Companies

For Akshaya, medical cover to home buyers is about ‘offering more value’

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on August 12, 2020

T Chitty Babu, Chairman and CEO, Akshaya Pvt Ltd   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Chairman & CEO Chitty Babu says this goodwill gesture will keep fear away from people’s minds

 

Akshaya’s recent move to offer home buyers a three-year medical insurance scheme was based on a sound observation of ground realities during Covid-19, says its Chairman & CEO T Chitty Babu.

“Safety is top priority when people step out in masks for shopping. Likewise, if a real estate developer provides a safety net to buyers, they will be open to the offer,” he explains.

This was the trigger for the Chennai-based Akshaya to unveil three medical insurance schemes with covers of ₹10 lakh, ₹15 lakh and ₹20 lakh each for a family of four. The cover, in turn, would go in line with the price of the apartment bought during the course of this month.

For instance, any flat costing up to ₹45 lakh will come along with a ₹10-lakh medical policy. Likewise, one with a price tag of ₹45 lakh-1 crore will translate into a ₹15-lakh policy and apartments at over ₹1 crore will give the buyer and his family a ₹20-lakh cover.

“Homes are insured but this scheme will see buyers being insured for the first time. It is our way of offering additional value especially in these difficult times of Covid-19,” says Chitty Babu. From Akshaya’s point of view, this is “a goodwill gesture” intended to “keep fear away” from people’s minds.

The inspiration

According to him, the inspiration for this initiative stems from the company’s focus on creating strong customer connect through innovation. “While this is constantly done in design, technology, marketing and so on, we have now extended this innovation mantra to bond even more strongly with our buyers,” says Chitty Babu.

Clearly, the pandemic has unsettled people and it will be interesting to see how home buyers respond to Akshaya’s medical insurance offer. As its CEO adds, it seeks to give them a greater sense of security especially when paranoia is the overriding theme all around. “During this challenging period, people will need a good reason to buy a home and this is where we have put our best foot forward,” says Chitty Babu.

According to him, as much as Covid-19 is a grim reality to reckon with, it also presents an opportunity to think out-of-the-box. While he admits that the pandemic has adversely impacted the real estate sector, the opportunities and challenges are still “mind-blowing".

Work-from-home is now the norm and people are seeking larger homes with an extra room and greater privacy. Even while there are disruptions in the commercial space with offices emptying out, the Akshaya CEO reiterates that “another door always opens up” in a crisis. Residential could see an uptick as also data centres to make up for the likely implosion in commercial.

Rebooting design concepts

“We need to give more value to customers during this time,” he says. Beyond recent initiatives like IKEA homes or, going back further, the tie-up with Disney for 500-odd units in Chennai, Akshaya is now exploring the option of rebooting design concepts for its next round of apartments to fit in with the new normal.

This could include an exclusive space for a resident to clean up before he/she enters a flat. Similarly, newly designed quarantine rooms are being contemplated keeping in mind the reality of more pandemics breaking out in the future.

With work-from-home now emerging the new mantra, Akshaya also plans to incorporate exclusive rooms with an “office-like feel”. The idea is to ensure that individuals and working couples can balance daily living with office-related work.

Published on August 12, 2020

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