Bijay Agarwal

Bijay Agarwal

Building Sustainable Edifices Of Trust

Hailing from a small town, and having learned the basic rules of money management at a young age, Bijay Agarwal began his thrilling journey with one small step. However, his commitment and passion soon turned into huge financial gains, and today he is renowned as one of India’s leading real estate developers

“Always be humble and work hard. Having these two qualities will take you places. At the same time always try to help others as much as possible. A little kindness can go a long way”

Bijay Agarwal’s story is of immense inspiration, as he became successful step-by-step through extraordinary grit and firmness of purpose. He started out humbly in Bengaluru in 1993, acquiring a small plot that offered 20,000 sq. ft. of construction. It was a commercial building called Money Chambers and it was a success! This encouraged him to construct his first residential project in Indiranagar of just 12,000 sq. ft. of built-up area. After that, there was no looking back!

Consistent Trajectory of Growth

Though his success has really taken him to great heights, he has never left his roots. He shares, “I always ensure that my debt is contained to a certain level and once the project is complete, it is paid off. I also safeguard the company’s and my own interest by conducting a ‘financial health check-up’ every six months that allows me to know just what risks I can take. This helps me stay grounded and my company stable.”

In the initial phases, under the dynamic leadership of Bijay Agarwal, Salarpuria Sattva Group focused on a mix of commercial and residential developments. Rapid bookings, since beginning, offered them ample encouragement, and they kept acquiring more land and expanded continuously. They believed in maintaining a balance between residential and commercial to ensure cash flow while continuing with the risk appetite with commercial projects.

Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

Bijay Agarwal reminisces, “When the IT boom hit Bangalore, we became a trendsetter. We set up the first IT Tech Park called GR Tech Park in Whitefield, Bengaluru. At that time, global companies were scouting to invest in residential and commercial properties and you can safely say that we showed the way.”

One success led to another, and in 2010 they earned recognition as a CRISIL A stable rated company which was truly a milestone for them. By 2015-16, they had completed 110 projects and had established their presence in cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Pune and Goa.

In addition to progressing in real estate, they also explored other avenues of expansion, and made forays into Education by setting up Greenwood International School. Next, the Aero Accessories, Sattva E-Tech and Logistics divisions were also set up. Today their business verticals include facilities management, aerospace, education, hospitality, office spaces, homes, D&B solutions and urban development.

Growing consistently with each passing year and with each project, they kept on creating newer stories of success. Sharing about such projects, Bijay Agarwal says, “One of our most ambitious and Asia’s best project is Knowledge City in Hi-Tech City in Hyderabad. The technologically advanced IGBC certified Platinum rated multi-purpose Commercial building has a total development of over 7.5 million sq. ft. with an array of amenities.

“Today in Hyderabad alone, we are working on 20 million sq. ft. of IT space – Knowledge City, Cyber Park and Necklace Pride. Knowledge City is already touted to be one of the best in Asia and some of our prominent clients are Novartis (1 million sq. ft.), SAP, JP Morgan, HSBC, etc. We should complete the project by mid-2019. We have also launched a mixed development project, Magnus, at Jubilee Hills. It is a premium gated community and we plan to develop 5.4 acres and construct four residential towers and one commercial tower.”

Their other cutting-edge projects in Hyderabad include Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge Capital in the financial district of Nanakramguda and Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge Park. They have also tied up with the Telangana Government to build Image Tower, a world-class animation, gaming and visual effects centre of more than 2 million Sq. ft. that will be the new- age Charminar in the city. In 2018, they have already completed 26 million sq. ft. of construction, and 38 million sq. ft. is in progress.

Balancing All Acts

Being a smart businessman and a pragmatic person, he strongly believes in diplomacy and honesty in all his relationships and complete transparency in all business dealings. He asserts, “When dealing with people in business, we tend to come across many challenges,
but one of the biggest issues is how to deal with people tactfully. Often people take advantage of you, but if you spend time with someone, you eventually get to know their intentions. Through all these challenges I have learnt that one must never fight and solve one’s problems; it only leads to more crisis and litigation, rather approach the issue humbly and peacefully.”

In the best interests of his clients and the general property buyers, he believes in reforming the real estate industry. He feels that all government approvals should be fast-tracked so that the developer can launch the project in a timely manner and with minimum delay in order to deal with the project efficiently.

He also wants to bring a change by simplifying direct and indirect tax laws and by incentivizing and rewarding the compliant developers, because he also believes that, “No good incentives are being given to good developers even when the real estate industry is the key generator of jobs, consumer of a large number of products from other industries
and also has huge capital consumption. Compliant developers need to be given a platform and recognition needs to be given to them.” He cherishes having earned a degree in Owner/President Management (OPM) Program from Harvard Business School, and accepts that it has not only helped him learn the art of how to master his business, but has also helped him look at things more subtly. Giving due credit to his family for his various achievements in professional life, he shares, “My family has always been my biggest pillar of strength. They have always motivated and inspired me to do better. In my professional life, my focus is to build trust and quality and to deliver more than what I promise, always.”

A Leader of the Future

Under his insightful leadership, Salarpuria Sattva has always been exceptionally passionate about sustainable development and has always shown strong commitment to environment conservation. Being an environmentally conscious brand, it has constantly believed in contributing towards the future in every little way possible. Its flagship IT Tech Park in Hyderabad, ‘Knowledge City’ (Indian Green Building Council rated) is a testimony to this. Its blueprints for all its projects always include Rain Water Harvesting and Solar Energy consumption.

Apart from various green initiatives, Salarpuria Sattva has also been providing comprehensive free stay for families of ailing patients at Sai Baba Hospital located at Whitefield in Bengaluru. The Group provides patients’ families with basic amenities so that they can have an affordable and stress-free stay. It has also been doing many small-scale sustainable activities in and around Bengaluru.

Though Bijay Agarwal has achieved extraordinary success, it hasn’t changed his innate qualities of benevolence and pragmatism. He is still a down-to-earth person, and believes that, “Always be humble and work hard. Having these two qualities will take you places. At the same time always try to help others as much as possible. A little kindness can go a long way.”