After ‘vegetarian' hotels, it is now time for ‘vegetarians only' residential projects. At least a Mangalore-based developer has found potential in such projects. Following the response for his ‘vegetarians only' apartment project a year ago, Mr Abdul Rauf Puttige, Managing Director of Vishwas Bawa Builders, has launched one more such project in Mangalore recently.

He told Business Line that the idea of starting a ‘vegetarians only' project — which was his 24th project as a developer — began a year ago.

“When we announced the project ‘Vishwas Kuteera' at Mannagudda in Mangalore a year ago, seven families, basically vegetarians from Gujarat living in Mangalore, approached me for buying apartments there.

FOOD HABITS

“Women members of those families seemed strict vegetarians to me. I was told that they don't even eat mushroom and onion,” he said. If a vegetarian house is situated among non-vegetarians, the vegetarians will get irritated with the smell of non-vegetarian food, he said.

There came the idea of starting a ‘vegetarians only' apartment project in Mangalore. He clarified that there was no request from any of those seven family members for such a project. Only his knowledge of their food habits prompted him to launch such a project.

Stating that there could be cases of groups of like-minded vegetarians coming together for buying apartments, he said: “I haven't come across any developer in Mangalore coming out with projects for only vegetarians.”

Asked how he managed to select people for that project, Mr Rauf said that it was a little difficult for him, as people with only vegetarian food habits had to be settled there.

On the feedback for the ‘vegetarians only' project, he said a majority of the apartments were booked within six months of the launch of the project last year. The project will be ready for occupying in a few months, he said.

With his earlier project getting a good response from the buyers, Mr Rauf has launched another five-floor project – ‘Vishwas Aryan' – for vegetarians at Vyasanagar in Mangalore. “My 24th project was only for vegetarians. After the feedback for that project, my 32nd project will also be a vegetarian project,” he said.

GOOD POTENTIAL

Though hopeful of booking for this project also, Mr Rauf has informed buyers beforehand that he may consider giving it to non-vegetarians, if he doesn't get 50 per cent of bookings in six months.

In such a case, the first three of the five-floor project will be earmarked for vegetarians. The customers are willing to accept this, he said .

The entire concept of ‘vegetarians only' apartments depends on mutual trust between the developer and the buyer in this case. Mr Rauf said that the buyer isn't given in writing that it will be a ‘vegetarians only' project.

Mr Rauf opined that there is good potential for such projects in Mangalore.It may be mentioned here that Mangalore has become an attractive destination for most real estate developers in the region. After seeing the potential for real estate projects in Mangalore, some of the national-level players have also made an entry in the Mangalore real estate market. The good number of foundation stones for many residential projects in the city in the recent months was a witness to this fact.

In such a situation, a niche segment such as vegetarian customers, which offers good scope for exploring, can open doors for unlocking the potential for developers in the city in the days to come.

(This article was published on October 29, 2011)
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