JLL India Launches Dedicated Infrastructure Vertical

Pioneers Service to Harness Opportunities From Government’s Priority for Infra Growth

JLL_Logo_Black_RGBMUMBAI, April 6, 2015: Leading international property consultancy JLL India today announced the launch of its dedicated Infrastructure Services vertical, which will specifically address the requirements and opportunities that the infrastructure sector will represent till 2020. JLL is the first International Property Consultancy to offer this service within the country.

Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India, says, “The newly-launched Infrastructure Services business will sharpen focus for the firm’s deep capabilities within the high-potential infrastructure sector. The Modi government has imparted a huge focus on the infrastructure sector through a series of recent measures such as increased budgetary allocations, creation of a National Investment & Infrastructure Fund, plans to establish 100 Smart Cities, as well as an investment of USD 1 trillion in upscaling the country’s infrastructure over the next few years.”

shubhranshu paniThe new services vertical will be led by Shubhranshu Pani, a senior leader and veteran with over 17 years within the real estate industry, who is transitioning from his post of Jt. Managing Director, Retail Services to lead this practice. Shubhranshu Pani is credited with having incubated and jointly established the firm’s retail services business. Thanks to him and his team’s efforts, JLL is today the clear market leader in retail real estate transactions and advisory in the country.

As Managing Director – Infrastructure Services, Shubhranshu Pani will bring into play his vast repertoire of experience within the renewable energy, real estate consulting, valuations and research, infrastructure tourism and retail leasing domain.

Shubhranshu Pani says, “This is an exciting and challenging opportunity in which I will be able to fully tap into my technical background and experience. I am privileged and excited to spearhead this unique services vertical and look forward to my new responsibilities. I am already in the process of building a team of experts with diverse experience within urban and social infrastructure. Thanks to JLL’s leadership positioning in these domains, we have a rich pool of specialists in infrastructure and Smart City advisory as well as Education, Healthcare and Senior Living (EHS). My own capabilities in advising national, international and government agencies on their short-term and long-term infrastructure strategies will obviously come into full play.”

JLL‘s Infrastructure Services Practice will provide real estate and advisory solutions to priority sectors such as:

  • Urban Infrastructure (Mass Transit Systems, New Capital Cities, Food Parks, Utility Services and Car Parks)
  • Social Infrastructure (Education, Healthcare & Senior Living)
  • Transportation (Airports, Road, Highways and Ports), and
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with government, industry and tourism bodies.

The launch of JLL’s Infrastructure Services Practice is both a natural progression for the firm’s blue ocean philosophy towards organic growth, and its focus on remaining future-ready for the rapidly evolving opportunities in India’s real estate sector. This is also aligned to the growth led investments that JLL India has done since 2011 in incubating and nurturing new business opportunities, illustrated by the clear success seen in Sri Lanka operations, JLL Investment Advisors and Residential Services.

About JLL India

JLL is India’s premier and largest professional services firm specialising in real estate. With an extensive geographic footprint across 11 cities (Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Chandigarh and Coimbatore) and a staff strength of over 7500, the firm provides investors, developers, local corporates and multinational companies with a comprehensive range of services including research, analytics, consultancy, transactions, project and development services, integrated facility management, property and asset management, sustainability, industrial, capital markets, residential, hotels, health care, senior living, education and retail advisory. The firm was named the Best Property Consultancy in India at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2014-15.

For further information, please visit: www.joneslanglasalle.co.in

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Retail Trend Talk Season 2 – ‘Your expectations from developers for enabling retail dynamism?’

What will make Future Group, Marks & Spencer and Croma take up space at your next mall? Watch the experts talk about their expectations from developers for enabling retail dynamism

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JLL Is Top Real Estate Investment Advisory Firm In Asia Pacific For Fourth Year Running

Latest data from Real Capital Analytics (RCA) shows JLL’s Asia Pacific capital markets team advised on the most deals by value in the region in 2014

JLL_Logo_Black_RGBSINGAPORE, 31 March 2015JLL Asia Pacific is the number one real estate investment advisory team in the region for the fourth year running, according to recently released independent data from Real Capital Analytics (RCA). JLL, which has been ranked in overall first place in Asia Pacific since RCA began releasing data in 2011, also emerged as regional leaders in the office and hotel sectors.

In 2014, JLL’s capital markets team advised on USD $16.1 billion of real estate investment transactions in Asia Pacific, which equates to a 26.4 percent market share in the region.

Stuart Crow, Head of Asia Pacific Capital Markets at JLL, said: “The Asia Pacific region is growing rapidly and global investors continue to seek real estate assets to strengthen their investment portfolios. Demand for Asian real estate continues to be focussed on the larger markets in the region and across a range of sectors, particularly those driven by the Asian consumer, and JLL ranked particularly well in the office and hotel sectors.

“JLL’s unique regional platform continues to support this demand from investors and we’re thrilled to, once again, be recognised as the number one real estate advisory service in the world’s fastest growing region. This year is set to be equally successful with a very strong start to 2015 and I look forward to maintaining our leading position in the RCA rankings for the fifth consecutive year.”

Shobhit Agarwal, Head of India Capital Markets at JLL, said: “2014 witnessed a considerable change in sentiment from a weak 2013. Outlook started looking positive and investor confidence started coming back. The result was clearly witnessed in the Indian Capital Market business. JLL, specifically, displayed an excellent performance with closing double the number of deals than 2013 and raising highest ever funding for clients. Active presence across the key deal types like Investment sales, corporate divestment, land divestment and debt syndication was the key ingredient for this success. With Modi-led BJP government staying pro-business and real estate business, we expect the year 2015 to be equally fruitful. If we manage to execute our plans, I am confident, we will be able to maintaining our leadership position.”

– ends –

Notes to Editors:

Real Capital Analytics (RCA) is an independent data and analytics company which monitors real estate transaction volumes around the world. For more information, visit www.rcanalytics.com.

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Housing For All By 2022 – Far-Fetched Or Feasible?

Anuj Puri picAnuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India

Viewed dispassionately, the current government’s ‘Housing for all by 2022′ promise seems a bit unrealistic at the moment, as the modalities and concrete steps needed to be undertaken to achieve this goal have not been spelled out. Making 2 crore urban houses and 4 crore rural houses available is a huge undertaking in itself, and will require not only sustained government interest and investment but also substantial private sector investment and involvement.

In the previous budget, the announcement of Housing for All was accompanied by increased allotment to the National Housing Bank for both rural housing and for extending credit to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment. There was also talk of setting up a Mission on Low Cost Affordable Housing, which was to be anchored in the National Housing Bank. However, the track record of government-built housing in terms of quantum and delivery timelines has been as abysmal as that of the private sector. The last budget did not indicate any further steps on the ‘Housing for All by 2022′ initiative.

If this very ambitious goal is indeed to be met, there needs to be a clear, well-thought out policy document outlining the exact deliverables and accompanied by  methods/initiatives to streamline the development process. This entails reducing approval times while providing specific incentives to build such houses on time. Considering that the government has seven years in all to achieve this target, it fundamentally involves construction of 30 billion square feet of housing stock, or approximately 4 billion square feet per year if we assume an average of 500 square feet per house (this is in line with creating smaller houses for the rural population and urban poor).

To state that this is an ambitious objective is perhaps an understatement. Without a clear roadmap in place, it is likely to remain unachievable. The roadblocks remain in ensuring land availability, easy credit and involving construction experts, town planners and the private sector to expedite this target.

The problem is not merely a function of making land available and increasing the FSI to incentivise developers undertaking low-cost housing projects. There is a need for systemic change in how the government perceives the entire issue of housing for the urban poor. Regulatory changes, faster approvals, removal of red tape and resolution of land litigation issues need to be adequately addressed to improve stakeholder participation. While the consent clause for the affordable housing segment has been done away with in an ordinance, the government is still struggling to get it passed through parliament.

A three-pronged approach involving the state, regulatory bodies and the executing agency/private player is of the essence. The respective state governments will also play a major role in synergising their own housing policy with that of the Centre and revitalising the role of the development authority as more a facilitator with contracts being awarded to private players/semi-government agencies such as HUDCO and NBCC utilising the Budget’s ‘plug and play’ mechanism, where all approvals and linkages are already in place.

Execution penalties will be deterrents, but it is essential to have the right development partners who will not put their hands up in the middle of project execution citing financial viability. Suitable fiscal incentives to the private industry as well as financial support through cheaper industry loans will also be required to ensure healthy participation.

Even if all these fall in place, the government’s target remains a stiff one and its agencies’ track record of delivery or assisting industry through removal of multiplicity of time-consuming approvals in the past does not provide a lot of confidence.

The only positive has been the intent of the current dispensation to move ahead with definite thought. The slogan has to move from the drawing board to an actionable plan where stakeholders at each level are clearly identified and made accountable for facilitating real, ground level development of low-cost housing. The issues which need to be resolved before the private sector will be a willing partner in this initiative have been documented earlier.

Other aspects such as granting of infrastructure status to such projects should be explored. This will provide easy and cheaper finance aiding faster development. The plug and play approach for infrastructure as enumerated in the Budget makes for an ideal blueprint to begin with for the Centre and the states so that the entire focus is towards timely delivery of housing units, which after all is the  result everyone hopes and expects in the next seven years.

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Outsourcing in Asia – where next?

Business Process Outsourcing is a business phenomenon that has transformed two economies in Asia: India and the Philippines. But these destinations must continue to adapt as corporate productivity initiatives become ever more competitive, says JLL’s Jeremy Sheldon

where next bpoThe Philippines is not well known for positive headlines. Political upheaval and natural disasters have marred the archipelago’s global image but the nations’ economic fortunes have transformed over the last decade thanks, largely, to the emergence of one industry: business process outsourcing (BPO).

Western companies have flocked to the nation’s key cities – Manila and Cebu – to set up cost efficient call centres that deal with everything from customer service to HR to real estate management.

In 10 short years, the industry has grown from nothing to produce estimated annual revenue just shy of US$20 billion in 2014. Of course, BPO is not unique to the Philippines. India has a long established reputation as an outsourcing hotspot.

“BPO, in its simplest form, is about labour arbitrage, it requires large numbers of skilled workers and graduates who are based in low cost locations,” says Jeremy Sheldon, head of Integrated Portfolio Services, JLL Asia Pacific.

“India is full of aspiring graduates so it made sense as an outsourcing location. The Philippines emerged because of two factors: its population and its education standards.”

Experts recently estimated that Philippines’ BPO industry will account for 10 percent of the economy by next year. This rapid rise of BPO has been reflected in real estate industry growth.

Last year, office rentals in Manila registered double digit growth driven by BPO demand and 2015 will see a significant supply of new offices and residential space with fifteen developments due to complete throughout the year.

The Philippines has also benefited from a far less strategic advantage: its polished dialect. The young, well-educated workforce is largely English speaking, which lends itself to the customer service sector. Citibank, Aetna and Chevron are just a few of the multinationals to outsource operations there.

Many businesses are questioning whether interest in the Philippines means India, which has long been the world’s outsourcing capital, is losing its edge. But Sheldon says India’s evolution is quickening in the face of fresh competition.

International businesses have become increasingly confident about their capabilities offshore, pushing more complex work overseas. Higher value manufacturing and research and development centres, for example, now exist in India in place of call centres. Traditionally, companies in the US and Europe would have retained domestic control over such skilled work.

“India’s position in the outsourcing sector has changed as a result of its own success,” says Sheldon.

“As people have outsourced into India there is no question the sector has climbed up the value chain.”

Alternative locations are also enticing businesses outside of the main metropolises of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. “MNC’s such as Accenture, Captive BPO’s for the banking sector and Indian giants such as Infosys and Wipro are all well established in India’s top tier cities,” adds Sheldon. “But as businesses explore more cost effective markets, new cities are emerging.”

Second tier cities such as Kerala, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai are now competing for a broader segment of the outsourcing business. In Kerala, Infosys set up a campus next door to a university to entice young graduates.

Managing the aspirations of these graduates has, in part, forced India to adapt its economy. When Narendra Modi came to power last year his government promised to shift the nation’s reliance on the IT services sector by creating a manufacturing-centric economy.

“It’s true that young Indian graduates do not want to work in call centres anymore,” says JLL India country head Anuj Puri. “India’s vast demographic dividend is largely unskilled and Modi wants to skill these people in trades.”

“India is still strong in the IT services sector but the Philippines has emerged as a customer services outsourcing destination because culturally, and in terms of language, its more closely aligned with western businesses.”

Navigating risk 

Abundant workforce aside, the search for alternative offshore hubs is increasingly a matter of mitigating risk. Multinational companies, as a rule, will not establish more than 30 per cent of their workforce in one country.

Sheldon says: “We’re in an age where companies are more creditworthy than countries so they need to ensure they aren’t too exposed to a single market “risk”. It was happening before the financial crisis but now the pace of change has increased as companies have become more risk averse and conscious of costs.”

The matter of cost cutting is key if Asia is to remain competitive for Western businesses to operate in; though there are other factors at play.

“Overall, the lessening of political risk makes Asian nations more attractive,” says Sheldon. “But, as you move up the value chain issues like intellectual property can become a challenge, so businesses must still choose their market carefully.”

Myanmar or Vietnam, for example, are unlikely to emerge as a BPO destinations, despite the lure of lower overheads because they do not boast the same levels of transparency and IP protection as countries such as Singapore, which continues to market itself as an attractive hub for high-value manufacturing and R&D.

“Can Asia remain competitive?” asks Sheldon. “It has the population; it’s perhaps more a question of aspirations and how outsourcing business models adapt as the Asian economies continue to grow. Short answer, absolutely for the foreseeable future.”​​​​​​

 

 

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