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IN CONVERSATION WITH PAVAN ANAND

— Pavan Anand

Coldwell Banker's survey of luxury real estate agents around the world proves that wealthy home shoppers prefer modern residences — in design and in construction age. Once the stay-at-home coronavirus mandate came into place in New York, the rich looked to the Hamptons for a quality life and investment. Closer to home, Pavan Anand is transforming Alibaug into the Hamptons of India — a fork of prime real estate which takes pride in being decadent in everything from its construction and architecture to artistic interior. Over to the jewellery designer who has diversified into real estate.

 

''I will say, it began as a very personal journey. I don't think I was mathematic at the time. The desire stemmed purely from the love of design. From the vision that I may have something robust to offer in this arena. Also, I missed being an architect though I was never keen to design for other people. Hence the thought began to simmer, 'why don't I create my own luxury real estate brand… a combination of both rental and purchase estates.'

 

India is a hard place to construct in! Alibaug, even harder and the kind of aesthetic vision I have, even further harder! My overall vision evolved with each year! Honestly, I got down to tangible work on the project in 2015. I had faith in my own instinct, even if it didn't, at the time align to anything around. It evolved within my instinct. The vision was to create in India something that not just rivalled, but superseded anything I have personally experienced in the Maldives, Tahiti or Bali! I would make India ready for that! In 2012, someone coincidently had approached me to style and lend my brand to their luxury estate in Bali. I declined that proposal and decided I would create my own luxe paradise across Mumbai… Now, I’ve spent a lot of time in New York and I love the Hamptons! Not only the aesthetic but the idea of this uppity residential community just for the privileged! Such a fabulous idea! It's so aspirational isn't it? The question to myself was, 'how could I create the ripples or waves to bring that culture into a region that had already garnered some interest from the privileged?! You see, Alibaug is the Rolls Royce of "leisure real estate" for India! There is nothing quite like it! Just a fifteen min James Bond-ish speed boat jet across prime South Bombay! With access to South Bombay comes a specific filtered audience as buyers who is wealthy, well travelled, elegant and aspiration focussed. Yet, not at all "tacky"! Pardon my use of that word! It's not just proximity or the ocean that makes Alibaug special! It is the patron! This patron is very different from Goa! It's like comparing Thailand to the Maldives!

 

Alibaug, even though very popular, had settled into this very "sleepy, lazy daisy" vibe! That baffled me! Given location and buyer bracket, I wanted to "disrupt" this, in my own small way! Because I've never been a trend follower! I enjoy creating healthy contradiction! Nothing truly evolves without that. I was clear, I wanted to create the same impact that I would have done, had this been the Hamptons, New York. I'm a story teller! I don't just sell jewels or homes! I tell a tale! One that stems from my core! I ensured the unveiling of my first bespoke, artistic luxury residence at Alibaug — with its own sixty-five foot long pool, two bars, floating dining pavilion, Zen garden, large sculptural provocative art and fire elements — was a sensational event! It had the right dose and flavour of glamour. Yet never losing restraint and originality! I think the narrative leading up that evening, the evening itself, the estate and everything post- event set a clear and sharp personal vision. We took the 'sleepy' out of Alibaug and brought in a flavour of International decadence and sensation…

 

Alibaug, in fact specifically areas close to Mandwa, interest me. Currently, we are identifying more land parcels! I prefer the idea of private exclusive estates vs. a large gated community! There is something aspirational about not having neighbours or having to share amenities! And the timing is just right. We are going to see little to no major mainstream construction activity in the mainland. Interestingly this has put people like us on the right side of history and vision! More and more wealthy now want sprawling landed estates in Alibagh versus mid sized "luxury" condos in the main city.  The value and desirability of having a "beautiful home" wherever, whatever.

 

Speaking generally the pandemic affecting industries worldwide it has resulted in fundamental issues with cash flow, low sales in the short term, poor sentiment, labour shortfall! However, I am very optimistic. I think Covid has been an eye opener for Humanity in general! Priorities, realities and points of view will sharpen and focus. Personally, we have been on the right side of vision. The changes occurring are in keeping with my vision pertaining to luxury and design! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for how sensational and rewarding this has been! Queries for potential affiliation and collaboration are flowing in from all over the world in fact! I think from a branding standpoint too, there is a certain harmony with Jewels and home design! They add layers to each other. So, for me the new normal is really about being more sensitive! There is sensitivity in me today, toward myself, my clients, the world in general! As far as the business aspect goes, I have every intent to scale up… and scale up fast. There are a lot of offers coming in with a recent one to the tune of twenty lakh a month though I am yet to take a decision on that. Being a positive disruptor comes with responsibility! I have done this with my jewels and now real estate. The beauty is, it's never been a orchestrated focus! It's always been simply me being true, in harmony and fearless, as a creator. I thrive on being fearless! And hopefully I can inspire many talented people to do the same…''

 

PAVAN ANAND
 
PAVAN ANAND
 
PAVAN ANAND
 
08-OCTOBER-2020
 
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