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Brigade Group: An Epitome of Trust and Quality

Rachita Sharma
Friday, September 19, 2014
Rachita Sharma
Ritesh Shah, a product manager at a technology firm in San Jose, was in a dilemma. He had recently decided to purchase a house in India for his family's eventual use upon returning to India in two years. However, being physically away from the property was making this decision a tough one for him. Having gone through the details of several projects, he was unable to put his trust in a company that was miles away.

Like Ritesh several other Indians living abroad find it excessively tough to finalize a property. While looking at a house several factors need to be taken care of, such as finding the right developer, neighbourhood, price point, and product type. However, it is difficult to thoroughly check these criteria whileliving so far away from the property. What makesmatters more difficult arethe negative stories regarding customers being cheated by builders. There have been several instances when the projects were never completed, got delayed or stuck in litigation or did not provide what was promised initially.

The critical deciding factor is usually trust. Synonymous with trust is the name Brigade Group. Founded in 1986, the company is one of India's leading property developers with presence in all domains of real estate – Residential, Offices, Retail, Hospitality and even Education. The Bangalore headquartered company has built several landmark buildings in Bangalore and Mysore and has also expanded its operations to Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Chikmagalur. Brigade's residential portfolio includes apartments in various budget ranges. Penthouses, villas, premium residences, luxury apartments, value homes and retirement homes complete the bouquet of residential offerings. Having already constructed over 100 buildings and 20 million square feet, Brigade Group has a proven track record and ability to execute.

The company also has a reputation for transparency, honesty and decency in dealing with clients. A large share of the company’s business comes from referrals by existing customers or is from repeat customers, which speaks volumes about the trust that the company has nurtured in its 28 years of existence. Brigade has today created a brand name that stands for quality, trust, reliability and innovation, across all domains.

Purchasing a House Simplified

The company aims at making the process of finalizing and purchasing a house much simpler for buyers, whether they are in India or abroad. Having a diverse portfolio across locations, price points, and floor plan configurations, Brigade provides a plethora of choice for potential customers. The sales team spends a significant amount of time in initial discussions with the clients to understand their requirements, and then recommend the properties most suited to them. Brigade is continuously investing in technology to provide virtual tours of apartments, video directions to project sites, mapping of neighborhood amenities, and strong back-end systems to provide a great customer experience during this discovery phase. "Of course, we also ensure that family members or friends of the NRI customer visit the site and model apartment if a first-hand visit is not possible," says Pavitra Shankar, Director-Legion Real Estate.

Brigade is constantly reviewing its procedures to fine-tune the sales process, using technology and integrated back-end systems to share information seamlessly across geographies. The company also follows a uniform pricing policy across all regions, whether in India, Dubai or the US, which reduces confusion for the customer.

Not only do NRI customers benefit from customized advice (in their time zone!) to findthe right property to suit their needs, they also get assistance with documentation requirements (NRI bank accounts, PAN card applications, power of attorney, etc.) in advance of conducting a transaction so that the process can flow smoothly. "We also help clients with home loans, property management, interior fitouts and tenant placement services, in effect providing a one-stop solution for those clients who don’t have the luxury of time or resources to manage these decisions on their own," explains Pavitra Shankar, Director, Legion Real Estate.

Brigade Group has engaged Legion Real Estate, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, as its Accredited Agent in the US to make the investment process easier for customers in the US and Canada. Legion handles all marketing and business development activities for Brigade Group across this region. All aspects of the transaction, such as finding the right property, scheduling site visits for family members, coordinating the transfer of documentation and payment, selecting modifications, providing all types of post-sales support, are all done by Legion working very closely with Brigade.

The company is based in the Bay Area, which is home to Silicon Valley and therefore is the largest market for Brigade Group in the US. "Several potential and existing clients have visited the office to get more information and come away with a sense of relief and trust that only a physical presence can accomplish," adds Pavitra. For those clients who are not close enough to visit, the time zones are more conducive to cheaper and in-depth phone discussions than calling India from the US late at night or early in the morning. The company also conducts regular "Open House" events in various cities, bringing the Brigade name to the Indian communities across the country. Having a physical presence helps the company tailor its marketing strategy toward NRIs and streamline their transaction process. By enabling a face-to-face connection through Legion, the company generates a great comfort factor for its clients living abroad. Brigade Group also has a representative office in Dubai which performs the same role to clients living in the Middle East.

The Genesis

The forward looking company was founded by M.R. Jaishankar, Founder & CMD, who comes from a reputed family of coffee planters from the hill town of Chikmagalur, Karnataka. For over a hundred years, his family has been well known in the region for their business integrity and philanthropy. It was in the pre-liberalisation and pre-IT boom days thatMr.Jaishankar had the vision to see a great emerging opportunity in this yet-to-be organized industry and also in the development potential of Bangalore city. His market research confirmed his intuitive grasp that property development would be a sunrise industry.

At the same time, property developers were a suspect group; not known for trust and reliability, and notorious for neglecting quality and focusing on short-term gains and lacking in long-term thinking. But Mr.Jaishankar's vision was evident in the very first Brigade project that he launched, the14-storey Brigade Towers office complex in 1987.Brigade engaged Bangalore's most well-known architect, and structural and other consultants. The seemingly ambitious project took shape rapidly to become the tallest building built by a private developer in Bangalore. Brigade commissioned a communication plan that pioneered the use of professionally designed project literature and launched an all-India marketing and advertising campaign, unheard of in the industry at that time.

After pioneering office development in Bangalore, Mr. Jaishankar set his sights on the residential market. There was a dormant demand for high quality residential apartments in Bangalore. Tapping this virgin market was an unprecedented challenge, since most Bangaloreans were averse to the idea of apartment-living, used as they were to independent houses. But fast-growing Bangalore was soon running out of options, and had no choice but to grow vertically. It was nevertheless a challenge, as people had to make a conceptual shift, and risk paying when the building was just a blue-print.To face this challenge, Brigade adopted a manifesto called The Brigade Promise, whose credo included assurance of only free-hold and clear-title properties, full clearances from statutory authorities, architectural and engineering excellence, and a delivery time better than the industry norm.

High quality, architecture and design, adapting to market conditions and also leading trends in the market backed by strong management have delivered a successful run for the group.

Building a One of a Kind Company

Brigade has always believed in creating trends and not following the herd mentality. The company has pioneered and led the trend of mixed use developments in Bangalore and South India. Starting with a 20+ acre development Brigade Millennium, Brigade also developed Brigade Metropolis -a 40 acre integrated enclave, followed by the 40-acre iconic and multi award winning world class enclave,Brigade Gateway. The latest such project under construction is the 130 acre township Brigade Orchards in Devanahalli, Bangalore.

The company is also credited to have introduced the concept of Serviced Apartments to Bangalore in 2004. Today, the Group has strengthened and diversified its hospitality portfolio to 5 star hotels – including the Sheraton Bangalore Hotel @ Brigade Gateway, Grand Mercure, upcoming Holiday Inn, recreational clubs and convention centres in Bangalore and other cities of South India. The hospitality business also runs a catering services and event management business and has recently launched the world class High Ultra lounge that sits atop the World Trade Centerat Brigade Gateway.

What began as a 5-member team in 1987 has today become one of a 50 Best Companies to work for in India, with over 1000 employees, proud "Brigadiers", in its ranks.

Journey to Conquering the Real Estate Market

In the 28 years since inception, Brigade has built a large and varied portfolio of residential projects aimed at every demography. When looked at in historical sequence, the evolving portfolio reflects the change in customer lifestyle and expectations, the incredible growth of Bangalore city, the company’s own rise in capability and vision, international trends in architecture and design, environmental challenges and technological advances in the construction industry.

By drawing inspiration from the changing face of urban architecture across the world and also across the country, Brigade has always built unique world class homes customized to local needs.Brigade also expanded its capabilities to simultaneously manage large projects across locations and had to contend with challenges on several fronts. For instance, for its mixed use enclave Brigade Gateway, with unprecedented scale and scope, Brigade brought in the world class expertise of the internationally renowned architectural firm HOK of New York resulting in the creation of one of the best mixed use developments of the country. With quality being at the core of its pursuits, the group has always worked with the best known names in all the business verticals.

"We align with some of the best architects, designers and quality vendors for our projects. This ensures that our projects are managed by associates who are driven by quality from start to finish," says Mr. Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group.

The company has always followed the principle of “profitable growth” and believes that rather than aiming towards being present in all major markets across the country, it will endeavor to deliver high quality world class real estate in the markets it operates in. Brigade is also known for creating benchmarks in the industry through its innovative products, many of which have been 'firsts' in the category.

Panel:

In 2003, Brigade Group set up the Brigade Foundation, a not-for-profit trust, which focuses on the area of education. The Foundation established The Brigade School @ J. P. Nagar, in the Brigade Millennium enclave, in 2004. The Brigade School @ Mahadevapurain Whitefield, near the Brigade Metropolis enclave, was opened in 2009. The most recent, The Brigade School @ Malleswaram in the Brigade Gateway enclave opened in 2010.

Brigade Caladium:

The project though is located at a very convenient location; and just a few metres off the main road thus offering privacy and peaceful environs.

Project Facts:
Project: Brigade Caladium
Units: 3 and 4 bedroom premium residences
Price Range: Rs 3.1 Crore onwards
(Inclusive of car park. Exclusive of statutory & other expenses)
Possession: March 2015 onwards
Location: Hebbal, Bangalore

Brigade Cosmopolis:
Located in one of the most sought after area of the city
this 18-storey building offers 2, 3 and 4
bedroom apartments and penthouses.

Project Facts:
Project: Brigade Cosmopolis
Units: 2, 3 & 4 bedroom premium apartments and
penthouses
Price Range: Rs 84 Lakhs onwards
(Inclusive of car park. Exclusive of statutory & other expenses)
Possession: June 2016 onwards
Location: Whitefield Main Road, Bangalore

Brigade Exotica:
Located along the Old Madras Road, Brigade Exotica is built within a campus of 10 acres. This elegant project consists of two huge towers that literally touch the clouds; and offer a total no. of 454 apartments. Designed on the lines of a courtyard, the living spaces converge into a large patio.

Apart from the breathtaking view, Brigade Exotica has multiple Green Zones, Clubhouse with sporting facilities, Jogging trail and many more. Brigade Exotica is also a Pre-certified Green Building by IGBC Green Homes and its new-age design and luxury focused offerings has earned it a 5-star CRISIL rating.


Project Facts:
Project: Brigade Exotica
Units:
3,4& 5 bedroom premium apartments & penthouses
Price Range: Rs 1.5 Crore onwards
(Inclusive of car park. Exclusive of statutory & other expenses)
Possession:
March 2015 (Tower Azure)
Sept 2016 (Tower Burgundy)
Location: Old Madras Road, Bangalore

Brigade LakeFront:
As the name suggests, this project is adjacent to a 20-acre freshwater lake that Brigade Group is also re-developing. Located in the EPIP zone in the heart of Whitefield, every daily necessity is just a short walk away. Brigade LakeFront has a state-of-the-art clubhouse with world-class amenities including a Rooftop swimming pool and also areas for outdoor sports like Basketball and Tennis Courts & more. Brigade LakeFront, which extendsupto 14 levels provides 2, 3 and 4-bedroom luxury apartments.

Project Facts:
Project: Brigade LakeFront
Units: 2, 3 & 4 bedroom luxury apartments
Price Range: Rs 83 Lakhs onwards
(Inclusive of car park. Exclusive of statutory & other expenses)
Possession: December 2015 onwards
Location: EPIP, Whitefield, Bangalore

Brigade Omega:

Brigade Omega, one of the unique projects of the Brigade group, is located just opposite Thurahalli Forest, a protected 600-acre green reserve. Spread across 6 acres, the project offers 520 units across 3 blocks, offering 2,3 & 4 bedroom apartments. Every apartment is designed such that they receive an
abundance of natural air and sunlight. The project Parks and open spaces, Clubhouses with gymnasium,
Swimming pool, Indoor games and recreation rooms and a Party area.


Project Facts:
Project: Brigade Omega
Units: 2, 3 & 4 bedroom luxury apartments
Price Range: 69 Lakh onwards
(Inclusive of car park. Exclusive of statutory & other expenses)
Possession: June 2015 onwards
Location: Off Kanakapura Road, Bangalore















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