Building Blocks Of Success
Hiranandani is a name synonymous with beautiful homes. Homes
that combine style with comfort. An architect of his own dreams, Niranjan
Hiranandani, head of Hiranandani Constructions, chats with Reema Sisodia
about his passion for building communities.
man is on the move, quite literally too. As I make my way to meet Niranjan Hiranandani,
managing director of Hiranandani Constructions Private Limited, I am told that
he is on his customary morning round when he meets his staff - right from the
shop floor level to the higher executives.
His secretary requests me to wait in his chamber for a few minutes and sure
enough he is with me in a few moments. He arrived actively in conversation with
one of his project heads as he headed towards his well-designed office, not
forgetting however to acknowledge my presence and apologise for the delay.
I overheard the dialogue; he was speaking firmly but clearly about the importance
of being a performer and a go-getter, the responsibility that comes with authority
and the necessity of being humble while being assertive. This was not, of course,
orchestrated because there was no need to and the proceeding interview proved
So even before I had started questioning him, I had already figured some intrinsic
aspects about him - he was a firm believer in delegation of work which led to
staff empowerment. He has definitely mastered the art of getting things done.
Story So Far
Hiranandani is the son of Padmabhushan Dr L H Hiranandani, an icon in the field
of medicine. With a family background where foundations are based on education
and professional specialisation, it is surprising to find the name Hiranandani
achieving milestones in real estates.
He entered the business of construction along with his younger brother Surendra
Hiranandani and the blessings and vision of his father. This was in the early
1980s, at a time when words like real estate, construction
and 'builders' was a taboo. Hiranandani says, The early years were tough
indeed, especially since our business was not regarded or respected the way
it is today. A builder was considered like an underworld don and educated professionals
would rarely go that way. The journey was hard but what was harder was the attempt
to bring in the respect and professionalism in the business of real estate;
to convert a black industry into white.
Today, the Hiranandani Group is one of India's leading developers of mixed-use
communities that has diversified into entertainment, call centres, hospitality,
retail and healthcare. The company has over 3,000 acres under development for
mixed-use and employs 6,000 workers including 1,000 engineers. In addition,
the group is also responsible for employing a further 3,000 people in its hospitals,
retail outlets, hotels and entertainment complexes. The person at the helm of
these affairs is of course Niranjan Hiranandani who has his fingers right on
the pulse of the industry.
Niranjan Hiranandani has made a name for himself by creating two top- of-the-line
housing projects - the Hiranandani Gardens in the suburb of Powai in Mumbai
and the Hiranandani Estate at Thane. He has also taken active interest in championing
the cause of the construction industry and attempting to bring about transparency
and professionalism in the operations of the industry. He is also the vice president
of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, a leading industry body that is
taking the lead to bring about changes in the industry.
They were the first to enter Powai - then a rocky quarry land with barren hills
and devoid of any infrastructure - and convert it into what is today known as
the Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
two piles of books that is blocking our view, he tells me, Today, if you
are a performer the world is in your pocket.
A head boy of his school, Campion in Mumbai, this qualified CA learned his skills
on the way. But he gives all the credit for the person he is today to his father.
"My dad is my greatest critique and my inspiration. Humility, equality,
secularism and the art of people relationships is what I have learned from him.
We still continue to have our father-son talk whenever I am at home."
On the other side of spectrum are his two children who are settled in two different
ends of the globe. "My son is in Dubai busy with our tallest international
residential project while my daughter looks after her company Zenta in Philadelphia,"
he adds proudly.
Travel is therefore a natural offshoot, both for business
and pleasure. He enjoys a stopover at London to catch up with friends or taking
time off to drop in to the Swiss Alps and thinks New York is a lot of fun. But
his US visits now are concentrated mainly to Philadelphia. I even cherish
a quiet getaway to our very old Mahabaleshwar with my family. Holidays for me
is only about relaxing and taking it easy.
Ask him which destination he hasn't visited but would love to go and he says,
"In India, I would love to visit the North East and Ranthambore. Internationally,
it would have to be Australia and New Zealand."
Quirks And Some Such
One thing that he is yet to deal with and which gets him a little stressed is
his uncanny habit of losing things while travelling. He says, "This is
one habit I just can't overcome. I once left my passport in the hotel room and
That's not all; he has experienced situations that can only be termed as a business
traveller's nightmare. "My luggage got exchanged with someone else's that
had lingerie in it. Luckily, my wife was present when I opened it and saved
me from the embarrassment," he exclaims turning a slight shade of red.
While he is an ardent traveller all the way, he detests anything that interferes
with his schedule like his diet and exercise. "It is tough to be disciplined
while travelling and I tend to pack in too much in the time I have when I'm
away," he confesses adding, "But I do try and walk around in the area
I am whenever possible while travelling. I believe that it is the best way to
understand the culture and peculiarity of a place."
He is also a regular visitor at Gold's Gym. He reveals, "I was quite fat
about a year ago. But I managed to knock off nine kilos in a year all thanks
to the gym and my protein diet designed by my daughter."
Scheduled to go on a cruise to Laskwadweep a few days after this interview,
Hiranandani is probably back after stumbling over an idea of building a residential
tower in the middle of the sea - because real estate is the best investment
and even if the prices fall, you can still live in it and give it to your children.