The world that we live in is full of amazing stories. There are some stories which are written by a person and told by someone else. There are some stories which are written by a person, acted in by the same person and told by the whole world. The reason behind the third factor is the fact that they are the real heroes who add substance, inspiration and vision to the story that they personify. One such person is Salim Kacchi, Managing Director, Kacchi Properties, Satara.
The setting was apt overlooking the grand and glorious fort of Ajinkyatara; perhaps the interviewee signified both the grandieur and glory of the fort with the simplicity with which he narrated the whole story. Throwing glorious light upon his journey, Salim began ,” It all began in the year 1995. We didn’t think at that point of time that we would one day become a developer conglomerate. The only need that concerned us was to have a roof of our own in Satara.
The period of 1995 to 2003 was the watershed moment in our lives. We evolved as a company that could deliver anything and everything albeit within the city limits. The major turnaround happened in the year 2003 when we stepped ahead of the limits quite literally when we started taking up projects outside city limits. In the year 2003 we built Orient Residency; in that project we gave every amenity to our clients for a sum of Rs. 3,75,000. What followed was the scheme of 42 flats contained in 2 buildings and another scheme of 36 flats in Amber plaza.
Salim explains,” The very concept of RCC came into picture at least here in Satara circa 1980. The real boost for real estate was the construction of NH4 which truly connected us to the world. From 2004 to 2005 the technical aspect saw the upward curve since urbanization was also on the rise. The importance of various facets of construction cant be overstated since each and every component is related with each other. It goes without saying that quality is of paramount importance. Factors such as RCC, architecture, contractors, carpenters, fitters play an equally important role if not more.
About the difficulties he faced in life, Salim remnicses,” The first and foremost difficulty we had faced was immense scepticism and as we didn’t have any knowledge about the field but then we all have a home pitch where we are most comfortable. We were fortunate to have found it in quick time. In the year 2005. we succeeded in creating scheme comprising of 140 flats. In hindsight, it all seems amusing when I think of the time when we had to bear the comments behind our backs on account of our lack of experience and expertise at that point of time; With the passage of time, we learnt that aspects like finance management, generating funds and having a sound business model were of utmost importance.
Since our business ran only on the basis of funds we had generated from our customers, it had to be preserved in a manner that would keep our credibility intact. Having no background meant that no financial institution would entertain us and the way forward was tricky what with the litigation properties that we decided to take up.” Cash flow maintenance is another factor which is decisive for a developer.
Salim asserts,”I think brand is everywhere and everything. it doesn’t matter whether it is based in a metro or a tier 2 town. It is something people can identify themselves with. Its like the village head ‘Mukhia’ whose word the villagers trust with their hearts and mind. The ‘Rachana’ event that is organized by the Satara Builder Association comes to my mind where our Flower Valley project truly recognized us as a brand.”
Salim states,” One of the initial things I learnt was to be my own guide and compete with myself rather than others. The importance of sincere efforts and community based work can’t be overstated. Speaking of which organizations like CREDAI have been instrumental in getting all the stakeholders closet Maintaining good relationship with all the stakeholders is a must in my opinion and they are the ones who stand by you in tough times.”
Salim concludes,” Though profit is the cog in the wheel of any business including construction, one should not run before excess profit as you stand to lose relationships and loyal customers with it. What’s important is to be flexible regarding the profit margins you have in mind and the rates you offer to your customer. Minimizing on site wastage is a vital factor when you think of attaining a competitive edge over others. We don’t like to show off the CSR we indulge in as we think our business is community oriented.