January 19, 2021
Don’t kid yourself; be realistic.
Uddhav Poddar is the managing director of Bhumika Enterprises. He hails from Udaipur.
Uddhav shares that his father is the chairman of the Poddar Group of companies, which once had three publicly traded companies under it. The Poddar Group has had business interests in construction, manufacturing, entertainment, and logistics for the last 58 years.
Sharing about his journey, Uddhav says that before joining the family business, he did an internship with Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited. He underwent training in all areas of management, such as manufacturing, sales and marketing, finance, and administration. Thereafter, he was the CEO of First Capital India Ltd., an NBFC based in New Delhi. Then he joined a PE fund company as an intern, where he learned how to look at a business from a different perspective.
As the PE company had a lot of real estate exposure, he too developed an interest in real estate development. In 2014–15, he plunged into the real estate business and went on to develop 55 locations all over India. He is an optimist and feels that the current demand for real estate space is even stronger than in pre-Covid times. Urban Square is a big project for a city like Udaipur. It caters to the numerous small towns around Udaipur and is also an attraction for Gujarati travelers going to Nathdwara.
Describing the project, Uddhav says that Uddhav's group launched the Urban Square Mall in 2017, and it has been a runaway success since its launch. It is the highest-selling project in Rajasthan. Urban Square is a 1.8 million-square-foot development that is being done in two phases. Phase I, with 9.6 lakh square feet, is going to be delivered in a couple of months. It has a shopping mall, multiplexes, service apartments, top retail brands, SOHO workspace, a food court, restaurants, and a high street zone with mini shops. The project has won nine national awards conferred by top brands like ET Now, DNA, Images, Realty Plus, etc., beating big names like DLF and Unitech.
Uddhav says that he found, after extensive research, that there was a big vacuum of good projects, especially in North India. He decided to use Urban Square as a launch pad for more such projects. They have already launched another mall in Alwar.
Sharing about his challenges, Uddhav says that when he was in college, his father had a family separation. They got a sick pipe factory as their share. To revive the factory, Uddhav had to plunge into business at an early age. He revived the factory but soon realized that they were not making good money and decided to shut it down. Reviving and then shutting down the factory was a tough phase of his life and also a great learning experience.
Talking about his accomplishments, Uddhav says that he is involved in and associated with many business organizations. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Entrepreneur's Organization and was the President of its Rajasthan Chapter last year. Currently, he is the director for South Asia. He is also associated with ASSOCHAM and is the National Co-Chairman of the International Matters Committee. He is a member of the CII too, but not very active in it. Uddhav is also a founder member of the Shopping Center Association of India and the Delta Club. He has also been covered by Forbes in their October 2020 edition, and Realty Plus magazine featured him in their coffee table book on "Real Estate's Top 100 Influencers.
When asked about his role models, Uddhav says that his role model is his father, who has been a great entrepreneur. His father had guts and grit, and he built a large business. He is inspired by the achievements of his father. He has seen him take on large players in the market, and he also admires how his father handles both success and failure. He further shares that his management style is influenced by Jack Welch, the great American business executive and writer. He says that he has always been a leader, being born into a big business family. At the age of 21, he was managing more than 500 employees in his factory.
Uddhav says that in this field, looking after the interests of both the customer and the shareholder is extremely important. A developer should not misuse the buyer's money and must deliver on time. He claims that despite jolts from demonetization, GST, RERA, and COVID, they are delivering the project on time.
Uddhav's advice for newcomers is to not look for shortcuts to make money. Gaining the trust of your customers and maintaining transparency are very important in real estate development. You will always take the right approach and do the right things. He also thinks that one should always hire the best talent and engage the best consultants, who actually prove to be cheaper in the long run.
Uddhav takes short holidays with his family whenever he finds time. He does watch cricket sometimes and enjoys political discussions. He loves to travel and watch movies.
Udhav’s success mantra is that he never regrets the decisions that he has already made.