Reach Group's NandiniTaneja on the Paradigm Shift in Indian Real Estate Leasing Market

Reach Group's NandiniTaneja on the Paradigm Shift in Indian Real Estate Leasing Market

By: NandiniTaneja, Vice President, Reach Group

With a progressive attitude and willingness to adapt, NandiniTaneja, a 39-year-old trailblazer, has been able to advance through her career by viewing the real estate industry from a wide lens to identify business drivers, understand complex issues, take actions and drive results. Her 15+ years of experience, resourcefulness and autodidacticism, has enabled her to explore opportunities and serve some of the leading organizations in the real estate domain.

Prior to joining ReachPro Group, Nandini joined Cushman and Wakefield as a manager for luxury retail leasing vertical and grew to become the Associate Director, where she handled complete retail vertical across North and East India. Over her workspan of 11 years at Cushman and Wakefield, she managed the luxury retail leasing vertical and worked on large retail developers such as DLF Inorbit, RPG Group, Select City, Express Avenue, among others, in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. Besides, she was also a key representative for the company on International Platforms like MAPIC and ICSC.

In the following interaction with Women Entrepreneur India magazine Nandini speaks about the evolution of the Indian real estate leasing market and the rise of women in the real estate sector.

What is your take on the current state of the Indian real estate sector? How does it reflect in the leasing market?

Leasing activity in India has been growing since organized developers like DLF, Embassy, Lodha, Bharti etc created the right infrastructure and platform for multinational and large indian companies to operate with a complete managed facility.

Clubbed with it, the exponential growth within the corporate sector has propelled the surge in the demand for real estate leasing spaces. Emergence of organized commercial spaces such as Cyber City, Cyber Hub and other such zones has led to an increased demand for the leasing market within the real estate sector. Even the IT boom in Bengaluru and Hyderabad has also bolstered the growth of the leasing segment within the realty space.

This led to the overall movement in other real estate sectors like retail and residential thus creating demand and supply across all kinds of assets.

In the current state, there is constant demand from corporates in metros mainly driven by the talent and now with a hybrid mode, few large co working companies have also set base in Tier 2 serving as managed  and customized offices to big corporates. The industry will continue to grow at a stable rate owing to many product companies setting up manufacturing units, backend operations and corporate offices given the talent that India possesses.

The Indian real estate sector is often in a state of flux owing to various external factors evolving periodically. What do you think have been some of the most significant market forces that impacted the real estate leasing segment recently?

While it is true that various external factors continue to influence the real estate sector, it also has its own ways of responding and reacting to such factors. The Indian real estate market has demonstrated stability in 2022. Due to government stimulus programs and developer incentives, demand has risen significantly within the commercial sector, with strong end-user demand. The commercial sector is continuing to expand at a steady rate thanks to trends like hybrid working, rising demand from IT/ITes enterprises, and e-commerce expansion.

Leasing activities within the real estate sector have witnessed a shot in the arm in the recent past and this growth is expected to continue. In fact, certain segments are expected to cross past the pre-pandemic level in terms of leasing and supply addition. I am quite positive about the future of the overall Indian realty sector.

Traditionally, the real estate sector was considered a male bastion, not fit for women professionals.   What is your take on this? Have things changed for good in the recent past?

The real estate sector has always been male dominated. But as every industry needed change, real estate also needed one by giving opportunities to women as well. With time, women participation within the real estate sector has increased considerably with women holding leadership positions as well. It goes without saying that the sector has undergone substantial changes in terms of employment and gender equality. It has become way more diverse and inclusive in terms of employment and I do see the sector making much progress on those lines in the coming future.

Can you recount an interesting or telling anecdote that demonstrates how people react to a woman leader in the real estate sector?

With changing times, it's about possessing the right knowledge and skills and people respect you for the same. And hence if one demonstrates the ability to manage and lead a function, then the team tends to respect him or her automatically.

Several reports suggest that a diverse workforce and leadership team is great for business. What steps can organizations take to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace, especially in real estate?

I think the first step in creating a more diverse, inclusive, and egalitarian workplace is to provide potential employees with equal opportunity regardless of their gender. Another step toward achieving a more diverse workplace can be accepting different opinions and viewpoints. Being more open and acceptable to employees is yet another sign of creating an equal workforce.

Women's increased involvement in the real estate sector may contribute to the sector's expansion. Both need to be treated based on skills and talent and not be judged because of their gender. Only when both the genders are treated equally and given equal opportunities, can we expect an equal and inclusive workplace even within the real estate sector.

How do you foresee the real estate leasing market growing in the next few years? Which industry trends will amplify this growth?

The Indian real estate market is poised for substantial growth in the forthcoming future. Positive and strong momentums are expected to prevail within the realty sector in the financial year 2023 on the back of solid infra growth, a gain in demand and lowered home loan rates.

Investment activities are expected to witness a shot in the arm with investors preferring the opportunistic route. Alternative investment funds are expected to become much stronger in the coming times. Big cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR will be in the investors’ radar. With the emergence of tier II cities as new focal points of warehousing demand, there are chances of witnessing high investor demand for such spaces in these locations.

By all means FY 23 is expected to be a positive year for the Indian real estate market. The upswing is expected to stem from a favorable economic outlook.