Publication Name: Construction World
Date: July 2015
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Tata Elxsi, part of the $100 billion Tata Group, is a global design and technology services company that helps customers transform ideas into world-class products and solutions. The company recently partnered with UAE-based Brash to offer both design and branding services to clients who want to grow in India as well as make a mark globally. Nick Talbot, Global Design & Innovation Head, Tata Elxsi and Kiran Gill, Business Development Director, Brash, share more on the Indian real estate market, their projects and brand strategies…
What in the Indian real estate market attracts you the most?
The Indian real estate sector is one the fastest growing sectors in the country after agriculture and is slated to grow at 30 per cent over the next decade. Infact, the Indian real estate market size is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The growth of the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations are the main drivers of growth.
The Real Estate sector is extremely competitive in India and builders are emphasising on the importance of brand building and design to give that edge factor to their properties. As buyers who have no experience in purchasing undeniably are being attracted by branded real estate giants as they are more trusted, have more credibility, branded properties would fetch more returns on investments for both builders and the buyers.
Thus, there is a tremendous opportunity for branding and design services for Real Estate in India.
Tata Elxsi and UAE-based Brash Brands announced a major strategic partnership to deliver full service brand consultancy and integrated design services in India. What is the nature of this partnership?
Tata Elxsi has partnered with UAE-based Brash to offer brand consultancy and integrated design services in India, GCC and Asian markets. According to this tie-up, Tata Elxsi will be building Brash’s business in India and Brash will be representing Tata Elxsi's design services portfolio throughout its international offices. The strategic partnership enables clients in India to get the best of worlds, international strategic and design expertise, coupled with on ground insights and execution. The partnership will offer clients just that. It’s a true collaboration where each party plays to its strengths.
Both the companies will address brand development and consultancy services in India. Apart from real estate, the partnership would also look at catering to the sectors like hospitality and urban environments to provide branding, graphics, signage and service or experience design services in GCC and other Asian countries.
As a leading design and technology company, how would you support Brash in this partnership?
Brash brings international expertise and knowledge in the real estate and hospitality sector having worked with some of the renowned brands around the world like Burj Khalifa, Emaar, Beverly West – Los Angeles, The Dubai Mall, amongst others. While Tata Elxsi as the local partner has its presence across the country alongwith in-depth understanding of brands and consumers. Together the partnership intends to offer the best of both worlds to clients in order to help their brands succeed and grow businesses.
How do you view the real estate scenario in India, and hence the importance of brand building in this scenario?
The real estate market in India is going through somewhat of resurgence post a slowdown last year. New projects are being announced everyday and we are seeing a big push in both commercial and residential real estate. Indian real estate industry ended in 2014 on a stable note in comparison to how it started the same year. The industry is going through a midway phase between rapid policy actions and anticipatory development of the 100 new smart cities.
India’s economic condition has witnessed an improvement augmenting the rise of the GDP growth leading to increased spending power of individuals. Real estate scenario in 2015 will largely depend on faster implementation of the projects, adherence to project timelines, delivery as per committed schedule, improved quality of construction and finishes, coping up with ever growing expectations and demands of the stakeholders, which include clients and investors.
Brand building will definitely gain pace in the current year, with the increase in the development of high end projects. Building a brand helps in capturing the cerebral space of the target audience and thus aides in increasing the sales figures. Branding also positions the development justifying price premiums and helps in projecting a lifestyle to the potential buyer.
In the partnership, what are the projects both companies together have taken up in India?
Since our collaboration, we have worked on several projects in the hospitality and real estate sector. Within the real estate space, projects have varied from the branding of a development to branding the developer itself.
In Delhi, we have recently launched, Lotus Greens, a new developer, with a vision to do things differently, from an environmental, social and ethical perspective. Taking a clean and fresh approach, we developed the brand strategy and identity, taking it through to collateral, resulting in a successful launch last September.
The partnership also worked for Mumbai’s latest architectural landmark - The Imperial Edge, a new luxury residential development situated in the heart of South Mumbai developed by SD Corp. The Imperial Edge sets a new benchmark for luxury living in India, alongside SD Corp’s prestigious ‘The Imperial Towers’, which have remained at the pinnacle of fine living in Mumbai since launch. The positioning of ‘By Invitation Only’ that acted as the guiding thought to develop the brand was created by Brash brands. This was taken across the brand identity and communication phases, while the experience centre and customer experience design by executed by Tata Elxsi. The brand idea quickly established the exclusive nature of the brand and developed the notion that The Imperial Edge is not just a home; it is an extension of its resident’s lifestyle and a reflection of their personality.
Tata Elxsi and Brash also worked for St James’ Court – A Taj Hotel, London and had created a refreshing brand strategy, brand identity, signage and way finding design for the hotel. While executing the project, we had worked on more than 100 collaterals that were used at various customer touch points. These touch points played a major role in developing a renewed customer experience, thus giving a revamped feel. As we were working for a heritage hotel we were extremely careful on preserving the traditional flavor by choosing the perfect artifacts that were used to design the property. Our designs provided a unique traditional experience embedded with the synonymous feel associated with any Taj brand.
We’ve also worked on projects outside of real estate and hospitality, including the identity and brand for the Indian Super League team, Kerala Blasters.
Share some interesting observations or what’s unique about the Indian real estate market that the partnership has witnessed. How does the partnership plan to address these?
India’s a dynamic market. We see developers stretching across luxury to value property, from commercial to residential, from housing to schools. The developers in the Indian market possess vast opportunities available in the market and they want to make the best out of it. If a certain developer has created its brand reputation on luxury housing then will it be wise to stretch the same brand for creating budget property? We believe the builders should create a new or sub brand for launching a value property.
Given the volatility of the market, developers need to re-think carefully about their brand architecture – the number and nature of brands to operate in the market. Monolithic approach may have a detrimental effect on the brand as all the projects might not be of similar quality, customer satisfaction might also differ from each project. We work with developers at the strategic level to think through the risks and challenges and ensure they are in the strongest position possible for future growth.
The primary objective of this tie-up is to provide branding, design, creativity and consulting services for the real estate and hospitality projects. Both Tata Elxsi and Brash’s core skills will be utilised in providing branding solutions as well as help increase the aesthetic value of the builders’ properties. Tata Elxsi’s competence lies in service or experience design, signage and way-finding systems, while Brash is the master in providing brand consulting and branding services.
How do you view the relevance of brand building in the Indian real estate scenario and how would Tata Elxsi’s expertise add value to your current offerings?
Brand has a vital role to play in reassuring and guiding consumers. It helps build trust and insight into the beliefs of the developer. Equally with an increasing number of projects being launched, creating standout call is the need of the hour. The consumer is buying into a dream and for that they need reassurance. Brand helps the consumer to visualise that dream. It creates a vision that they can align themselves to, which translates into tangible collateral and physical spaces that the consumer can experience.
Tata Elxsi provides turnkey design services across sectors. We address brand issues through articulate designs that express the brand experience. Our strategic tie up with Brash will also leverage our delivery and commitment to the customers with additional offerings.