Real estate business, once considered a male bastion, is slowly opening up to women at the top levels. Varsha Satpalkar, Chief and Managing Director of Maitreya group of companies speaks to Sapna Srivastava about her own experience and the difference women professionals are making in the realty industry.
How difficult it is for a woman professional to establish in the real estate sector, it largely being an organized sector?
Women are there in most of the professional fields including real estate contributing to the economic productivity of the country. But, it is only now that they are breaking the glass ceiling and reaching to higher positions in their respective fields. Real estate industry largely unorganised in the recent years is increasingly becoming organised and focused as an industry. More so, with the foreign players coming in the market via the investment / REIT route. Although there are many women professionals in the architectural and design field, there is still a huge scope in the project execution field, which need to be leveraged. Though a smaller percentage, women are gradually entering traditional male oriented work roles like manufacturing and execution arena of the real estate sector.
In terms of establishing a business, the challenges are the same for a man or a woman, as the rules of the industry remain neutral to everyone. I strongly believe that it is the hard work, which matters in any industry and work speak for itself. The construction industry was a less explored career option for woman in India, because many women do not opt for it. Otherwise, it is more or less a gender-neutral industry without any biases.
The emphatic nature of the female gender helps women real estate professionals to communicate better with both employees and the clients and understanding their concerns. Women can provide a more balanced viewpoint contributing to long-term business growth. Women in leadership roles bring a degree of empathy and determination to succeed in real estate business situations. This also helps build the assurance in the customers of timely delivery of the project.
Some of the challenges faced by you personally in initial stages of setting up the business
The biggest challenge faced has been in terms of building the confidence, at the same time achieve the trust and support of my team and convince them that we could do wonders together. Further, my target was to create and run a sustainable business model because the symbiotic relationship between a business venture and its employees leads to the success or failure of any organisation.
The entry of more women can practically double up talent pool in real estate sector
Yes, the fact that the number of working women is increasing by the year and more women are choosing to enter into the corporate field is a positive sign for building industry as well.
With the professional approach being adopted by the industry, there have been rapid changes. Many real estate developers are adopting the international work culture, which has brought in a better working environment for women, contributing to the sector and overall encouraging more women to be part of top management. As a result, women have been excelling in all the sectors and are playing major roles to lead the company achieving huge success.
Your vision for the company
I visualise my company as one of the top five players in sustainable development and become the builder of people’s choice. We believe in adopting a policy to nourish and grow the entrepreneurial spirit with a focus on collective progress and sustainable development, explore opportunities, exploit strength and leverage synergies. I constantly make an effort to broaden my horizons and excel in them.
Maitreya Group is poised for a major thrust in the real estate development with the help of strategic alliances and partnerships to design, build, and market residential and commercial properties based on the core theme of sustainable development across the country. The design philosophy is to develop the projects in an eco-friendly manner and work towards preserving the natural resources as much as possible to provide a holistic lifestyle for the inhabitants.
Some of the key projects launched by the company
The company has several sophisticated myriad housing projects in various cities of Maharashtra. Currently, Maitreya Realtors & Construction Pvt Ltd is engaged in designing, building and marketing of its various residential and commercial projects in Nashik and Sangli. Some of the key projects are, Maitreya Greens – the first ever IGBC Gold pre-certified green project in Nashik, Maitreya Pandav Van a 40 exclusive 2 BHK twin-bungalows scheme; Maitreya Sankul, a residential project and Maitreya Sunrise which is a perfect combination of commercial and residential units consisting of 62 residential apartments, 39 shops and 10 godowns. We also have projects coming up in Baroda, Bhuj and a high-end residential apartment in Mumbai.