Wednesday, October 4, 2006


Do a crash course, become a new-age realty consultant
Arvinder Kaur

From pot bellied, smooth talking operators out to make a quick buck, dalals or property dealers as you know them, have since got a radical makeover.

Thanks to the boom in the real estate industry, they come armed with foreign degrees, rattle terms like Floor-to-Area ratio, Vaastu merit of the plot and give an informed opinion about anything from Italian marble to wooden floorings and draperies.

Manpower needs

"The real estate industry segment today requires real estate specialists who have knowledge in business, finance and investment and communication skills. There are aspirants who want to make a career in this emerging opportunity, and they need a formal orientation into this conventional segment which is now metamorphosing into a new industry altogether, says Dr Hari Gautam of the School of Business and Communication Studies.

The size of the real estate industry in India is estimated by FICCI to be around US $ 12 billion. It is growing at a pace of 30 per cent.

What's in a name

This double-digit growth is mainly attributed to the off-shoring business, including high-end technology consulting, call centers and software programming houses, which in 2003-04 was estimated to have accounted for more than 10 million square feet of real estate, says Marshal Sahni, a real estate academic expert.

"Indian realty appears to be going global with the local players expanding their horizons from being stand-alone property developers to trans-city developers and colonisers and overseas investors looking to cash in on the burgeoning property scenario. So, dalals now have to metamorphise into facilitators," says Rameet Trehan of JMD Promoters.

New terms in the workplace

A glossary of sports/work terms from Eileen P. Gunn, author of "Your Career Is an Extreme Sport:"

  • Grab the big air: A snowboarding and extreme-skiing term to describe a jump that is impressively high and complex. He just brought in the biggest account of the year; talk about grabbing some big air!

  • No-fall zone: A treacherous area for free skiers where if you miscalculate and fall, you completely wipe out. She hit the no-fall zone when she went over her boss' head for approval on that project.

  • Getting stoked: Being excited enough about something to want to go all out at it. I am so stoked about launching my own business.

  • Kamikazi zone: That place where gutsy turns into reckless. He was shorting stocks right and left as the market was going up; man, was he in kamikaze zone.

  • Throw down: To show people what you've got. She really threw down during her job interview -- there's no way she's not getting it.

La Times-Washington Post

Matter of degrees

The boom has created a whole host of new employment and career opportunities in this sector, he says, noting that as of now those with an MBA enter into the field. Many industry associations are also conducting regular seminars and conferences to update those in the industry on the emerging trends.

However, players in this segment (across the board, including international property and realty consultants and homegrown biggies as well) are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified manpower, says Gautam, whose institute has tied up with Cavendish College, London and is offering a diploma in real estate marketing.

Job opportunities

The career opportunities in real estate are for various functional professionals like - project managers, interior designers, architects and others. But most importantly a large demand is there for marketing and sales professionals, he says.

In future, real estate exchanges in the line of commodity exchanges will require broker activities similar in nature to the commodity exchange, notes Sahni.

However, Trehan says such courses by foreign universities are welcome but they should be cost-effective.

Agrees Pervin Malhotra, a career consultant,"shelling out lakhs for a short-term diploma by a foreign university won't work. Cost is a very big criteria here. What these short-term courses are leading to is jobs not careers."

However, Saimak Taslimi, director, Cavendish College, says what they are offering is a multi-disciplinary programme that trains students for various supervisory and management positions in the real estate market and the building industry. "Such short-term courses are very popular in other countries like China," he says. —PTI