Role of Private Sector in Affordable Housing - Awas Par Samvaad


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Awas Par Samvaad – Role of Private Sector in Affordable Housing

As I was driving, sorry, I mean was stuck in a long traffic jam on my way to the office on a busy Thursday morning, I saw a mahout walking beside an elephant, offering rides. Such was the grace in the walk of the gentle giant that it stuck in my head long after I had passed it along with the crawling traffic. Somehow my thought wandered to the story my high school English teacher had told the class, ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’. For those of us whose teachers told them a different story, 6 blind men wanted to know what an elephant looks like. So, they decide that each will touch the elephant from a different side. So, while one touches the tusk, others each touch a leg, the belly, the tail, the ear, and the trunk. Telling each other their observations, the man who felt the leg claims it looks like a pillar, the one who feels the tail claims it looks like a rope, the one who feels the trunk claims it is like a tree branch, the man who feels the belly claims it looks like a wall, the man who feels the ear says it looks like a fan and the man who felt the tusk says it looks like a pipe. The six are in complete disagreement and argue till a sighted man passing by tells them that in a way, they all are right and they all are also wrong. Since they each can feel just a small part of the big elephant, they are unable to see the big picture!

Big plans and programs often have multiple stakeholders approaching the problem from different perspectives. But so long as they each see only their side of the problem; their interests will clash with each other and they will not be able to solve the problem completely… The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, on 25 June 2015 launched its flagship program, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The Mission addresses urban housing shortage among the EWS/LIG and MIG categories including the slum dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by the year 2022 when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence. Recognizing the need to build awareness and coordination among multiple stakeholders, the ministry proposed to conduct workshops and seminars under the name – ‘Awas Par Samvaad’.  Under this program, multiple stakeholders i.e. urban practitioners, engineering/planning/architecture/social sciences/finance students, faculties, academia, Civil Society Organisations, etc are coming together to discuss the opportunities and challenges regarding Housing in Urban Spaces.

Grasping this opportunity to raise awareness and provide better solutions to the ‘Aspiring India’, HomeFirst in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs conducted a webinar conference on the topic: “Role of the Private Sector in Affordable Housing” Hosted by Joyce D Costa, Project Manager at HomeFirst, the panel consisted of industry stalwarts like Abhishek Badkul, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Joyville Shapoorji Housing, Gautam Thacker, Managing Partner at ONEarth Creators, and also the President at NAREDCO Neral-Karjat Unit, Rajneesh Italiya Partner at Rahi Group, Surat, Manoj Viswanathan, MD & CEO at Home First and Prof Amarjeet Patpatia, Dean & Deputy Placement Coordinator at ICFAI, Mumbai. All panelists while coming from such diverse backgrounds and industries were linked together by their appreciation and knowledge in the Affordable Housing sector. As the session proceeded, the panelists discussed their experiences and insights into the industry and how they envision the future of affordable housing.

Awas Par Samvaad

Abhishek Badkul from his experience in both the luxury and affordable housing sector pointed out how the messaging in all communications in the industry needs to be tailor-made to suit the right audience and how the basic needs in an affordable housing project need to be worked out first before anything extra. Gautam Thacker elaborated the magnitude of the problem pointing out how the shortage of housing has been accelerating year on year and how the PMAY scheme is helping build 113.06 lakhs homes under PMAY sum of 11,748 crores already disbursed. Rajneesh Italiya, initially starting off as a marketing rep for pharma products saw the blessings people shower on those who help them achieve a stable shelter over their heads and having already built 4500 houses with the help of the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of PMAY, is targeting 9000 houses by March 2022. Manoj Vishwanathan, having started out initially as a developer at a construction company, highlighted the importance of understanding the customer in-depth and incorporating processes and features which matter to them and could help them. Prof Amarjeet Singh Patpatia how important it is to train the youth of today in accordance with the industry requirements and how raising awareness of a growing market like the real estate sector could help procure relevant skilled talent for the industry and secure the future of affordable housing.

The session was a big success as the event had a huge turnout. 1300+ people registered within just a few days and 1.6K+ people tuned in to watch the webinar live. The event received 191 comments and 271 likes with viewers engaging with the session. The event has certainly helped raise awareness for the affordable housing market and the key role the private sector could play in its success. HomeFirst is honored to have had such industry stalwarts accepting our invitation to take part in this webinar and sharing with us their experiences and wisdom. We are extremely thankful to all our viewers who joined us and if you missed the session you can view it below:

Awas Par Samvaad

About Arsh Singh Parmar

First of his name | Marketing Manager at HomeFirst | Writer & Reader of Scrolls | Coffee-holic | Football Fanatic

First of his name | Marketing Manager at HomeFirst | Writer & Reader of Scrolls | Coffee-holic | Football Fanatic