Interview: Suraj Morajkar, Founder & MD at Sun Estates Developers
At Sugermint Media, our aim is to bring to our entrepreneurs community some of the inspiring and motivational stories from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another passionate entrepreneur Suraj Morajkar for an exclusive interview with us.
Suraj Morajkar is a successful entrepreneur, Founder & MD at Sun Estates Developers. Let’s learn more about his inspirational journey and his advice for our growing community!
This is the interview of Suraj Morajkar, Successful entrepreneur and Founder & MD at Sun Estates Developers.
Tell us a little about yourself
Suraj Morajkar: I was the eldest child among four siblings in the family. My father had a small job in a courier shop in Saipem.
In my formative years, I resided with my maternal grandparents in a South Goan village called Quepem, which happens to be about 60 km from the capital, Panaji.
I attended a Marathi-medium public elementary school until third grade. Then I subsequently moved in with my father in our ancestral home in Saipem, where I attended Don Bosco High School.
After 12th, I earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from SS Dempo College, Bambolim. In school, I was quite the athlete and competed in several events. While in college, I already started doing part-time jobs along with representing several cricket clubs.
Humble earnings from my stint as a part-time worker at a courier company and from club cricket allowed me to gain a scanty amount of INR 400 and INR 100, respectively.
With some money in my pocket, my entrepreneurial vision widened and I started to observe that the PCO business was a growing trade in the 90s.
It was then that I worked out a deal with the owner of the courier company to establish a PCO setup of my own. I embarked on this entrepreneurial journey with INR 15,000 that I accrued from friends and family.
The PCO business was the ladder to much bigger things that were destined to happen in the future. Many people created connections with me whenever they visited the PCO.
Ultimately, it was in 1995 that I assisted a friend in selling his land near Candolim Beach by constructing a duplex apartment on the ground.
The idea, execution, and closing of the deal provided me with my first financial reward. My entrepreneurial caravan hasn’t stopped since then.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Suraj Morajkar: Being an entrepreneur was a process of self-discovery for me, since I was unaware of the term until I was presented with an opportunity.
When I used to play cricket, I believed that a match was like being an entrepreneur at heart; it was about winning.
A winning attitude made up a significant aspect of my existence. My stance is to constantly consider people and find ways to help them and bring them joy.
I always think about how other people can benefit from what I do. Even though it was close to my heart, I understood there was a great deal of reciprocity; this is my way of life and how my parents raised me.
Therefore, I have always believed that the only way for me to make people feel good about what I do is by creating something resourceful that can benefit our society as a whole.
In those days, as a young lad, I founded a communication company that connects individuals from all over the world and countries.
The government had established a DOT (Department of Telecommunication). I was able to make phone calls, so I was able to connect with a large number of individuals and demonstrate my skills by meeting them; this was the first step in my path. Where possibilities arose, I seized them.
I may not have been successful in all 100 opportunities I seized, but my spirit is what kept nudging me to continue trying.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Suraj Morajkar: We provide high-end luxury homes in multiple segments, such as villas and apartments. Although we specialize in villas.
What sways patrons’ disposition towards Sun Estates is the eclectic line-up of properties, which includes luxury villas, boutique villas, and concept villas. We offer tailored customizations according to the taste and preference of our clients.
What is unique about your label brand?
Suraj Morajkar: We at Sun Estates have been instrumental in establishing the touchstone of luxury homes in Goa. Our projects have been lavished with far-reaching recognition from the builders’ cohort and the locals alike.
The etched ethos within the company is: Home with a heart, mind, and soul. The homes built by the brand are very noticeable.
Our luxury dwellings have a heart that beats at the intersection of modernity and traditionality, a mind that manifests the artistic virtues behind their architectural frame, and a soul that inherits Goa’s multicultural heritage and vibes.
We have received rapturous reception from our niche clientele segment for our distinct art nouveau designs.
The list of admirers consists of industrialists across India, NRIs, Bollywood celebrities, fashion designers, sportsmen, investors, among others.
What made you choose this type of business?
Suraj Morajkar: Coming from a seaside state, there are a few lessons I learnt growing up. The panorama that surrounded me was composed majorly of the sea.
The high and low riding waves taught me a lot about life and opportunities. Goa is exquisite in every sense of the word. Multicultural philosophy finds a home in between the fine grains of sand and the true blue sea.
However, I felt that Goa’s aesthetic Portuguese architecture’s influence was something that was very niche to the state.
Every contour in Goa is worth its weight in gold; the atmosphere is permeated with entrepreneurial spirit.
That’s the basic idea. We don’t do anything out of the ordinary; we just sell the essence of Goa to our clients.
Despite the climate-related difficulties we encountered in Goa, we maintained a consistent standard of high quality and expert craftsmanship.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Suraj Morajkar: I consider myself rather pleased with the riches I’m generating for the community’s benefit. I’ve constructed, for instance, Saipem Hills.
I reinvest whatever money I’ve made in my local community. I placed it in a colossal edifice that would make the whole location self-sufficient.
Consequently, gaining intellectual recognition, I’ve started to appreciate the process of development immensely.
Also, I believe in making architectural marvels like how the Portuguese left behind their architecture. I aspire to leave that experience for our future generations. This is the primary reason for my job. Money will always be there, but my hobby has become my career.
How many employees in your organization?
Suraj Morajkar: Currently we have 50 employees in the Sun Estates team.
What are your company’s goals?
Suraj Morajkar: Sun Estates has established itself as a luxury brand. I always believe that anything we create should be able to pass the test of time.
We don’t want to rush into anything, but at the same time, we want to ensure that we have the appropriate partners, the right project, and that we create money for the business, since we have a large number of employees.
Our team is very proficient at acquiring land. We are now in the process of forming partnerships with a large number of multinational businesses.
Our primary thought process going forward is to leverage this model. To come forward and develop and make something meaningful, as well as provide finances, to make our aspirations a reality.
We may acquire land and associate with some reputed international brand to create value and ROI for all stakeholders. The value and scale of the project will be ten times that of what we have currently.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Suraj Morajkar: My formative years were very significant in creating an influence on me and inspiring me to be the person I am today.
Everything has a process. When you do something, it entails being dedicated and absolutely committed to your service.
When I started, I was working conscientiously and was putting in the hard yards to build a solid foundation.
When I was first employed, I believed that I should constantly give my 200% to whatever I did. I began working and realized that I had the astuteness that was required; my work became my second nature.
When agents approached me to sell their land, I took it as if I was selling my land. The sense of belonging and reciprocity goes a long way in our business.
I would also say that my inspiration drive came from some of the folks who educated themselves, left the turf of our village, and embarked on a journey to go out of the state and study.
Being from a small town, I had never known how big the world was. When I first began studying individuals, I saw how educated and distinct they were from the other villagers.
I believe the exposure they received and the fact that I used to observe them gave me a great deal of motivation to strive to be like them despite having fewer resources. Therefore, if I got a chance to better myself, I would seize it.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Suraj Morajkar: For an entrepreneur, failure is a part of the journey. However, I would rather argue that they are not failures, but rather various phases of life to enhance your strategies so that you experience both the good and the bad, and learn what is right and wrong.
I do not see failures in my life as setbacks; there is always a lesson to be learned. I retain my motivation. I don’t consider failures as impinging barriers; rather, they are bricks to build an even better future.
Key things to consider before starting a startup *
Suraj Morajkar: My analogy is that when we think about a startup, imagine it to be two ends of a city. One end is the low income end, and the other one is the highly developed and prosperous end.
A sea separates both ends. The journey to starting a startup is very similar. We start at the end where the income or profits might be low initially, but we need to make the bridge to the prosperous end by our own hard work.
When we do build that bridge through our passion, building connections with people, being alert, observant, and having a desire to always serve people, we build that bridge.
When the bridge is completed and our startup reaches the other end, there are many rewards and riches waiting for us.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made? *
Suraj Morajkar: I don’t think I consider complexities and bottlenecks any kind of mistake. They are an inherent part of an entrepreneurial journey, and I’ve kept on learning from them.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? *
Suraj Morajkar: Be endowed with the virtues of dedication and raw passion, be a student who’s ready to learn on the go, and be focused on your goals.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Suraj Morajkar: Win the hearts of others, be professional, always make sure to keep your customers happy, and deliver more than expectations!
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