How we helped create a new segment

When the US economy sneezed in 2008 many real estate companies in India caught a cold. Areas that had become pricy because of speculative overseas investment crashed. OMR (old Mahabalipuram Road) / Rajiv Gandhi Salai of Chennai was one such area.

A client of ours was ready to launch a project on OMR when this happened. It was easy to figure out that the Indian middle class with Government and quasi government jobs wouldn't lose their jobs. However they had much lower budgets. Our client quickly reworked the sizes from 1500 sq ft to 600 sq ft and did away with anything that wasn't a necessity like marble flooring, swimming pool, club house, etc. The result was an apartment costing between 10 and 20 lakhs INR which was way below the prevailing cost of around 50 at that time in that area.

Apartments were sold within a few hours of launch. National television carried the story for two full days. Though we didn't coin the word, the term 'Budget Housing' came into being.