Interview with Syed Muhammad Talha – CFO, International Builders and Developers (Pvt) Ltd
Syed Muhammad Talha is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Arif Habib Corporation Limited, a holding company of Arif Habib Group and also the CFO of Javedan Corporation Limited, Safemix Concrete Limited and International Builders and Developers (Pvt) Limited.
He is associated with the group for more than 8 years. He has working experience of 15 years in various diversified capacities.
Naya Nazimabad (NN) as appearing from its name is a well planned community living boundary wall concept wherein every member enjoys value for money and lifestyle at City Center. After successful launch and handing over possession, the brand name has already established.
The overall master plan spreads over 1,300 acres land having clean and clear title of land, multiple entry and exit points, fool proof documentation including biometric verification and reputed management team make it a first choice to the buyers and investors. It has some value added projects like Gymkhana Club, state-of-the-art Grand Jama Masjid, school, college, hospital, extensive greenery, cricket stadium, football and hockey stadium etc.
Residential units in the project comprise plots and built-up bungalows of 120, 160, 240 and 400 square yards. Development of flats, commercial and mixed-use development will add further diversity to the project.
Pricing and payment terms are structured as per the economic requirements of the target market. First phase of around 5,500 units already sold out and possession of plots and bungalows has already started. Secondary market already established and now the allottees enjoy huge premium on their booked units.
PAGE: DO YOU THINK NAYA NAZIMABAD IS GOING TO BRING A BIG CHANGE IN KARACHI?
SYED MUHAMMAD TALHA: Yes, the change is obvious from the current market perspective. Naya Nazimabad’s uniqueness lies not in being exclusive; rather it is envisioned to be a benchmark that symbolizes quality lifestyle and high class standards of living, which is uncommon in Karachi and Pakistan at large.
Naya Nazimabad is designed for the progressive mid-income segment of Karachi to provide its residents with its community and integrated living experience. The project envisages the provision of all conceivable amenities and facilities as mentioned earlier.
Further, it will be exemplary for other builders and developers to make justice with their allottees to provide them secure gated community living with necessary amenities so that the people of Karachi may enjoy the quality living, which will be the desired of every citizen of this mega city.
On the other hand, it will create pressure to other development authorities of city to provide the resident of Karachi not only cleanliness and greenery but also the health, education and sports facilities as this will be the prime responsibilities for them.
PAGE: TELL US ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR REAL ESTATE SECTOR IN KARACHI:
SYED MUHAMMAD TALHA: Karachi’s real estate market is now witnessed as market leader in terms of return on investment in real estate projects all over Pakistan especially in case of gated community.
Being mega city, the demand is enormous, however, people of Karachi, overseas Pakistanis now looking for renowned builders and developers and show more interest towards Bahria Town, DHA Phase IX, Naya Nazimabad, Pak Fazaia and Malir Cantonment sites. All these projects have not only booked in record time but also witness returns after short period of time. Even the small builders are also copying the same concept and try to compete in term of prices. This shows the confidence of buyer and investors and the real demand for housing in Karachi making promising future of this sector.
PAGE: WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR IN KARACHI?
SYED MUHAMMAD TALHA: Construction sector in Pakistan including Karachi is not organized and documented. You just imagine that only Javedan Corporation Limited owned Naya Nazimabad is listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange as real estate developer while all over the world’s real estate sector is among top ten performers. It is also said that not less than 60 industries are linked to construction sector.
Currently this sector in Karachi is performing excellent and almost all related industries have witnessed high returns. We do have bye laws related to construction and development, however, there is a serious need to update it in accordance with worldwide international norms like Dubai so that the builders and developers get benefited and ensure speedy and quality development.
For instance, we observe certain NOC approval issues related to high rise buildings and the procedure is too long that some time it would take more than a year for just an approval.
The city has tremendous potential and we might able to see 100-storey buildings in Karachi if and only it is supported by law making and implementing authorities. If we can touch 50,000 points in stock exchange then there would not be any doubt to touch the sky in real estate market.
There is a need to encourage construction sector related companies to invest in CSR activities and make environment-friendly plans. To strengthen further, laws may be introduced to make it mandatory to establish society contribution fund to contribute their profit percentage every year for betterment of society like workers welfare fund and workers profit participation fund.
PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE CEMENT SECTOR OF PAKISTAN?
SYED MUHAMMAD TALHA: Cement plays an important role in the socio economic development of a country and is a vital barometer of macroeconomic development. Due to improved law and order situation, lower interest and inflation rates, government spending on development projects like metro bus projects — motorways, housing schemes and announcement of CPEC projects — Pakistani cement industry witnesses a significant overall growth of around 10 percent. While domestic demand is strong and increased by nearly 17 percent while the exports have seen a decline as the local market is very attractive.
Due to mentioned scenario, major cement players including DG Cement and Power Cement have already announced their expansions.