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Published on: June 15, 2022, 8:20 p.m.
Anarock scripts a success story
  • Tata LaVida - Gurgaon

By Arbind Gupta. Assistant Editor, Business India

Anarock Property Consultants Pvt Ltd is positioning itself strongly in the domestic real estate market. Co-founded by industry veteran Anuj Puri in 2017, the independent real estate services entity has shown remarkable progression in a short span of time, growing at a CAGR of around 45 per cent. Backed by innovation and technology, Anarock, India’s fastest-growing independent property services business, is looking to revolutionise the domestic residential housing sales business which has primarily been served by small local brokers.

This technology-baked property brokerage firm has played a big role in organising the residential sales market which, with 75 per cent share, remains a significant portion of the overall real estate value chain.

The Mumbai-headquartered property consultancy firm, which employs over 1,800 people across 13 offices in India and also in the Middle east, has already facilitated sales of over 50,000 residential units. In residential brokerage, the company has delivered over 450 exclusive mandates with leading developers. In the last three years, despite Covid-related challenges, the company sold over 41,500 homes valued at over Rs51,500 crore. Anarock has a separate vertical, Trespect, to tap opportunities in the open residential market business also.

The property consultancy firm works with the country’s major developers including names like Brigade, DLF, Puravankara, Lodha, Hiranandani, Shapoorji Pallonji, Oberoi Realty, Tata Realty, Rustomjee, K Raheja Corp and Mahindra Lifespaces. Anarock currently facilitates sales of over 60 homes per day. 

Tech-driven solutions

“Having closely followed Anuj’s exceptional rise in the world of tech-driven real estate solutions over the past two decades, I must admit that he is not only immensely skilled and talented but is also a torchbearer and visionary. Under his able guidance, Anarock has positioned itself as one of the most trusted deal makers in the realty world. Ambuja Neotia has successfully collaborated with Anuj and his team over a range of residential as well as commercial projects. I wish him good luck and hope to continue our journey together,” says Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group.

Recently, Anarock was also selected in a tough bidder round to help sell the previously stalled Amrapali housing projects in NCR. The NBCC (National Buildings Construction Corporation) has retained it to sell 10,000 units in these projects, which are now being completed after remaining stuck for years, much to the distress of existing buyers in these projects.

“All these years, residential sales, despite being a big business, have not been dealt with in an organised manner. Now, with the entry of organised players like Anarock and other PropTech-based real estate advisory players, we are going so see major transition and that will lead to creation of a transparent and vibrant marketplace. As a country, we are definitely following the global trend,” says Ambar Maheshwari, CEO, Indiabulls Asset Management Co Ltd.

Experts believe that most International Property Consultants or IPCs like JLL, CBRE, Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield, primarily focus on the commercial and office market while the residential side of the business has mainly been served by small and local brokers who often lack transparency and fail to live up to the expectations of the home buyer.

But now, with the entrance of organised players, this segment of the value chain is also undergoing a change. In fact, today’s discerning buyers are increasingly looking to deal with organised and trusted names and here players like Anarock have a distinct edge. The home-grown real estate services player is ramping up its presence, offering tech-driven solutions.

  • Puri: leading  from the front

    Puri: leading from the front

To differentiate itself from others, Anarock has introduced a unique model for its residential business, ie exclusive project mandates. In this model, the firm offers an integrated, customised, end-to-end go-to-market strategy to developers. From addressing new launch requirements to managing existing inventory, this model assumes complete responsibility for the entire sales and marketing of a mandated project. Fundamentally, the firm has become an extended arm of the developer.

“The residential segment is a significant portion of the real estate business and we have consciously tried to explore this space with our technology-backed solutions. Over the last few years, we have built up our capabilities to efficiently serve this segment which is gradually gaining a more organised structure. Housing is a large space and we want to disrupt this hitherto underserved segment with multiple tools and solutions,” says Puri, co-founder, chairman and Group CEO, Anarock.

While residential brokerage is its primary business, Anarock has also gone on to diversify its offering by getting into other segments of the real estate business. Today, it boasts an independently created, technology-enabled platform and has diversified across the real estate value chain. The firm’s business lines today include, among others, retail, commercial, investment banking and management, hospitality, land services, industrial, logistics & data centres, and project management. Apart from diversification, this has also helped it scale up the business and it is looking to clock a topline of over Rs1,000 crore in the next two-three years, from around Rs500 crore currently.

Portfolio diversification 

While diversifying its offerings, Anarock has followed both organic and inorganic routes. In July 2020, it partnered with the UK-based international consultancy and construction company, Mace, to provide a new and integrated project management service to Indian developers, helping to deliver real estate projects and vital infrastructure. Focusing on innovation in management and construction, Mace has delivered some of the world’s major programmes and projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2019 Pan American and Parapan Games in Lima.

The collaboration enables Anarock to leverage on technology such as virtual reality, apps and offsite technology/design for manufacture and assembly that can be used to improve safety and expedite construction timelines. By using data analytics, modern methods of construction and digital tools, Mace-Anarock focuses on innovative project delivery to upskill the workforce and train people for the jobs of the future.

Anarock uses its local service experience in real estate, including residential and strategic advisory, land services and investment management to strengthen this partnership. It has already signed up major names like Godrej Properties, Tata Housing and Shapoorji Pallonji for these consultancy-based services. Via the Mace-Anarock platform, the company also works with St Regis hotel at Delhi airport, all Piramal buildings in Mumbai, Phoenix Mall in Kolkata, RMZ, and Palais Royale Mumbai, as well as the BITS School of Management in Mumbai.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Anarock, the company that has helped quality developers with their sales, to now deliver vital infrastructure the country needs. Our collaboration is grounded in a shared vision of India’s post-crisis future, based on innovation and prosperity. Our aim is to transform project delivery with an innovative approach to management and construction, helping our clients to accurately design, plan and deliver real estate assets,” says Davendra Dabasia, International Managing Director, Mace.

  • PURAVANKARA PROVIDENT - PALM VISTA - SHILPHATA

“The Mace-Anarock partnership focuses on expert consultancy services for construction and project delivery across sectors, including mixed-use office and retail developments, residential projects including student accommodation, and industrial and manufacturing plants,” avers Puri who is widely acknowledged for revolutionising the real estate sector with his visionary outlook and technology-based solutions. He has won numerous awards both within India and internationally for his contribution to the real estate sector.

Prior to Anarock, Anuj was chairman & country head of international property consultants JLL India, overseeing a team of over 9,000 employees in 11 cities. He was also a key member of JLL’s Asia Pacific Leadership Group and head of its Global Retail Leasing Board. Puri, a brand by himself, was instrumental in JLL’s rapid growth in India. In 2017, after ten years of heading JLL and ushering it from strength to strength, he acquired the firm’s entire Indian residential brokerage division, and launched a new company. Initially operating as Jones Lang LaSalle Residential (JLLR), the firm was later rebranded as Anarock Property Consultants.

In 2018, Anarock partnered with HVS, the global hospitality consultancy service, to tap the rapidly growing hospitality sector in the country. As a new business vertical, HVS-Anarock focuses on brokerage, feasibility studies, operator searches, appraisals, executive search and other hospitality sector consulting and advisory services throughout South Asia. HVS is a global leader, providing clients across 6,000+ markets with unrivalled hospitality intelligence. In the hospitality space, HVS-Anarock works with hotel groups such as Intercontinental, Marriot, Oberoi and Taj. In many cases, their services often start long before the marketing stage and can often begin with land or asset valuation and acquisition and project funding.

In retail, Anarock has tied up with the UAE-based global retail real estate project management firm, Vindico to deliver scientific, success-oriented design solutions coupled with proven leasing and tenant representation services. Vindico provides retail delivery strategy, design and management (tenant coordination) to clients in Europe, the Middle East and North America. UAE-based Vindico counts the likes of Westfield, Heathrow Airport and Aldar Properties, Reliance Industries and LuLu International in India among its clients for retail design and construction services.

Retail foray

Anarock numbers DLF Malls, the Phoenix Group, and Prestige (now Blackstone) among its clients in retail tenant management. It has had long-standing relationships with conglomerates like Future Group, Reliance and Tata Group, and has also been associated with brands like Hamleys as well as mall developers like Olympia, Nexus, etc.

In the fast-emerging warehousing and industrial segment, Anarock has formed a JV with Binswanger, USA to provide cross-border leasing services for warehousing and industrial clients. Binswanger is a global leader in full-service commercial real estate. Since 1931, the company has been helping its clients – more than half of the Fortune 500 list – to realise their full real estate potential. The company has long been known as the industry leader in the acquisition and disposition of industrial and commercial facilities around the globe.

Through its investment banking vertical, Anarock has successfully managed marquee transactions and deals such as a very recent one between Tata Realty and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. This was one of the largest JVs in commercial office space in the country and was valued at $700 million. Anarock Capital was the sole advisor in India’s largest ‘single building’ commercial office deal between Blackstone and Nucleus Developers. It also helps the government monetise land parcels near airports and railway stations within the consulting space. The capital market team has also advised a large investment platform for India Data Centres, where the fund was worth $500 million.

  • PIRAMAL VAIKUNTH - THANE

Two years ago, Anarock also forayed into the commercial/office space sales business (commercial strata sales). The commercial vertical (where it deals with smaller commercial space) has, in a short span, delivered some of the biggest transactions in Mumbai and NCR with Raheja Universal and the SS Group. Within its first year of operations, Anarock Commercial executed India’s largest commercial lease deal in terms of revenue for Dream11 in the iconic One BKC.

With technology and innovation at its core, last year, Anarock announced the launch of India’s first AI/ML PropTech solution (in-house) – ASTRA – to boost primary housing sales.  Developed over two years, ASTRA accelerates housing sales and enhances revenue turnover by 12-15 per cent. The system’s algorithm analyses customer behaviour data to yield highly accurate leads, thereby boosting marketing efficiency, reducing costs, and delivering an engaged user experience to developers and their customers. It has also introduced its proprietary Value-added Services (VAS) suite – a bouquet of standalone tech-driven services designed to significantly accelerate housing inventory sales for developers via both online and offline channels.

Pursing its inorganic route, in January 2021, Anarock acquired 100 per cent stake in society and apartment management platform ApnaComplex from NestAway Technologies. Bengaluru-based ApnaComplex, which offers society and apartment management services, was funded by Goldman Sachs, Tiger Global, UC-RNT Fund, IDG India, Chiratae Ventures and InnoVen Capital. The SaaS company empowers over 600,000 households across 80 Indian cities to automate all aspects of running large gated housing complexes.

In June 2021, Anarock introduced US-based hybrid workspace booking platform Upflex to India. In April 2022, it acquired 75 per cent stake in myHQ, a flexible workspace platform, to strengthen its flexible workspaces portfolio. myHQ, headquartered in Delhi-NCR, currently has over 50,000 subscribed members across 700+ spaces in seven cities.

With all these moves and measures, Anarock has ramped up its offering in a big way. It currently boasts over 13 verticals and covers almost all segments of the value chain, even as the residential brokerage business continues to be the largest one, with over 60 per cent of share in the total revenue.

Leadership team

In order to handle this diversified business, the company has established a core management team led by Puri. A firm believer in leading from the front, Puri is indefatigable and relentless in his pursuit to grow Anarock to the next level. Other members of this team are Rohin Shah, co-founder, director; Santhosh Kumar, Group Vice Chairman, CEO – Anarock Residential; Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO, Anarock Capital; Sunil Mishra, Group Chief Strategy Officer & MD & CEO – Trespect; Anuj Kejriwal, Jt MD & CEO, Anarock Retail and Bappaditya Basu, Head, Commercial. Apart from this, Smita Agarwal is the Group CFO; Sukhdeep Aurora, the Chief People Officer and Gagan Singh, the Chief Evangelist – Culture.

  • Runwal Sanctuary - Mulund, MUMBAI

“This is just the beginning. The Indian real estate space is on the cusp of a major innovation wave, and we intend to be at the crest of this wave. Indian real estate is at the start of a multi-year upcycle, and the market is projected to be a $500 billion industry by 2026. I remain bullish about the residential property industry. Housing is currently at the peak of its affordability in the last 20 years, and we expect new housing sales to cross 400,000 units by 2027,” says Puri.

In the last five years, Anarock has invested equity worth Rs350 crore towards building (and diversifying) its portfolio. Besides, the company is currently also in the process of raising around Rs400 crore by diluting around 10 per cent of its equity. It has mandated Axis and IIFL to seek the right equity investor who will not only invest but also play a strategic role in adding value to the whole business.

“Going forward, we will continue to investments in core technology systems, developing further strategic differentiators and increasing market share,” states Puri.

Moreover, Anarock is looking to develop a digital distribution platform for aggregating channel partners and using this to also enter the primary housing sales market in Tier II/III cities. As part of its future growth strategy, the company plans to grow ApnaComplex’s footprint and enter the rental and resale brokerage business. While acquisitions continue, it is looking to add an online demand aggregation portal to the marketing mix suite for developers.

Diversifying its portfolio further, it is also planning to develop ‘My Home’ services for interiors, packers and movers, home loan providers and insurance products. Along with services and products, Anarock in the next four-five years, is looking to expand geographically across 35 Tier II cities. With all these plans in place, Anarock is all geared up to commence its next growth phase.

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