Everyone wishes for a perfect home, just like the one they dreamt about, or an office space with all the utilities necessary. Ambuja Neotia Group, Kolkata’s most prominent real estate firm duly stands to the expectations of its customers. The group desires to make homes that are more than just walls, homes that are part of a neighbourhood, which encapsulates the essence of our society and ecology at large.
With a journey that started more than two decades ago in Kolkata, they aim to be responsible, progressive & sensitive corporate citizens. The company has its forte in real estate, hospitality, healthcare, education and Start-up incubation and has been responsible for landmark projects in and around Kolkata.
Originally from Rajasthan, the Neotia family has been an integral part of Kolkata’s business scenario for nearly 120 years and was principally involved with trading of cement, fertilizers and petroleum products. Relying on their vision and vast experience, Late Shri Suresh Neotia and Late Shri Vinod Neotia along with Shri Narotam Sekhsaria promoted ‘Gujarat Ambuja Cements Limited ( GACL)’, which earned the “Blue Chip Status’ and became a leader in the cement industry.
Eventually Shri Harshavardhan Neotia, son of Late Shri Vinod Neotia was appointed as MD of the newly formed ‘Ambuja Cement Eastern Limited’, what was arguably India’s most well known and efficient cement company.
In 1993 he forayed into Real Estate with a simple mission – to make a difference to the way people live. This simple thought was supported by the Government of West Bengal and their first project Udayan was built on Public-Private Partnership model. Udayan was also the first large foray into social housing, that triggered growth and its recognition inspired future developments. To give a distinct direction to the brand’s individuality, the group decided to merge ‘Ambuja’ with the illustrious ‘Neotia’ family name and changed its corporate name to Ambuja Neotia.
Ambuja Neotia Group today has progressed beyond just housing, nurturing the domains of realty(residential, retail and commercial), Hospitality (resorts, hotels, clubs and restaurants), healthcare (super-speciality hospitals, fertility clinics), education and Start-up incubation.
While venturing into commercial office space, they realised the need of a comfortable work-life balance for young professionals and created Ecospace Business Park, a Gold-rated Green Building project. In hospitality, their first major venture was ‘Raichak on Ganges’. Ambuja Neotia set up an integrated complex comprising resort, spa and country homes on a sprawling 100 acres of land on the banks of the majestic Ganges.
They have also championed the cause of healthcare by setting up Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre in Kolkata and Neotial Getwel Healthcare Centre, a multi-speciality hospital at Siliguri. With a humble desire to contribute to the advancement of education in Bengal, they set up The Neotia University and CII-Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence for Leadership.
With the aim to equip aspiring entrepreneurs to make a mark with effective business strategies they have recently founded Neotec Hub, an unique incubation and accelerator centre for eligible start-ups.
The Challenges and the Road to Success-
Mr. Neotia started his business in Kolkata in 1980s amidst the economic downturn. Industry was the last thing on people’s minds. However, he wanted to make the city that he grew up in, his workplace. Udayan was a home with a complete neighbourhood and won the national recognition for being a Model Housing Project. Back in the 90’s when he conceived the idea of Raichak on Ganges, a unique combination of hotels, resorts and country homes, located almost 50 kilometres away from the proper city, it appeared outlandish to many. Today it is one of the most popular leisure properties in and around Eastern India.
“Challenges merely strengthened my resolve to create something ambitious and futuristic and make a difference to the existing state of affairs.”
Over the decades of working in pursuit of excellence, Ambuja Neotia Group has developed a strong belief system and that is responsible for ensuring happiness to their customers and stakeholders. The fundamental tenets on which the company operates are – Customer Centricity, Compliance, Sustainability and Quality. They demonstrate an uncompromising commitment towards the above in the organisation.
The real-estate market is moving fast and the reforms, the unprecedented shifts in demographics have changed its entire landscape. To comply with the ever-changing need of the buyers and deliver unique products along with providing a seamless customer experience have become imperative for conducting business.
Leading the Team and the Road Ahead-
“I feel the essential element that is needed to be productive and successful at work is by being happy.”
Happiness is what motivates and empowers people and allows them to spread the joy in everyone they interact with and take a control over things happening around them. Mr. Neotia believes in making the experience of his employees, a happy one and good work follows organically.
For an entrepreneur the most important role is to make a difference in the fabric of the country’s economic development by sensing opportunities and stepping in to fill the gap. The journey of entrepreneurship is driven by innovation and the entrepreneur becomes responsible for economic growth by creating employment and building communities.
Mr. Neotia says that as an entrepreneur his biggest achievement would be to create value through his products and services. Since the beginning of the journey his focus has been to trigger sustainable development along the entire value chain. For example, City Centre Salt Lake was the first commercial development in and around Salt Lake, a place which was hitherto considered a rather quiet peripheral extension of Kolkata city. Today Salt Lake has become a self-sustained city in itself, with City Centre effectively triggering direct and indirect development and changing the lives of people along the way.
Talking about the road ahead, currently the most trending and talked-about segment of real estate is affordable housing, which now is well received by buyers, developers and various financial institutions. Several factors like rapid urbanization and increased trend of nuclear families have led to the high demand in this segment. Various encouraging schemes by the Government of India in the last 5 years have also contributed to the popularity of affordable housing amidst buyers. Ambuja Neotia’s approach has always been to address the legitimate demands of a market and fill the void by creating value through their products and services. As a company, they intend to stick to the thought in future as well.