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Published on: Feb. 21, 2024, 7:33 p.m.
With quality products, Brigade transforms real estate
  • Brigade World Trade Center Chennai

By Arbind Gupta. Assistant Editor, Business India

Bengaluru-headquartered Brigade Enterprises Ltd has made big strides in the last few quarters in buoyant residential sales growth, as also in fast-recovering commercial and office market. Having pulled off an impressive performance in the first two quarters of 2023-24, the South India-focussed developer has kept the momentum going in the recently-concluded third quarter as well. 

Established in 1986, Brigade is today one of India’s leading property developers and has reported a total revenue of Rs1,208 crore in Q3 2023-24, as against Rs859 crore in Q3 2022-23 – a surge of 41 per cent. The PAT for the quarter grew by 31 per cent to Rs56 crore, as against Rs43 crore. Net bookings in the real estate segment stood at 1.7 million sq ft, with a sale value of Rs1,524 crore, while the collections for the quarter stood at Rs1,394 crore.  The company launched four projects in Q3 2023-24, with saleable area of 2.69 million sq ft in Bengaluru.

The developer, which also has a 50:50 JV partnership with the Singapore-based sovereign fund GIC in its real estate development business, has achieved its strongest performance ever for Q3 of a financial year, with sales of 1.7 million sq ft (sale value: Rs1,524 crore, with absorption) in Bengaluru and Chennai. During the quarter, its revenue stood at Rs839 crore, which has grown by 50 per cent over Q3 2022-23.  

In the leasing business (office and retail), the Brigade group leased 0.49 million sq ft (including hard option), achieving 95 per cent occupancy in the overall portfolio. During the quarter, its revenue from leasing stood at Rs247 crore – a growth of 24 per cent over Q3 2022-23. Similarly, the revenue in the hospitality segment surged an impressive 22 per cent to Rs123 crore. Here, the ARR has shown a 7 per cent increase, with occupancy experiencing a 5 per cent rise. 

“We have witnessed a healthy growth across our business verticals,” says Pavitra Shankar, 42, managing director, Brigade Enterprises Ltd. “The momentum in the residential business continues to exhibit healthy growth both in terms of pricing, as well as volume, and continues to look positive, with a strong pipeline of launches for Q4 2023-24. Our office segment recorded the best leasing quarter post-Covid and we are hopeful to finishing the financial year stronger. Furthermore, our retail business has seen good leasing traction and hospitality has seen improvements across the board”. 

For the nine months of 2023-24, the company clocked a revenue of Rs3,301 crore, which is 23 per cent increase over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. The PAT during the period surged by 20 per cent to Rs190 crore. The company derives about 69 per cent of the revenue from the real estate development business, while 21 per cent from lease rental and 10 per cent from hospitality. 

  • Jaishankar: outstanding performance

    Jaishankar: outstanding performance

During the full year of 2022-23, Brigade achieved an all-time high in new sales in the real estate segment – of 6.3 million sq ft and value of Rs4,108 crore. Of this, residential sales accounted for 6.07 million sq ft, valued at Rs3,908 crore. This reflected a significant growth of 31 per cent in terms of area and a 32 per cent increase in value over the previous fiscal year.

Its total collections also reached Rs3,721 crore – a 21 per cent rise over the previous year. During 2022-23, it also forayed into the plotted development segment and launched three new plotted projects, almost completely selling out on launch and accounting for over 1 million sq ft from this segment alone.

 Strong pipeline of projects

Buoyed by its recent performance, the company has also announced that the residential segment will witness launches of about 10.8 million sq ft, with an estimated gross development value of about Rs10,000 crore in the next four quarters. Furthermore, about 5 million sq ft of office and retail projects are planned to be launched during the period. The annualised exit rentals is estimated to be in the range of Rs500 crore from these launches.

Similarly, the hospitality segment of the business plans to commence construction of about 1,000 rooms across four projects in the next one year. The Brigade group has a strong pipeline over the next year, of about 13 million sq ft in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, of which 11 million sq ft is from residential projects. 

“Our remarkable accomplishment can be attributed to the outstanding performance of all our business verticals, each contributing significantly to our record-breaking numbers,” says M.R. Jaishankar, 69, founder & chairman, Brigade Enterprises Ltd. “Looking ahead, we anticipate maintaining and building upon this momentum across all lines of business. We have a promising pipeline of new residential projects, a thriving leasing business and projected growth in our hospitality sector. Our top goal is to give the best designs, products and services to our customers. We have made every effort to invest consistently in our employees, technology, goods, and tools. Brigade is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and creating a culture in which all employees are recognised and respected. Brigade Enterprises has been consistently recognised by the Great Place to Work institute as a ‘great place to work’ for 13 years in a row”.

Having founded the group way back in 1986 and transforming it into one of the trusted real estate brands in the country, Jaishankar has relinquished his position of managing director with effect from 11 October 2022, though he continues as whole-time director & executive chairman of the company. The board of the group has appointed his elder daughter, Pavitra Shankar, previously executive director, as managing director and younger daughter Nirupa Shankar, 40, previously executive director, as joint managing director. 

Pavitra has been associated with the Brigade Group for over seven years. She is responsible for Brigade’s residential business strategy and growth, with a focus on sales, marketing, finance and customer experience. She has over 18 years of experience in consulting, private equity and real estate development. She possesses a Master’s of Arts in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Virginia and an MBA in Real Estate and Finance from Columbia Business School, USA.

  • Pavitra: healthy growth

    Pavitra: healthy growth

Since joining Brigade in 2009, Nirupa has been overseeing Brigade’s hospitality, office, and retail operations. Additionally, she is in charge of Human Resources, Public Relations and Innovation functions. With an aptitude for analysis, she has adopted a data-driven approach to decision-making. She launched India’s first and the only real estate accelerator, the Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program, to mentor high-tech start-ups in the sector. Nirupa previously worked for Ernst & Young LLP as a Senior Business Analyst in New York, Washington, DC, and North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics from the University of Virginia and am MSc in Hospitality Management from Cornell University.

 Playing lead roles

“The internal elevation of both Pavitra and Nirupa is in keeping with our overall strategy and well-thought-out succession planning process,” says Jaishankar. “Both have played lead roles in the expansion and growth story of Brigade. Both have future-oriented thinking, clear vision, and passion for advanced technologies and sustainable growth and hold the Brigade’s core values as a guiding force. I am convinced that Brigade will reach new heights under their leadership”.

The Brigade group has developed many landmark buildings and transformed the skyline of cities across South India, namely – Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mangaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, with developments across residential, commercial, retail, hospitality and education. Since inception, Brigade, which also has marquee partnership with GIC, Singapore, has completed 280+ projects amounting to over 83 million sq ft of developed space across a diversified real estate portfolio.

Licence owners for six World Trade Centres in South India and backed by a land bank of 499 acres, the company boasts of having a portfolio of 20.86 million sq ft of ongoing projects, as also 12.95 million sq ft of upcoming launches. Of its total land bank, while 323 is located in Bengaluru, the remaining is spread over Chennai (130 acres), Hyderabad, Kochi, Mysuru and Gujarat. In the last one year, the stock price of this BSE and NSE-listed realty company has more than doubled from about Rs483 in 21 February 2023. 

“Our commitment extends beyond bricks and mortar. We prioritise our customers, dedicated staff, and a sustainable future we are building together. As pioneers in real estate, we navigate with decisiveness, embracing innovation and responsibility. Innovation is the cornerstone of our business. We develop cutting-edge technologies for the real estate industry through Brigade REAP and assist start-ups leverage technology to build sustainable enterprises. Our commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability has won us the trust of our customers,” says Nirupa.

While the residential segment, having about 69 per cent share in the company’s revenue, has led the growth recently, the company has a well-carved out portfolio in commercial/office, retail and hospitality as well. The company has completed 21 million sq ft of commercial projects in six cities. These include key projects like World Trade Centre, Kochi; Brigade International Financial Centre, GIFT City; World Trade Centre, Chennai – as also Brigade Tech Gardens, Brigade Opus, Bengaluru and Brigade Signature Towers, all in Bengaluru.

Brigade at present has about 7.4 million sq ft (about 6.84 million leased out) of operational leasing portfolio of Grade A space, where it has big league tenants such as Amazon, IBM, Mercedes Benz, KPMG, H&M, Coca-Cola, Siemens, Samsung, McKinsey and EY. In total, the company has 100+ enterprise tenants.

  • Nirupa: committed to innovation, quality and sustainability

    Nirupa: committed to innovation, quality and sustainability

As the office market is gradually getting back to normalcy, the company is also looking to expand its office portfolio. Currently, about 1.5 million sq ft is under development across projects like Brigade Square, Brigade Padmini Tech Valley and Brigade Twin Towers. In fact, the company boasts of an office pipeline, which has 8.8 million sq ft of future development potential. 

BuzzWorks adds value 

In 2019, Brigade also entered co-working space with ‘BuzzWorks’ – conceived as a value-added solution for commercial tenants in need of adaptable office space. It has 2,400 seats with 99.5 per cent occupancy in various BuzzWorks locations across the country. The company is expanding its managed office space portfolio, and is aiming to have over 5,000 seats in its portfolio by the end of current financial year. It is putting up new centres in locations such as Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad Gift City. 

Brigade’s latest offering, BuzzWorks at Brigade Tech Park, Whitefield, has 750 seats. It is located at one of Bengaluru’s major micro markets and comes with a host of amenities including a gymnasium, swimming pool and library. The BuzzWorks managed office spaces are designed in a plug-and-play model thereby reducing the overall costs. The spaces are optimised for collaborative work regardless of the size of the team with ample break-out spaces within the facility. 

“We had conceptualised BuzzWorks as a value-added service for our office occupiers who were looking for flexible office space,” says Nirupa. “The objective was to provide our tenants with a one-stop-shop solution for all their requirements. Prior to Covid, the flexible office space market absorbed only 5-7 per cent of the total office take up. However, in this post Covid era, 25 per cent of the office leased market is taken over by managed office/flexible office players. We will be more than doubling the seats this year due to the increased demand,” informs Nirupa.

Brigade also has a retail portfolio of 2.25 million of operational portfolio with 250+ prominent retailers. It has Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway, Rajajinagar, Bengaluru; Orion Avenue Mall, Cooke Town, Bengaluru and Orion Uptown Mall, Whitefield-Hoskote Crossing, Bengaluru. Besides, there are two neighbourhood malls – the Arcade at Brigade Orchards, Devanahalli; and the Arcade at Brigade Meadows, Kanakapura Road, both at Bengaluru.

Moreover, the retail portfolio also has standalone retails and multiplex & support retails. The retail segment witnessed 8 per cent growth in foot falls across the malls during Q3 2023-24 over Q3 2022-23, while F&B category clocked 10 per cent growth during Q3 2023-24. In 2022-23, the retail saw 77 per cent growth in revenue over 2021-22, while foot falls increased 106 per cent.

Hospitality forays

In the hospitality business, the company has recently signed an agreement with Accor group to introduce the first ibis Styles in Mysuru. Scheduled to open its doors in the third quarter of the 2024-25, Ibis Styles Mysuru will boast 130 rooms, each characterised by a unique design. “Collaborating with Accor on Ibis Styles Mysore marks yet another milestone in our exciting journey together,” says Vineet Verma, director, hospitality, Brigade group.

“This will be our second hotel in Mysuru with Accor, the first being Grand Mercure Mysuru. Mysuru has seen a turnaround, post-pandemic and, with the commute from Bengaluru to Mysuru being reduced to under two hours, we have witnessed a noticeable increase in hospitality business,” he adds.

At present, Brigade has eight operating hotels (1,500 keys) including Sheraton Grand Hotel, Bengaluru; Four Points by Sheraton, Kochi Infopark; Grand Mercure, Bengaluru; Gandhinagar GIFT City; Holiday Inn Racecourse Road, Bengaluru; and Holiday Inn, Chennai OMR. The hospitality business which contributes about 10 per cent to the Brigade’s overall revenue, saw a big turnaround in 2022-23, when the segment’s revenue grew 12 per cent to R394 crore. For the nine months of 2023-24, the hospitality revenue stood at Rs330 crore.

Over the past 37 years, Brigade has developed an extensive and diverse collection of residential projects. It’s completed residential projects, across 47 million sq ft of developed area (200 buildings completed), span over Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysuru, Chikkamagaluru and Mangaluru. Currently, about 20 million sq ft is under various stages of development. Having launched eight projects (4.8 million) during the current fiscal so far, the company is looking to launch 10.82 million sq ft of residential projects in the next four quarters. These will include 10 residential projects in Bengaluru, three in Chennai and one in Hyderabad. 

Some of the key ongoing residential projects of Brigade are Brigade Cornerstone Utopia; Brigade El Dorado; and Brigade Orchards (all in Bengaluru); Brigade Citadel, Hyderabad, as also Brigade Xanadu and Brigade Residences WTC (both in Chennai). Pioneers of integrated development in India, the company has partnerships with partners of global repute like Ricardo Bofill Barcelona, NBBJ Seattle, HOK New York, RTKL London, SOG Singapore and Bentel South Africa. 

“The Brigade group has established itself as one of India’s most prominent and reliable real estate companies. We have grown substantially from our humble beginnings in 1986 and today, are among just a handful of organisations in the country that offer such a comprehensive portfolio of real estate services. Infused with a vibrant spirit, our brand tagline, ‘Building Positive Experiences’, serves as the guiding light that illuminates our customer-centric philosophy. Rooted in the essence of our vision, we prioritise offering our customers nothing short of the finest designs, products and services throughout their journey with us,” says Pavitra.

Meanwhile, the overall estate market, residential in particular, has witnessed a major traction in the last couple of years. Retail and hospitality segments have also bounced back in a big way, while office is still under recovery. Also, 2023 was a remarkable year for the Indian housing sector, with record high sales and new launches across the top seven cities. The latest Anarock Research data reveals that unit completions between 2017 and 2023 have not lagged this trend. About 435,000 homes were completed in 2023 across the top seven cities – 8 per cent more than in 2022.

  • Brigade Cornerstone Utopia Bengaluru

“The Indian residential sector is unlikely to forget 2023, which was nothing less than phenomenal at every level. Housing sales breached the previous peak levels of 2022 and remain robust in 2024. These sales statistics – along with RERA-related commitments – have encouraged developers to stay focused on completing existing inventory.

“Data also indicates that more than 531,000 units are scheduled to be completed across the top cities in 2024. With housing demand remaining high, developers are prioritising project completions. Moreover, many large developers have also taken over the task of bringing many stuck or completely stalled projects by other players to completion,” says Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock. 

“The real estate market in South India has been in great demand and the last few years saw the migration rate increase drastically. The capital cities of South India like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi have been witnessing a surge in property activity. The Brigade group stands out for its superior construction quality, top-notch amenities, punctual project deliveries, and outstanding customer service. Their extensive experience is evident in the successful completion of numerous projects. As a trusted and time-bound developer, Brigade has become a preferred choice for discerning customers,” says Ashish Narain Agarwal, founder & CEO, PropertyPistol, a new age brokerage firm, which has been associated with country’s major developers including Brigade, Godrej Properties, L&T Realty, Mahindra Lifespaces, Prestige Group, Shriram Properties, Shapoorji Pallonji, etc.

With all these developments in place, Brigade has strengthened its position further in the market, which is quite favourable. Southern market-led by Bengaluru has always been quite robust and shown steady trends over the years and that along with other micro and macro-economic factors have been quite favourable for the company.

Brigade has a well-diversified portfolio across residential, office, commercial, retail and hospitality, which has not only helped the company to scale up its business but also offered the much-needed hedging against market fluctuations. Over the last decade or so, the company, known for its quality products and timely delivery, has also diversified geographically. All in all, the company is all set to commence its next growth phase in a more effective manner.

  • Brigade Tech Gardens

    Brigade Tech Gardens

The partnership

In 2014, Brigade group and Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC formed a 50-50 JV partnership for office and residential projects. The first joint project under this partnership was Brigade Cosmopolis, a high-end residential project of 1.75 million sg ft in Whitefield, Bengaluru. In March 2016, Brigade Properties Pvt Ltd, Brigade’s joint venture with GIC Singapore, acquired Brooke Bond Real Estate Pvt Ltd. The JV developed an IT Special Economic Zone of 3.2 million sq ft in the landmark location of Brookefields, Whitefield, Bengaluru.

In March, 2016, Brigade group and GIC announced the acquisition of an around 16 acre property in Perungudi, the prime commercial corridor of Chennai, from Kansai Nerolac Paints for a sale consideration of Rs537.86 crore. The acquisition was done through Perungudi Real Estates, a special purpose vehicle formed by Brigade Enterprises with GIC. The Brigade group developed WTC Chennai on the property with 2.6 million sq ft of office space, apartments and hotels. At present, the group, along with GIC, has more than 5 million sq ft of operational office space with about 95 per cent occupancy.

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