Interview: Mr. Ridham Gada, Partner Prem Group, President Elect, NextGen, NAREDCO, Maharashtra

Ridham Gada

Interview with Ridham Gada, Partner Prem Group, President Elect, NextGen, NAREDCO, Maharashtra

Mr Ridham Gada is a third-generation real estate developer. Ridham joined the Prem Group in 2004 and has successfully completed five projects under his administration.

He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Professionally, Ridham is a dedicated and goal-oriented individual.

His abilities in—and passion for—development has led him to be chosen as the President-Elect NextGen, for NAREDCO Maharashtra.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became involved in real estate development?

Ridham Gada: I am the third generation of a long line of real estate developers. You could say that my journey into this industry was almost destined. Growing up surrounded by the stories and experiences of my predecessors, I developed a deep appreciation for the art of construction and the transformative power of creating vibrant communities.

For me, real estate development is not just a profession; it’s an opportunity to build upon my ancestral legacy.

The knowledge and wisdom passed down through generations have instilled in me a profound sense of responsibility to uphold the values and principles that have guided my family’s endeavors for years. I joined the Prem Group in 2004 and have successfully piloted five projects under my stewardship.

One aspect of real estate development that truly resonates with me is the ability to address one of the most fundamental human needs – shelter. Building homes that provide comfort, security, and a sense of belonging is a deeply fulfilling endeavor.

Witnessing families move into the houses we create and knowing that we have contributed to fulfilling their dreams, fills me with immense pride and gratitude.

How has Prem Developers evolved over the years? What sets it apart from other real estate developers in the market?

Ridham Gada: Initially, Prem Developers was known as M/s Premji M Gada and was started as a real estate agency focused mainly on residential projects. With that experience, they could understand customers’ patterns of thinking and their needs.

In 1985, the company ventured into the developer business and, since then, has been completing 1-2 projects every year.

Over a span of 25 years, each project has been well-planned and built with the utmost care and attention to detail.

The Company also generates Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) by surrendering reserved land to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It was among the top 3 developers to generate TDR when the process was started in 1992.

When it comes to setting ourselves apart from other real estate developers in the market, Prem Group prides itself on a unique approach that goes beyond merely constructing houses.

We are dedicated to building homes that embody the essence of “Life beyond a square feet.” Our focus extends beyond the physical structure, emphasizing the creation of living spaces that foster comfort, well-being, and a sense of community.

We are driven by the belief that a home should be a sanctuary and take pride in completing projects within set dates & with better quality than committed.

With our focus on redevelopment, our track record of exceeding expectations, and our commitment to modern and sustainable design, we aim to provide exceptional living experiences that stand out in the real estate market.           

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.

Ridham Gada: It has been a thrilling and transformative experience, filled with valuable lessons and countless opportunities for growth.

When I embarked on this path, I embraced the mindset of learning on the job. As an entrepreneur, you quickly realize that there is no blueprint for success.

Instead, you navigate uncharted waters, constantly adapting to the ever-changing business landscape. Each day brings new challenges and unexpected obstacles.

For example, during the construction of one of my projects, the contractor unexpectedly left midway through a project.

It was a test of my leadership and resourcefulness as I had to take charge to ensure the project continued without any significant delays.

My first step was to gather the laborers and address their concerns and confusion. I assured them that despite the setback, we were committed to completing the project and that their efforts were essential. Their dedication and understanding were crucial in maintaining a positive attitude throughout the ordeal.

Next, I took it upon myself to arrange transportation for the laborers to the construction site. This involved coordinating with local transportation services, hiring additional vehicles if necessary, and ensuring that everyone arrived at the site on time.

It required meticulous planning and constant communication to streamline the logistics and avoid any unnecessary delays.

Once the laborers were back on the site, I worked closely with them to reorganize tasks and prioritize critical aspects of the project.

I ensured that each worker had a clear understanding of their responsibilities and provided them with the necessary resources and guidance to carry out their duties effectively.

Despite the initial disruption caused by the contractor’s departure, our collective determination and relentless effort allowed us to make significant progress.

We worked diligently to fill the gaps left by the contractor and ensured that the project continued smoothly, without compromising on quality or timelines.

This experience taught me the importance of adaptability and taking ownership in challenging situations.

It reinforced the value of effective communication, quick decision-making, and the ability to mobilize resources efficiently.

Most importantly, it highlighted the resilience and teamwork that can emerge when faced with unexpected obstacles.

Kindly brief us about Prem Developers, its specialization and the projects it has executed.

Ridham Gada: Prem Developers has promoted 28 prestigious residential projects, covering an area more than 10,00,000 sq. ft, in both the central and western suburbs of Mumbai.

  • Prem Amber – 2010
  • Prem Pride – 2014
  • Prem Chitralkeha – 2017
  • Prem Girja – 2018

What is your biggest USP?

Ridham Gada: My USP is deeply rooted in my personal journey and experiences. Having traveled extensively, I have been fortunate to explore diverse cultures and witness a wide array of houses and architectural styles.

This exposure has enriched my understanding of what makes a home truly special and has inspired me to combine this knowledge in my development projects. I also manage each project from the start to finish. Details of the process are provided in A7.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your role as a partner at Prem Developers and how have you overcome them?

Ridham Gada: One of the most notable challenges I faced was related to the unfair “Open Land Tax” imposed by the authorities.

As a law student, I quickly recognized the injustice behind this tax, but initially, I found myself standing alone in raising the issue.

At the time, none of the other developers were addressing this matter, which made it difficult to gather support.

However, I firmly believed in the need to challenge the tax system and its unfairness. I decided to reach out to senior real estate developers, seeking their support and understanding of the issue.

It took time and persistence to convince my peers and seniors about the importance of opposing the “Open Land Tax.”

Eventually, with the collective effort and support of like-minded individuals, we decided to take the matter to the courts.

The happiest day in this entire endeavor was when the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment that affirmed our belief.

The court declared the mechanism of the “Open Land Tax” to be unjust, vindicating our efforts. It was a moment of great triumph and a validation of our fight for fairness and justice.

This experience taught me an invaluable lesson that I will always carry with me: never give up, even if you are new to an industry.

It showed me the importance of believing in oneself and standing up for what is right, even in the face of initial opposition.

I learned that persistence, determination, and the courage to challenge the status quo can lead to significant positive change.

Can you walk us through the process of developing a new project from start to finish and what role do you play in that process?

Ridham Gada: It begins with laying the foundation, both literally and metaphorically. Securing the land by convincing the current owners to relinquish for redevelopment is done by the seniors.

Then my role starts from taking charge of legal documentation and arranging for their alternative housing during the construction phase, kick starts a project.

Next comes obtaining the necessary permits to conduct thorough market research and feasibility studies. Unlike other developers, we ensure that permit for the entire project is secured at the start itself.   

Once the groundwork is laid, assembling a skilled team of architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals who share my commitment to delivering excellence.

Collaborating closely with these experts, I oversee the design phase, ensuring that the vision and objectives of the project are translated into architectural plans that meet the highest standards of quality, functionality, and aesthetics.

As construction commences, my role shifts to project management. I diligently monitor progress, ensuring that timelines are adhered to and that construction activities are carried out efficiently and to the highest quality standards.

Throughout the project, I also focus on marketing and sales. I work closely with a dedicated team to develop comprehensive marketing strategies that effectively communicate the unique features and benefits of the development.

From creating captivating promotional materials to organizing site visits and sales events, our goal is to generate strong interest and attract qualified buyers.

As the development nears completion, my attention turns to the final touches and inspections. I meticulously review every detail, ensuring that the finished homes meet or exceed the expectations of the future homeowners.

This involves conducting comprehensive quality checks, addressing any necessary corrections, and ensuring that all regulatory requirements and safety standards are met.

Finally, I take great pride in overseeing the successful sale and handover of the homes to their new owners.

This involves streamlining the legal and administrative processes, coordinating with buyers, and facilitating a smooth transition to their new residences.

I prioritize open and transparent communication, providing homeowners with the necessary support and guidance throughout the entire sales and handover process.

In summary, managing a real estate development project from start to finish encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, from overseeing the initial groundwork to orchestrating the construction process and ensuring successful marketing and sales.

It requires a comprehensive approach, attention to detail, effective communication, and a relentless commitment to delivering homes that exceed expectations.

By managing every aspect of the project with meticulous care, I aim to create a seamless and fulfilling experience for both the development team and the future homeowners.

What are some of the most significant trends you are seeing in the real estate market currently and how is Prem Developers adapting itself to these trends?

Ridham Gada: In the current real estate market, we have noticed several significant trends that are shaping buyer sentiments and preferences.

One of the most notable shifts we have observed is that buyers are no longer solely motivated by cost considerations.

Instead, they are placing increased emphasis on design, sustainability, and the overall quality of living spaces.

They seek communities where they can raise their families, connect with like-minded individuals, and enjoy a wholesome lifestyle.

At Prem Developers, we have recognized this trend and have adapted our approach to cater to these evolving buyer preferences.

In response to the growing demand for well-designed and sustainable living spaces, we have focused on integrating thoughtful and innovative designs into our projects.

Our architectural and design teams work closely to create aesthetically pleasing homes that also prioritize functionality and sustainability.

We incorporate eco-friendly features, energy-efficient systems, and utilize sustainable building materials wherever possible.

Furthermore, we have observed that investment in property for rentals has become relatively rare. This trend aligns with the changing preferences of buyers who are more focused on finding a home for themselves rather than solely viewing real estate as an investment asset.

In response to this shift, we have adapted our strategies to cater primarily to end-users, ensuring that our projects are designed to meet the needs and aspirations of homeowners.

What was your inspiration for turning into an entrepreneur?

Ridham Gada: One of the significant inspirations behind my entrepreneurial journey was witnessing the success stories of visionary entrepreneurs who were able to transform their ideas into reality.

Their stories showcased the tremendous potential of entrepreneurship to not only drive personal growth, but also make a meaningful difference to the world.

Furthermore, I have been fortunate enough to have mentors and role models who encouraged me to pursue my passions and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.

Their guidance and support helped me realize that, by taking calculated risks and being willing to overcome challenges, I could turn my ideas into innovative solutions that could benefit others.

Additionally, I have always possessed a strong drive for independence. The idea of being my own boss, setting my own goals and having the flexibility to explore new opportunities greatly appealed to me.

Entrepreneurship provided the ideal platform for me to unleash my creativity, take ownership of my decisions and chart out my own path towards success.

How important is sustainability and environmentally conscious development to Prem Developers? What steps are you taking to incorporate these principles into your projects?

Ridham Gada: We, at the Prem Group, prioritize environmental sustainability and have been using several measures for decades now to minimize the ecological impact of our construction activities.

During demolition, the Group employs effective dust suppression techniques, such as sprinkling water on the building it is demolished to reduce the amount of dust particles in the air.

This helps minimize air pollution and ensures the safety and well-being of both workers and the neighborhood.

Further, to minimize dust dispersion at the time of construction, we install green curtains around the construction site.

These curtains act as barriers, trapping dust particles and preventing them from spreading to the surrounding areas.

We also use manual machines that consume less electricity wherever possible. We aim at reducing energy consumption and decrease the overall carbon footprint of our construction projects.

During the development of the Prem Amber building, we took significant steps to contribute to the greening of the surrounding area in Kamothe.

To involve the community, we reached out to people in the nearby areas and provided them with trees to participate in tree-planting activity.

This collaborative approach allowed us to engage with the local community and spread awareness about the importance of environmental conservation. We finally planted a total of 400 trees. Interesting par is we not only planted but took care till those trees became self-sufficient. Proudly we can say out of 400 , 350 trees have survived.

How is water recycling management important for Prem Developers?

Ridham Gada: Prem Developers has consistently prioritized water recycling and conservation efforts in our construction projects since 1992.

One of the key initiatives we have undertaken is the incorporation of bore-wells. By equipping our buildings with bore-wells, we are able to tap into underground water sources and reduce reliance on municipal water supply.

This not only helps conserve precious freshwater resources, but also promotes sustainable water management practices.

Additionally, we have embraced the practice of rainwater harvesting across our projects. By installing rainwater harvesting systems, we effectively capture and store rainwater for later use. This enables us to replenish groundwater levels and reduce the strain on external water sources.

By implementing these measures, we not only fulfil our social responsibility, but also create environmentally conscious communities.

What are your tips for success to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Ridham Gada: Start by identifying your interests and passions. Building a successful business requires dedication and hard work. So, it is important to pursue something you genuinely care about.

When you are passionate about your work, it becomes easier to stay motivated and overcome challenges.

Define your short-term and long-term goals. Setting clear, specific and measurable goals helps you stay focused and track your progress. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks and celebrate milestones along the way.

Commit to lifelong learning. Acquire knowledge about your industry, market trends and the latest tools and technologies.

Attend workshops, conferences and seminars; read books; listen to podcasts; and engage with mentors and experts. This ongoing learning will keep you updated and help you make informed decisions.

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