Sobha Limited has been recognised as the Top National Realty Brand across asset class in India, by the Track2Realty BrandXReport 2017-18. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sobha has emerged as the brand leader of Indian real estate. Sobha was followed by the Prestige Group, Godrej Properties, Puravankara Limited and Embassy Group. The Track2Realty BrandXReport 2017-18 establishes that Bengaluru-based developers have been frontrunners, in adhering to regulatory compliances and some of the best practices, thus, winning over the consumers’ trust. Out of the top 10 national brands, five are from Bengaluru. With high consumer confidence and NRI preference, four players from Bengaluru are among the top five national brands in this year’s study.
All of these players have improved upon their brand scores compared to the last fiscal year. According to the report, Bengaluru-based developers have the potential to emerge as global realty brands.
The comprehensive Brand Perception Audit Report recognised Sobha as the top national realty brand, the top brand in south India, the top brand in the residential space and the top brand in the super luxury segment. Consumers across 20 cities in the country voted Sobha as their top pick, while NRIs across the globe too, voted Sobha as the brand having the top mind recall. The company was also recognised as the best player for its CSR practices.
Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Menon, chairman, Sobha Limited said, “It is an extremely proud and humbling moment for the entire Sobha family, to be recognised once again as the top real estate developer in India, by the Track2Realty BrandXReport. We have not only retained but have also strengthened our brand score and thus, the leadership position in the last four years, making it a special achievement for us. This endorses our commitment in exceeding customer expectations with superior quality products across all segments along with our promise of on-time delivery.” JC Sharma, vice-chairman and managing director of Sobha Limited, added: “We are delighted to be at the top, for the fourth consecutive year. We have proved our competence to transition smoothly and have adapted to the changing market environment. Over the years, our continuous hard work and unique business model of backward integration have contributed significantly in augmenting our reputation in the market.”
The Track2Realty BrandXReport targeted a large sample size of 10,000 consumers across several cities in the country, with a set of 28 open-ended and close-ended questions. The responses were grouped under seven key areas: understanding about policy changes; impact of policy changes; home buying experiences in the recent times; property price index; builder-buyer conflicts; conflict resolution; and future outlook of the market. Developers with better brand recall value and goodwill outside their geographical markets, gained highest weightage in evaluation. The report also conducted its second global survey amongst the NRIs, to understand their investment choices and their trust in the Indian real estate sector. The survey used a four-pronged methodology to determine: their awareness about recent policy changes in India and their approval/disapproval of the reforms process; their outlook on the impact on the property market; trust level with real estate after policy changes; and willingness to invest in Indian property. The survey covered NRIs from the US, UK, Middle East, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Mauritius.
Key highlights of the BrandXReport 2017-18
Amidst the market uncertainties, the BrandXReport found that the developers like Sobha Limited, Prestige Group, Puravankara and Embassy Group, have adapted to regulatory compliances and changing market dynamics better than the sector at large. These are the brands that have further consolidated their reputation as trustworthy brands. Most of the leaders have improved their Brand Score, compared to the last fiscal year. K Raheja Corp is the only developer, to make an entry into the Top 10 National Brands after a gap of two years.
Interestingly, during this fiscal year, a number of relatively smaller developers with impeccable track record of delivery and consumer satisfaction, are breaking the myth that it is the sheer volume and premium that elevates a company in the brand leadership chart. Some of the fastest selling developers with larger market share but mounting consumer grievances, have lost the tag of desirable brands.
The fiscal year also witnessed seasoned and responsible brands opting for consolidation, amidst the market uncertainties borne out of the overall slowdown and a number of regulatory changes. Those who have adapted to the emerging market realities and have realised that it is the buyer who is the demand driver and not the investors, have strengthened their market positioning.
Five of the top 10 brands are again from the south Indian markets and developers like Sobha Limited, Prestige Group, Puravankara Limited, Embassy Group and Brigade Group are among the top 10 brands at the national level. Sobha, Prestige, Puravankara and Embassy are also among the top five national brands in this year’s study. Godrej Properties, once again, is the only corporate conglomerate to be among the top national brands and a brand that is at the top of the leadership chart in all the four regions. However, at the national level Godrej slipped one place to third, from second position last fiscal.
The notoriety of the north Indian markets in general and Delhi-NCR is particular, has led to many large players by market size either exiting the brand leadership chart or are at the bottom of the pyramid.
DLF is the only real estate company from north India, to have its presence among the top 10 national brands. In north India, the exit of one of the largest developers by market size, Supertech, in the wake of mounting consumer backlash, is a testimony to the fact that size alone can no longer define brand leadership. The story of another large developer by market size, Gaursons, is no different. On the contrary, a relatively smaller developer with limited footprint, Gulshan Homz has strengthened its brand positioning. Similarly, two of the smaller brands by market size, Central Park and ABA Corp make their entry into the elite list of top 10 brands in the region. M3M India also made a comeback into the top 10 and its association with the Trump brand, seems to be working in favour of the developer.
In the best performing and fiercely competitive south Indian markets, most of the leading brands like Sobha, Prestige, Embassy, Puravankara and Brigade, have improved their brand score. These brands have also consolidated their national ranking and Sobha Limited continues to outperform the market. The Embassy Group remarkably improved its brand performance to become the third best brand in the region, while Salarpuria Sattva also improved its brand ranking this year.
After the south Indian market, it is the west zone where the Mumbai-based developers have pretty impressive presence at the brand leadership chart.
Other than the Mumbai-headquartered Godrej Properties, it is Oberoi Realty, K Raheja Corp and Lodha Group that are in the elite list of top 10 national brands. The trend of top developers consolidating their brand leadership is quite evident in west zone, as well, where the top three names, Godrej Properties, Oberoi Realty and K Raheja Corp have improved their performances this fiscal. Kalpataru makes a comeback into the elite list of top brands in the region after a gap of one year, while Indiabulls Real Estate also makes it into the list of top brands.
The east zone continues to be the least brand conscious part of Indian real estate. This is the only region where most of the leading names have lost their brand score this fiscal year. Ambuja Neotia continues to be the brand leader and the brand that has remarkably improved its ranking is South City Projects that makes a giant leap from eighth position to become the second best brand in the region. Forum Group is another significant brand performer, leaping from ninth spot to fourth. Shrachi Group and Hiland also entered the league of brand leaders.
Top brands by segment
- Sobha continues to be the brand performer in the residential segment, which also witnessed the exit of Tata Housing in the wake of controversies. The top names like Sobha, Prestige, Godrej and Puravankara strengthened their brand leadership.
- In the office space segment, the Embassy Group continues to be the brand leader for the second consecutive year, followed by K Raheja Corp. DLF consolidated its brand reputation this year at third place, after having dropped to fifth spot in the previous fiscal.
- India’s second largest mall, Lulu Mall at Kochi, entered into the top leadership position in the retail segment for the first time, making its debut at number nine. Phoenix Market City also scaled up the brand index across cities.
- Embassy Group was the top brand performer in the hospitality segment, while the Brigade Group lost its brand leadership in the segment.
- Sobha continued to be brand leader in the luxury segment for third consecutive year. However, the Embassy Group emerged as the brand performer and market disruptor in the segment, enters the list of top 10 brands at the fourth spot. Another new entrant into the luxury segment was Mumbai-based Kalpataru, at 10th spot.
- Omkar Realtors & Developers lost its brand score this fiscal but maintained its leadership position in the redevelopment segment. Rohan Lifescapes jumped from 10th position last fiscal to be voted the eighth-most credible brand this year, while also improving its brand score, while the Kalpataru Group also improved its brand rank and brand score.
- Ashiana Housing continued to be the leader in senior housing segment, while Antara Senior Living jumped from 10th spot last year to second this fiscal.