The real estate industry which employs five crore labourers is reeling under the onslaught of the pandemic with stalled projects and an unprecedented reverse exodus of migrants
Coimbatore, 26 May: "Without high-quality people, there is no high-quality nation," Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, told builders in a webinar organized by Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI)- MCHI and National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO). He urged "responsible builders" to change the image of the real estate industry by actively advocating for unambiguous laws.
The online interactive session 'Rebuilding the Nation and New Avenues for Real Estate' saw participation from prominent builders such as Irfan Razack, CMD, Prestige Group; Jaxay Shah, MD, Savvy Group; Kishore Bhatija, MD, K Raheja Corporation; Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Founder and MD, Hiranandani Group; Shrikant Joshi, CEO, L&T; Rajeev Talwar, CEO, DLF Ltd; and Vikas Oberoi, Managing Committee Member, Chairman, Oberoi Realty. The live session, which saw an online audience in tens of thousands, was moderated by Boman Irani, CMD, Rustomjee Group.
Boman Irani opened proceedings, setting the context for the evening's session and recollecting his visit to the Isha Yoga Center. "If there's one other place that I'd like to be right now other than my own home, Sadhguru, it would be the Ashram," he said and described the meditative ambience and the geometrically perfect aesthetics of the Yoga Center.
The real estate industry which employs five crore labourers is reeling under the onslaught of the pandemic with stalled projects and an unprecedented reverse exodus of migrants.
"From being just a builder, you must become a Nation builder," Sadhguru said, encouraging the industry to "rejig itself" to leverage new investment opportunities that will come India's way with some companies deciding to wholly or partially shut down their China operations. He reiterated that "unless we spread the investment and in turn the development, there is no way" the cities of the world can stop migration or offer the quality of life to its residents. It is estimated that up to 78% of investments are concentrated in 32 cities around the world.
Responding to a question from Niranjan Hiranandani on how to rejuvenate cities, Sadhguru outlined his concept of 'One Building City' a vertical complex with residential blocks, office blocks, schools, healthcare and entertainment facilities contained in a single building with the land around it left free and forested. "Let's say we take a 50-acre plot and build on one acre up to 100 floors; 49 acres of land, you just make it into trees, ponds, walking spaces, a beautiful atmosphere like a forest so people will get to live in a verdant atmosphere," he said. The self-contained unit will generate no waste as everything can be managed within the complex. This can significantly improve living standards in villages and cities because more than half of India's population is now living in dehumanizing conditions in slums and shacks, Sadhguru said. The response inspired Hiranandani to comment, "My next project will be like that."
When Jaxay Shah, Chairman of CREDAI, asked Sadhguru what one can do to build physical stamina and mental wellbeing in these challenging times, Sadhguru joked, "You're on a golf course and talking about difficult times? You have a bad game. Don't use those carts on the golf course, walk it; if you walk 18 holes, you will get physical stamina," Sadhguru laughed as the amused Chairman laughed with him. Sadhguru also spoke about the freely downloadable Isha programs such as Simha Kriya and Isha Kriya besides the heavily discounted Inner Engineering Online program that helps body, mind, emotions and energies to function in harmony, tremendously improving one's effectiveness.
Rajeev Talwar, CEO, DLF Limited wanted to know what the relationship between the environment and the realty industry would be like in the future. "It is essential that building and ecology must be friendly to each other," Sadhguru asserted and spoke at length about the importance of ensuring adequate percolation of rainwater underground in cities. One of the answers may be vertical growth so that rainwater can "get soaked into the city" through the soil. "If you take care of the soil, water is naturally taken care of. Vertical buildings (with foliage around it) will make our cities liveable."
Sadhguru came down heavily on the current education system that is killing human potential and draining the nation of vital talent and inspiration. He was responding to Vikas Oberoi, Chairman, Oberoi Realty, who asked why as a society India has failed to provide necessary facilities and services to its population. He said the education system, which plays an integral role in shaping future citizens needs a radical overhaul. "Education as information is out. Information is available everywhere. Education as inspiration, Education as innovation, Education as insight is what is meaningful now," he said, adding that this was the only way to "explore human genius".
He called on CREDAI and NAREDCO to examine how the realty industry can change its relationship with migrant labourers by offering them better healthcare, accommodation, livelihood security and other facilities to encourage them to return to cities. Sadhguru was answering a query from Shrikant Joshi, CEO, L&T Realty, on the immediate future of the industry in the absence of labour and absence of construction technology to fill the gap.
CREDAI is the apex body of private Real Estate developers which was established in 1999. The association was formed to pursue the cause of housing and habitat providers. National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) was established as an autonomous self-regulatory body in 1998 under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.