Realtors rope in foreign stars to push projects


NEW DELHI : From hiring domestic brand ambassadors to international ones, Indian   real estate   companies are going global. So far, realty companies have been hiring Indian icons like M S Dhoni, Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen ,   Yuvraj Singh   and   Gautam Gambhir   to promote their projects. But now, with increasing purchasing power and more and more premium products being launched, companies are tying up with foreign brand ambassadors to push their projects.  

This also helps them in marketing their apartments and houses in international markets, mainly to NRIs.  

Realty company Homestead has roped in   Michael Schumacher   and   Maria Sharapova   to promote its projects in Gurgaon.  

Formula One   racing legend Schumacher told TOI that he has a global face and his endorsement will certainly help in attracting buyers in the international markets.
Both Schumacher and Sharapova said they would also be active in the projects’ designing . As part of an effort to bring in the ambience of a racing track, the Michael Schumacher World Tower project will refer to floors as ‘laps’ , according to Schumacher . Though the project to be endorsed by Sharapova is yet to be announced, Homestead COO Manoj Shrivastava said it would also be a boutique property with a world class sports facility.  

Another realty player Supertech is tying up with Italian luxury brand   Giorgio Armani   for promoting its 80-floor Supernova residential project in Noida. Similarly, Lodha Group has tied up with Armani for its luxury 117-floor residential project in Mumbai. For its other designer home project Lodha Fiorenza also in Mumbai , the group has partnered with   Jade Jagger , daughter of ‘The Rolling Stones’ legend Mick Jagger.  

Another Mumbai-based realtor Nirmal Lifestyle has struck an alliance with US Open, the tennis event, to develop India ‘s first sports lifestyle apartments. The project has a state-of-the-art fitness centre on the 46th floor.  

As the market becomes more mature, definition of luxury housing will evolve with newer offerings and services , says a spokesperson of global realty consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield. Growth in the luxury housing segment is expected to improve over the next five years with offerings matching international standards. At present , she adds, this trend is concentrated mainly in Mumbai and Pune, but soon more cities will offer branded homes with international associations .  

Endorsement of projects by celebrities not only help in attracting buyers’ attention but also in providing credibility to the projects, says Anshuman Magazine, MD of CB Richard Ellis (South Asia). Ten years ago, there were only three to four players. Now the situation has changed and there are more than two dozen developers in the NCR market , developing hundreds of projects, he adds. With the number of wealthy people on the rise, builders are developing boutique properties in the premium segment.  

Prices of most of these projects , which foreign celebrities are endorsing, start from Rs 3 crore. As margins in the premium class are higher, developers can afford to spend more in brand promotions.