When Asia’s leading sustainable urban and business space solutions provider Ascendas-Singbridge decided to gear up for a new chapter of growth in India’s property sector in April last year, its first order of business was putting Vinamra Srivastava in charge of its India operations.
When he joined the firm in Singapore in 2015, Vinamra’s cross-border consultancy experience and deep knowledge of the company strategy proved to be the winning combination of skills needed to lead the India branch to its next phase of growth.
Today as CEO, he is responsible for expanding the developer’s more than 16-million-square-feet portfolio of assets across the country – worth an enormous S$2.6 billion. “I was thrilled when this opportunity arose because I genuinely believe that there is no better time than now to be in India – the market is very exciting,” Vinamra admits.
“I genuinely believe that there is no better time than now to be in India.”
“My shift to India was in line with our Group’s belief in giving the younger generation a chance to lead should they demonstrate the right potential – and that’s the philosophy guiding all our countries including India.”
Headquartered in Singapore, Ascendas-Singbridge has more than S$20 billion in assets under management, and projects across 11 countries – including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea in Asia–Pacific, as well as the UK and the US. Vinamra led the business into entering India’s logistics and industrial sector in 2017 by setting up the Ascendas-Firstspace platform, a joint venture with Mumbai-based Firstspace Realty.
“This US$300 million equity platform promises to capture the immense potential from modernisation of the logistics sector in India. I had also been involved in developing our India strategy with a focus on the values of sustainability, innovation and integrity.”
Focused on capitalising on India’s fast-growing IT and logistics industries, Ascendas-Singbridge operates 10 IT parks and six modern warehouses across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Mumbai – comprising a total of 16.75 million square feet. “We are pioneers as we were the first foreign realty player to make our mark in India.
We were the first ones to put our money where our mouth is and be willing to learn the hard way. We’re certainly reaping the benefits of that decision now and we have a fantastic platform for the future.”
According to Vinamra, the business outperforms its competitors in five core areas. “First is our global reach – we’re present in nine Asian countries and recently entered Europe and North America, putting us closer to Fortune 500 customers across the globe. Second is our ability to cover the entire real estate value chain. We’re more than just a developer – we curate communities, we catalyse economic development and we help our customers grow along with us.
This is why Ascendas and Singbridge merged in 2015. Ascendas used to develop business parks while Singbridge used to develop large-scale townships in China. Together we cover the entire real estate value chain.”
Third, Vinamra explains, is the business’s commitment to creating value beyond the four walls of traditional real estate where customers, and its own staff, can feel at home. “People talk about hardware and software, but we pride ourselves on ‘heartware’.
“As construction contractors for Ascendas Tech Parks in India, all our project associations have yielded the best of delivery outcomes that have delighted all the stakeholders. Shapoorji Pallonji has always been treated as a partner by the Ascendas team.” – SC Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Construction
We’re known for our ability to bring people and communities together as a family,” he explains. “Fourth is our ability to embrace technology and innovation to put the power back into the hands of our customers – whether that’s through enhanced security measures, artificial intelligence or sustainability. And last but not least is our commitment to being an honest and transparent business people can trust.”
Over the next three to five years, Ascendas-Singbridge is looking to double its current footprint in India by adding an additional 14 million square feet. “We’ve been in India for the past 24 years, and we’ve taken our time to get to know the country and how our business fits within it.
Now, we’re accelerating into new in-demand verticals such as logistics and data centres, which form the infrastructure backbone of this country,” Vinamra explains. “India is transforming and we’re leading the change. We believe that co-working and collaborating with the community will shape the future of a new India.”