereafter. 

Now, Chopra (70) and Dugar (65) are involved in macro-managing the group, while the second generation of their families are the driving force of the company. They are also bringing new initiatives and looking at opportunities for the growth of the company. 

Over the last three-and-half decades, PSG has established a reputation as a builder with landmark projects like P S Arcadia Central, Windsor Manor, Rowdon Heights, Lansdowne Classica, Elgin Court, Trinity Tower, Diamond City South, Cloud 9, Zen and Vyom, among others. 

The 323-apartment housing colony Vyom, meant for the middle and upper middle class segment, was the largest landscaping close to Alipur and New Alipur. A natural pond, acupressure pathways, bamboo forest, meditation pavilion, fitness stations, planned driveways and lush green open areas make living there meaningful.

Its facilities include a large clubhouse of 31,500 sq ft with three pools, exclusive kids’ learning centre, state-of-the-art home theatre, wellness centre, squash court, multi-purpose courts, fitness stations and much more. All the luxuries are within the gates.

  • Vaanya: amidst exotic greenery

“PSG has always been committed and has kept its promises. This pre-eminent quality makes the company trustworthy,” says Harshit Patel, a businessman & resident of Vyom.

After the runaway success of Vyom, PSG is now building a similar project adjacent to the existing one, consisting of 292 crafted apartments, called Navyom, which will be ready by September 2025.

The company has so far built over 145 projects. During the last one decade, it has developed about 12 million sq ft floor area of residential and commercial space. PSG has achieved 40 per cent CAGR during the last five years, earning a turnover of Rs1,200 crore in 2022-23. A lion’s share of the revenue has been generated from the residential facilities – almost 90 per cent. The rest is from commercial space. 

Asset-light model

“We have always tried to be ahead of the curve in terms of design, quality and green footprint that create pleasant impression with our buyers,” says Prashant Chopra, director, PSG. The group is one of the few which mainly operates in an asset-light model, developing projects with land-owners and sharing the revenue with them.

“Today, over 80 per cent of our projects are in JV and only the rest on our own. The asset-light model gives us cost-advantage over the debt-heavy models, where you need to purchase the land for the projects,” says Gaurav Dugar, director, PSG, who is spearheading the group’s planning and development. 

The real estate market has seen an upswing after the pandemic. “Covid had impacted the expectations and buying behaviour of the customers,” Gaurav points out. “It threw up an undeniable urge for owning homes with extra space in an era of stunted mobility and lifestyle centred on the house. Also, the falling housing loan interest rate of the banks fuelled the demand.” 

Post-Covid, the millennials contributed 65 per cent of home buying, as against 50 per cent before it. People realised that stability and security of owning homes are important. Also, the demand for bigger flats increased. Typically, the two-BHK requirements now have changed to three-BHK. “We have sold 40 per cent extra flats, post-Covid,” says Chopra. 

In June, the RBI decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.50 per cent. “The unchanged repo rate gives some respite to prospective homebuyers looking to avail of home loans in the near future. It can help maintain the momentum in housing sales, which has so far been firing on all cylinders in 2023,” says Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Group.

PSG has put special emphasis on design and aesthetics to offer a unique experience for homebuyers. It has always strived for architectural excellence in all its projects and engaged some of the renowned architects. Prashant claims, “Our cost of construction is higher than others, as we are more quality conscious. We go through rigorous process on quality and work with the best branded vendors to supply our requirements. Nearly 30-40 per cent of our projects get sold within three months of the launch,” he adds.

  • Vyom: making the living meaningful

Vaanya is an upcoming project of the group – a spacious luxurious residence amidst acres of exotic greenery. Situated on 9 acres of land, it will have four G+35 tall towers, comprising 465 flats (in two phases) of three-five BHK at New Town. Inspired by ideas of 

forest dwelling, Vaanya offers residents the perfect balance of urban convenience and suburban serenity. “A residential project with zero pollution would amplify wellness and holistic living. Air-purifying plants and trees are integral to the plan, alongside rare luxuries, all surrounded by nature,” explains Gaurav. The project cost is Rs250 crore.

Each unit, ranging from 2,760-4,400 sq ft floor area offers superior design value and efficient space planning is open to vast greens and tall trees. Vaanya boasts of 83 per cent open space, claims the developer. There are outdoor amenities like sports arena, parks, a toddlers’ zone, banquet facilities, corners for the elderly and an indoor multi-sports court.

The project enjoys easy access to the Kolkata airport and the Newtown Metro Station. MNC one Design Solution is PSG’s project architectural consultant, while the landscape was mandated to Thailand-based Landscape Tectonix. Vaanya, priced at Rs2.5-5.20 crore, would be ready in 2027. PSG management says it has already sold 70 per cent of the units in the phase. 

After RERA was implemented, the customer shifted to reputed players even if they had to pay little extra. “The aspiration level of home buyers has changed drastically over the last 10 years. The projects developed 10 years ago and the ones that have come up now have undergone a paradigm shift. This is due to technology upgradation and competition. Living spaces are getting better,” says Ravi Dugar, director, overseeing project construction management. 

Foray into MIG housing 

Looking at the fastest growth in the MIG housing with ever-increasing population, PSG, like any other big real estate player, has entered into MIG housing and is making several large projects in the city’s peripheral. Designed by SRSS, an architect firm from Singapore, with construction technology from South Korea and landscaping by Tectonix Thailand, Project 102 offers unparalleled plethora of recreational facilities at an unbelievable price. The 102 will have 650 apartments, consisting of two- and three-BHK homes, in six towers, aiming to attract the middle and upper middle class customers by keeping a price at Rs55-65 lakh. 

Rain water harvesting, water treatment plant, recycled water for gardening and flushing, availability of solar energy, including provision for charging points for green vehicles, are part of the amenities featuring the upcoming project. Landscaped gardens, natural ponds, senior-citizen-friendly environment and advanced security are features of this home of convenience & comfort.

Strategically located, 102 is at a walking distance from the Joka Metro station (upcoming), which will have connectivity to every corner of the city. It has proximity to modern schools, hospitals and the country’s renowned B-School IIM C. 

“PSG is one of the most prominent players in Bengal, with a great team of people. The company has never compromised with its business ethics and always delivered the projects on schedule, even during the downturn of the industry,” says Apurva Salarpuria, managing director, Salarpuria Group, which is also partnering with PSG, in a few projects though he feels the group should now explore build-and-lease model.

  • We have been following three business principles – honesty, accountability and dedication – that define our success

Demand for residential properties has surged due to increased urbanisation and rising household income. It is reported that about three houses are built per 1,000 people per year, compared with the required construction rate of five houses per 1,000 people. The shortage of housing in urban areas is estimated to be 10 million units. An additional 25 million units of affordable housing will be required by 2030 to meet the growth in the country’s urban population. 

PSG has practically no presence outside West Bengal, except a few projects in JV with local partners in Chennai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Patna. “The real estate depends on local law,” argues Prashant. “The liaison with local government departments in a town is easy to leverage the brand. Also, Kolkata has its own inherent demand in the segment. If we need to expand the business, we can entire into asset creation in city itself by setting up shopping mall, hotels, IT parks, etc, rather than expanding outside the state.” PSG is aiming to maintain the current average growth rate of 20 per cent in the next 10 years. 

Customer satisfaction is the key priority of the group. “Post hand-over, if a buyer has any grievance, we resolve the matter within 24 hours,” says Arihant Sancheti, director, transition & operation. 

Chopra and Dugar have established the business, created goodwill in the segment and set an example of true partnership. Now, the ability of the new generation running the business will be tested, as they go forward.

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