The first-ever International Summit on Community Management in India was held on 20th February 2019 in Taj Lands End, Mumbai. It was brought together by Plan3Media, an event management company from Dubai and title sponsored by ADDA.
San Banerjee: Unlocking the Possibilities in Living Communities
San Banerjee, Co-Founder, CEO of ADDA, gave the keynote address. She started thanking IRECMS, for bringing together luminaries to talk about Community Management. She spoke about ADDA’s journey with respect to Community Management, about the first workshop for Community Managers arranged in India by ADDA way back in 2010, and moreover about ADDA’s community management course – AIMM (ADDA Institute of Multi-Dwelling-Unit Management). Bringing in the experience of providing solutions to 2000+ residential communities across multiple countries, she spoke of unlocking possibilities in Living Communities.
She mentioned 4 main possibilities –
- How they can become prototypes for Smart Cities
- How they can liaise with local governance to solve various neighborhood-related issues
- How they can themselves work towards uplifting the local ecosystem
- How builder community collaboration can happen where builders can bring in learnings from existing communities to develop better communities.
“Social, Administrative, Financial, and Environmental Sustainability – SAFE, is the key to unlocking these possibilities in Living Communities,” – added San.
Nayan Shah, CEO and MD Mayfair Housing, and president of CREDAI MCHI talked about the challenges and the future potential of Real Estate. While talking about the need for Community Management, he said, “Good management is key to maintaining wealth and value for any Community”.
Facility Manager, Property Manager and Community Manager. Dispelling myths and defining the difference
Jeevan D Mello, CAI middle east. and Pepe Gutierrez, CEO Administrapolis, both thought leaders and prominent speakers regarding Community Management, spoke about the discipline of Community Management. In a very informative and interactive session, they explained how Property Management, Facility Management, and Community Management are distinct professions, having very separate responsibilities and requirements.
“Community management best practices, make people happy. If that happens, residents will sell your properties, you do not need to sell them anymore,” said Mr. Jeevan while concluding his session. Mr. Pepe added, “You may be doing Property Management, Facility Management or Community Management, you are ultimately Happiness People Managers”.
How Community Management is profitable to Real Estate Developers?
Mr. John Hammersmith, President, CAI-US, spoke about how Community Managers can make Real Estate developers profitable. He talked about how Community Managers helps increase referral business, effects repeat business, customer loyalty and impacts brand equity and customer preference. He gave examples of how community managers help to build and to maintain sustainable and happy communities, how properties with professional community management were selling in double the amount, compared to properties without.
Gated communities in India – Managing Expectations
Next, there was a high powered panel discussion on Managing Expectations in Gated Communities. The panel comprised of Ms. Namita Mehta, CCO, Emaar India, Mr. Nishan Suvarna, Executive Director, Blue Stream Environmental Technology, Mr. Ramakrishnan P, COO Lodha Group, Ms. Sanyogeeta Sule, Architect & Owner SS Design Group, Mr. Shirish Wagh, VP Head of Property Management Services, Oberoi Realty, moderated by Mr. Thomas Skiba.
The panel discussed in depth how to have residents participate in community-related decisions, the importance of being transparent and expectations which residents or buyers have from Communities, which the panelists agreed were – Security, Safety, and Infrastructure. Ms. Namita added, ”The expectations I think can be categorized in 3 main categories – Necessity (proper visitor management systems, facility management, etc.), Return on Investment in the property and Social Status.”
The era of Professional Community Managers
In the next session, Mr. Thomas Skiba talked about building a career in Community Management. He talked in depth about the requirements from a Community Manager and how to be successful in the field. He mentioned the various professional certifications which CAI has developed – Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) and how they add immense value to careers of Community Managers.
Impact of RERA on Real Estate in India
Post lunch sessions started with an extremely interesting topic – The impact of RERA on real estate in India. The panelists were Mr. Prashant Mewada, Director – Operations, Runwal Group, Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, Research Scholar, Ph.D., Mr. Agnelorajesh Ataide, Chairman, St. Angelo’s VNCT Ventures.
The session was moderated by Mr. Hari Easwaran, Head of Contracts and Procurement, L&T Realty. Discussions happened around the changes which RERA has brought in – how it has brought in Transparency, and how it finally brought in a regulatory authority for the real estate industry. Moreover, how it has brought in parity among builders and buyers, and grievance address has become faster.
The panel also discussed how RERA is also having a deep impact on how Community Management as a profession is evolving. This is because while developers are providing more attention to quality, there is also a need for professionals who will maintain this quality product, who are none other Community Managers.
Factors affect growth trends in Facility Management in India
The next panel discussed the factors which affect growth trends in Facility Management in India. The panelists were Dr. Shakti Chauhan, Senior VP & H.O Administration, Security & Travel, HDFC Bank, Mr. Subroto Mukherjee, H.O Administration and Facility Management, Cipla, Mr. Atul Tendulkar, Head – Technical & Facilities, Matrix PMPM (K Raheja Group), Dr. Abhijeet Sarkar, Country Head – Corp Real Estate, Sharekhan and Ms. Nellie Samuel, Regional Business Director, JLL.
The panelists discussed various ways in which facility management can drive more growth for builders, as facility managers can bring in more collaboration between builders and residents, define KPIs and SLAs before hand over happens to property owners bringing in better management. Facility Managers can help in better maintenance of Properties which ultimately drives the happiness of residents, which then translates to better brand value for builders.
What India Thinks: An open forum with live delegate voting
The last session for the day was an open forum where the audience voted on various questions related to Community Management. Moderated by Mr. Jeeven D’Mello and Mr. Hari Easwaran, quoted interesting theme related anecdotes and stories and managed the session. Various interesting perspectives came up, the session ending with 100% of audience voting that Community Managers will add immense value to Developers.
IRECMS concluded with a brief awards ceremony where leading developers in India Arihant Superstructures, Oberoi Properties, Runway Group, Ajmera Group, among others were facilitated for their thought leadership in real estate development in India.