Luxury Is The Word

Nothing is impossible. You have to think big to achieve: Karan Chandrashekar

 “Nothing is impossible. You have to think big to achieve what you want,” says Karan Chandrashekar, one of Bengaluru’s newest and youngest real estate magnates. Regaling against the successful backdrop of his first project, he appears optimistic about his forthcoming plans as he chats up with RITZ about the segment for luxury residences and what it was like to grow up in a family of construction stalwarts

Fifteen minutes into a conversation with Karan and you realise that he is smart, witty, dynamic, ambitious, and a real risk-taker. “It’s an exciting place to be in,” says the man who is striving to create aesthetically appealing luxury residences and taking ahead the journey and passion of his father, A Chandrashekar, a noted name in con-struction, who is credited with turnkey interiors for over 700 offices of the HDFC group.

“My father and grandfather built buildings, sold it under different names but never really established a brand. So in 2011, I took the decision of setting up a brand to un-dertake real estate developments.” He’s had quite an early start though, having ac-companied his father to construction sites and discussing projects around the dinner table at home. In class eight and nine, Karan did about 40 to 50 designs for his father and got paid for it as well! “This is what I always wanted to do. There were no two ways about it.”

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Being a good decision-maker like his father, Karan went ahead and set up Karan Property Developments, under which the first project entailed an 80 unit luxury apartment development, which was built without any contractor and successfully sold out. This project in Bengaluru took Karan three years to complete, during which he encountered multiple challenges, right from financing, to convincing buyers. He recalls that it was a mighty task, “as no one actually believed I could do it. I spent a better half of that period onsite and gained a lot of insight.”

The bulk of sales for this project took place post completion. Karan’s strategy then was to do something and then invite people to buy. “There was apprehension as to what could happen. People didn’t have confidence with regards to the completion. Because I was new, there was this question of the ability to deliver. Convincing others is tough.”

He now has four ongoing projects, three luxury ones in Bengaluru and one mid-sized project in Udupi. Over the next few quarters, he would look at undertaking a high-rise project in the IT city, something around 10 to 20 storeys.

“The focus is on luxury. On premium property development,” says the man who loves wearing Paresh Lamba suits. By ‘luxury’, he implies residences with the best finishes, best marble, best sanitary fittings. A walk through a ‘luxury’ complex would entail being in a chic lobby, stepping on wider staircases, opening a teakwood frame door and high-end wood windows, and having an iPad that controls the apartment. Like a smart home?  “Well, ‘smart’ is a term thrown around easily. Home automation is good, but I’m more for a subdued version as eventually it makes you feel that you can’t do anything by yourself. But yes, automation does play a big role for the buyer.”

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Karan’s properties have ‘basic automation’, with mostly the main living areas having an iPad for controlling the air-conditioning, lighting and with a basic touch of music. Being premium, the residences are priced upwards of  Rs 2.5 crore, “which is luxury in a market like Bengaluru,” he says. In cities like Mumbai or New Delhi, ‘luxury residences’ would command a much higher rate.

Being an avid traveller, Karan has globe-trotted, and is inspired by the iconic struc-tures in Manhattan. “I really like New York. It’s just amazing. In India, Mumbai has that feel with its high rises and real estate.” So would Karan ever look at Mumbai for projects? He feels it’s a big step though right now, as it’s unrealistic in terms of prices. “My dream would be to put up a tower in Mumbai one day.” A tower in the Man-hattan of India could very well be over a 100 floors. “Given a chance, I would love to do that.”

Quite a tall projection indeed.