When Darshan Govindaraju joined his father’s highly successful real estate business, Vaishnavi Group, in 2015, he helped trigger perhaps the biggest change the Bengaluru-based company had experienced in its 17 years of operation.
It wasn’t something that the firm’s thousands of satisfied customers would notice when they moved into their thoughtfully planned homes or state-of-the-art commercial spaces, but it was significant nonetheless, particularly in terms of sustainability.
What Govindaraju, who while sharing a surname with CN Govindaraju is not to be confused with the company’s Founder and Group Managing Director, had realized was that, if the constituent parts of a building could be made in factories, it would transform the company’s business model and drastically improve the quality and speed of delivery it offered customers.
“We were one of the first movers in India to use off-site precast construction for large-scale residential developments in excess of a million square feet [93,000 square meters],” he tells The CEO Magazine.
We were one of the first movers in India to use off-site precast construction for large-scale residential developments in excess of a million square feet.
“It means completion times are faster and the quality is assured as there is minimal human intervention in the process. It is also environmentally friendly as it uses less water than the conventional method. Material wastage and debris at the building site is minimized. This ensures reduced pollution and less fuel used in transportation.”
It also resulted in less noise and disruption at the building site, lower assembly costs and improvements in health and safety. The foresight of his father, CN Govindaraju, in envisioning the advantages of the method helped Vaishnavi steal a march on its competitors, many who have since made the switch themselves.
“The benefits have been manifold for us and we have executed close to four million square feet [370,000 square meters] of properties using precast construction technology. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to deliver all our projects ahead of time over the past four years, thereby setting new benchmarks for the real estate sector in India.”
A Sustainable Approach
Vaishnavi has been at the forefront of adopting sustainable practices through innovation and technology. Whether it be forming communities nestled amid 358 trees, the usage of precast construction or using LiDAR technology to create nature-responsive architecture without cutting any of the trees at site, each project is looked at with a lens of sustainability based on site-specific conditions.
“Everyone has to be conscious of their carbon footprint today,” Govindaraju says. “Over the past few years, we have worked towards achieving an Indian Green Building Council Gold or Platinum rating for our projects. Sustainable construction which involves not just construction technology but planning for ample ventilation and sunlight, opportunities for community farming and open spaces among others, enable our customers to lead a sustainable lifestyle.”
A solid reputation
Since 1998, Vaishnavi has delivered nearly 40 residential and commercial projects, winning over 30 major industry awards along the way. It currently has 835,000 square meters of construction underway at various stages of development.
It has earned a reputation for completing projects ahead of schedule and for its meticulous and customer-centric planning. Its stated aim is to always exceed expectations with best-in-class amenities and feature-rich dwellings.
Govindaraju joined the family business post-graduation from Babson College in Boston, United States, in 2015. He is spearheading the residential sales, marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), as well as the rapid expansion of Vaishnavi’s commercial portfolio. He also oversees the leasing and maintenance of commercial buildings.
“Vaishnavi Group is predominantly a local player, so our strength lies in Bengaluru and its peripheral markets. Our growth will involve extending our footprint in the market we are familiar with,” he says.
“We are a boutique company operating in our own niche segment and our intent is to maximize our per-square-foot earning rather than have our name up in every micro-market.”
We are a boutique company operating in our own niche segment and our intent is to maximize our per-square-foot earning rather than have our name up in every micro-market.
To that end, the Group has signed a 6.5 hectare parcel of land on Bellary Road, a prime location in North Bangalore, that has a build potential of close to 232,300 square meters of Grade A commercial space, making it one of the biggest developments in the entire region.
This development will have an integrated metro station within its premises. Vaishnavi has also signed an iconic prime parcel of land in the Central Business District with a build potential of 14,000 square metres. Another major project will be high-end villas, strategically located in established micro-markets.
“We are focused on leveraging our credentials and impeccable delivery track record to expand our footprint within the city, while always staying true to our credo of, ‘Building from the Heart.’”