Taking a giant leap: Pratik Mantri

These youngsters are extremely determined, raring to go and simply unstoppable. Here are some swashbuckling next-generation entrepreneurs on the Bengaluru block. Hailing from influential families in the city, they are poised to not just survive but thrive on their own. Be it taking the family legacy forward or carving their own niche, they are all set to soar the skies. Some with their start up spirits while the others juggling novel and innovative ideas into the existing ventures. Meet the all-powerful GenNext.

Text by Namita Gupta.

Pratik Mantri, Director, Mantri Developers

Family foundation: Pratik is the son of Sushil and Snehal Mantri who founded Mantri Developers in Bengaluru in 1999, the real estate giant has built over 32 projects in 17 years. The company plans to focus on the residential sector, retail, hospitality, IT Parks and educational institutions in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Talking of the relationship he shares with his dad, Pratik states, “Our relationship has been very clear to me from my first day of work where I am responsible and accountable for all my jobs and there is a very clear chain of command between 9am to 7 pm. Though it may sound weird but from the day I joined Mantri developers I refer to my parents as Mr. Mantri and Mrs. Mantri for any work-related matters. At home, we are like any other business family, most of the communications occur over the lunch and dinner table and are leaning towards politics of industry. My mother has always maintained a strong balance between work and personal life which has helped me and my sister carry over a lot of these qualities from her. Being part of a business family means you start learning terms such as interest, equity and IRR at an early age while increasing curiosity about what your parents are doing. For me, I was fairly clear by the age of 13 that I was going to be a part of the family business of real estate and looking at the same, my dad even asked me to spend my summer vacation at one of our projects learning hands-on what goes into the development of a project, further solidifying my decision.”

The written word: A graduate in Business Studies from Lancaster University in the UK, Pratik feels, “The entire industry is going through a considerate effort to become organised through the means of RERA. We have a large advantage in this aspect as most practices mentioned in the act were being followed as part of our internal checks and balances. My effort going forward would be to play on my strengths of technology and redefine two aspects which the real estate industry is most criticised for, transparency and commitment to timelines. With the way the world has changed, owing 80% of its innovation to the smartphone I believe that going forward, access to information regarding the largest investment one will ever make in his lifetime (an apartment) needs to be on his fingertips with timely updates.

Biz whiz: As an industry, I believe that we have been through some very rough times, but according to research 40% of Indian population will be urbanized by 2030 which calls for huge and immediate relook at current guidelines and infrastructure in the way a city is planned around. We are already seeing the congestion caused by haphazard growth in most cities without sufficient support from local bodies creating a huge opportunity for private players to step in and lead the way in creating “smart cities”. ‘Smart’ not being attributed to the use of technology but also to identifying the needs of an average citizen and evolving products to suit those needs. On a personal level, everyday creates new hurdles and opportunities so it is very hard for me to predict where I will be in future. But, my only ambition has been to engineer solutions for problems we all face on a day to day basis and I hope to be doing the same one way or another throughout my life.

Taking the Legacy forward: Recalling a moment he remembers vividly from the early stages of his joining the organisation, Pratik says, “I happened to be a part of one of the JD agreements for one of the deals we were negotiating. Legal documents always enthuse my curiosity so I was going through this in detail and was very concerned about a couple of clauses, which I raised to my father during dinner. He asked me to send them to him with clear reasoning for each concern. He was happy to see that some of my concerns were very valid and had gone through everyone involved in the deal. That moment has stuck with me and defines how I work, I never turn down a suggestion because if you adjust your perspective you may be able to see something which was not there before.”

Life outside workplace: “I am an avid gamer though time does not permit too much anymore. I also like reading fantasy and historical books especially about India because history repeats itself is the biggest understatement of our generation. Solution to most of our problems is in history books and it’s unfortunate that most people do not use this information,” says Pratik.