Edison Group has been involved in various sectors of the country such as mobile phones, footwear, logistics, power etc. since 2009. Recently, the group has invested heavily in real estate.
It has started at least 14 luxury and premium projects in the Bashundhara residential area of the capital city.
To know more about the company's new ventures and the country's real estate sector, The Business Standard talked to Ahmed Pasha, the chief business officer of the Edison group.
Why is Edison Group investing heavily in the real estate sector?
Edison Group began its journey in 2009. Since then we have maintained a trustworthy reputation. We have proven our superiority in every sector we invested in, including electronics, power, mobile, communication etc. We got into the housing business in 2015 which has grown in the last one and a half years due to an increase in demand for a better life for the current generation. We are trying to meet that demand accordingly.
Everyone dreams of owning a home but few people can afford it. We have seen that no one is working in the real estate sector to provide affordable housing for the people who need it the most.
There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of quality housing in the country. That is why we have taken steps to provide affordable housing for customers. Edison, as a trusted brand of the country, aims to ensure quality housing with unique designs at affordable prices.
Thousands of companies are involved in the real estate business in the country. Many are not doing so well. How will Edison proceed?
There are many housing companies in the country but very few of them have achieved the trust of the customers. We want our work to be focused on this issue. This sector has great potential with a market of about Tk60,000 per year.
Before investing in the market, we did a lot of research on what kind of product people want and what kind of designs and technology they prefer. We have spoken to different companies under the guise of prospective buyers. We also took interviews of many potential buyers. We finalised our investment after collating the results of two research teams.
We understand that as a company practising strict professionalism we have huge opportunities to work in this sector. We can do better here.
What is the current state of the real estate business in the country? How many projects are you running?
The real estate business has been booming for the last few years. There are several reasons behind this. First of all, our economy is getting bigger and some people have got money. But there is not enough scope to invest this money. Earlier, the interest rate in our banks was 11%-12%. However, it has decreased now. People do not have full trust in the stock market. The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted some people to settle in developed countries who are now investing their money in the country.
Besides, sales were stopped for some time from 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic. As a result, some demands were unmet. As a result, there is a good opportunity in the housing sector now.
We are currently working on 14 projects. Most of the projects are in the Bashundhara residential area.
Why are most of your projects in the Bashundhara residential area?
Bashundhara is one of the largest residential areas in the country at present. It is also well planned. The area has everything from big shopping complexes to schools-colleges, universities, hospitals, convention centres, playgrounds. The Purbachal 300 feet road is beside the area. Other important areas like the airport, Banani, Gulshan are also very close to it. It would not be wrong to call Bashundhara the heart of developed Dhaka.
If we talk about middle and upper-middle-class buyers, they are also more interested in living in such a residential environment. On the other hand, it is not easy to get 10-20-katha plots in other areas. Thus, it is possible for us to provide quality housing at affordable prices in Bashundhara. The cost of any project here is around half the cost in Gulshan. So, if we can provide premium domiciles at half-price to customers that are only 10 minutes away from the costly areas, why would not we take the chance?
Please, tell us about the unique features of your projects.
Our projects are not conventional, rather they are very eye-catching. For example, the sophisticated facilities that we have in our luxury apartments are the same as the condominiums of the developed world. The exclusive facilities of our premium projects include swimming pools, gyms, community spaces, children's areas etc. These will add a new dimension to the living standard of the country.
The facilities that we offer in our entry-level comfort projects are considered a luxury in many other companies. Our projects are designed by renowned and experienced architects of the country. In these projects, we use materials and accessories from world-renowned brands like ThyssenKrupp, Welland Power, American Standard, Grahi, ABB, Holcim, BSRM to ensure the highest standards and customer satisfaction.
These luxury and premium apartments will be beyond the reach of the common people. What are your plans for middle-class people?
Due to the location and good planning, the price of our apartments will be within the reach of most people. Luxury and premium apartments will be between 2,022 square feet to 3,300 square feet.
We are also building some 1,231 square feet apartments which would be affordable for middle-class people. Here we emphasise on qualities such as open spaces in these buildings. We are making the plans of the building in such a way that whichever side the flat is on, there would be enough light and air.
How is the market responding to Edison so far?
After a full-scale launch of a year and a half, we have gotten more responses than expected. The industry standard for signing a deal is three months after showing the project to a buyer. In our case, deals are being signed in even less time. This is because buyers are making quick decisions after seeing our projects. They fear that if they take more time, the opportunity could be lost. This is happening because our products are good, the price is attractive and the brand is trustworthy.
What kind of impact will the new detailed area plan (DAP) have on the housing sector?
We have to leave more spaces as per the new DAP. It is important. We need housing projects which allow light and air to enter the building. We plan our projects keeping enough spaces around the buildings.
However, the DAP has to be implemented considering the need to reduce the pressure of people's demand. If the housing projects are done as per the DAP guidelines, both the price and rent of the flat will increase. This will be a pressure for the middle class.