Yash Bhatia

HoABL takes Ayodhya global; Amitabh Bachchan was a customer before becoming ambassador

The chief growth officer explains the rationale behind marketing the project in Dubai, New York, and Delhi, reveals TG, and more.

Real estate has traditionally remained an offline sector for several compelling reasons. The inherent complexity of real estate transactions necessitates personal interactions and thorough physical inspections. Additionally, navigating the myriad of regulatory requirements further anchors the industry in face-to-face dealings.

However, the House of Abhinandan Lodha (HoABL) launched its operations to transform real estate transactions into a fully online process, adopting a digital-only approach.

According to the Free Press Journal, its inaugural development in Konkan, during the peak of COVID-19 in 2021, comprising 100 acres, sold out in less than three weeks.

Pawan Sarda, chief growth officer, HoABL, says, “Historically, land businesses have been predominantly local, but digital transformation has allowed us to operate on a national and international scale”. 

At present, the real estate company is attracting customers from 20-25 countries and investing in land across Goa, Ayodhya, Neral, Alibaug and Anjarle. It is utilising technologies such as Oculus to provide customers with visualisations of the property.

The Mumbai-headquartered company also provides the HoABL app, offering a showcase of new projects and regular updates on the development process.

Regarding challenges, Sarda mentions that initially, consumers weren’t comfortable with digital interactions such as video calls. He notes, “There was some resistance at first, but as we processed they began to see the value of this approach.” 

“For instance, it was previously difficult for someone in Delhi to consider purchasing property in Goa without physically visiting the location. Now, we facilitate this process seamlessly through digital means.”

"Purchasing property involves ensuring transparent and secure paperwork. We promise to maintain transparency and security, provide comprehensive ownership history, and assist with future resale if needed," he states. 

Target-group-wise, metropolitan areas play a significant role due to their larger populations and higher income levels. The primary demographic is individuals aged 30 and above.

He mentions, “We offer EMI options, allowing investments as low as Rs 15,000 per month. With this approach land ownership is not restricted to a specific demographic.”

The Ayodhya Project

The company has made available around 250 plots in Ayodhya at a starting price of Rs 1.72 crore for a 1250 sq ft plot. The holy city has turned out to be an investment spot after the Ram Mandir consecration. 

The 2021-founded company has also announced Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador. 

The actor has also acquired a plot in The Sarayu, a 7-star mixed-use enclave in Ayodhya. Prior to becoming the endorser, he was a customer of the project.

“Coming from UP, he showed immense trust in us to build in Ayodhya. His connection to the place was profound, therefore he was a perfect fit," Sarda adds.

To market the project, the brand has hosted events in Dubai, New York and Delhi to invite global participation.

The event highlights included an immersive display at the Dubai Frame, the largest frame in the world, standing tall at 150 metres.

In Times Square, New York City, a video display and on-ground activation brought Ayodhya's heritage to the heart of NYC, connecting a global audience to the splendour of Ayodhya. Additionally, a spectacular drone show illuminated the skies of Delhi NCR.

Through this initiative, is the brand looking to target the NRI audience for the Ayodhya project?

He answers, “We're not targeting NRIs. Instead, we focused on Ayodhya, a place that holds a unique affinity not just across India but globally. Any person of Indian origin, whether living in New York, Dubai, or London, has a connection to Ayodhya. To honour this, we decided to take Ayodhya to a global platform.”

According to him, the key driver for Indian-origin people living abroad is the sentiment they will feel after owning a place in Ayodhya. Additionally, the city is turning out to be a high-profit investment spot. The company is also bringing up The Leela as a hospitality partner in the city.

The company is currently utilising social media channels along with radio, billboards, multiplex etc.

The real estate company chose to go global for the initiative, as the United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) host some of the largest Indian-origin populations globally. Also, the platforms were global and could gather international participation. 

After the Loksabha election results, the subsequent mainstream media coverage of Ayodhya has declined. Moreover, Spicejet has also discontinued its direct flights from Hyderabad to Ayodhya. 

He doesn’t find this a challenge and says, “Ayodhya unites all of us. People won't suddenly stop visiting; they will continue to come. For us, this is paramount and what we are focused on catering to."

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