An Interview with Kunal Premnarayen, CEO of ICS Group

Kunal Premnarayen is the Group CEO and Board Member of the ICS Group that caters to real estate, hospitality, asset management and financial services. The company has been growing and has a number of projects lined up. It believes in collaborating with global leading players and bringing in the best international practices in the country. ICS Realty, the holding company of the Group collaborated with Old Mutual Property, Bentel Associates, Mantis International of South Africa, and Secure Parking of Australia. At the helm of the real estate sector, Kunal Premnarayen takes strategic decisions enabling the company to attain revenue and strengthen its growth. In his interview with Ajay Kumar of Dainik Bhaskar, Kunal gives an overview of the reality of the Indian realty sector.

He spoke about his father who established the Group and had the acumen to identify businesses that are capable of booming and are viable in nature. He also mentioned they quit the infrastructure sector due to complications owing to the bureaucracy involved in that sector. Hence, they changed their focus to financial services, real estate, and hospitality sectors.

As an expert in the real estate sector, he zeroed in on the problem of car parking management in the country owing to the absence of skilled design and construction. Kunal Premnarayan also mentioned how ICS Group roped in Secure Parking, a leading car parking Company from Australia to collaborate with them and replicate the international best practices in India to resolve the issue. They are experts in the car parking business, have clients like Oberoi Realty, Pheonix High Street, Sahara etc., and currently have more than 45 operational projects.

Explaining about their tie- up with Bentel Associates International, South Africa’s premium retail architecture company, he mentioned that they have been catering to mixed used developments and retail centric assets. Their key clients include Prestige Group, South Consortium, Sudhil Mantri, DB Corp, etc.

He believes that real estate business has huge potential. ICS Group has been focusing on the retail real estate space and commercial real estate. He also believes that this is the best time to invest in office space in places like Delhi and Mumbai. However, high cost of land is a major hindrance with respect to shopping malls.

ICS Realty in conjunction with Old Mutual Property (South Africa), successfully promoted a FDI compliant real estate fund for India. The corpus deployed was Rs.375 Crores  in three retail centric mixed used developments in Coimbatore, Aurangabad, and Nagpur.

He also spoke about the negative impact of the international economic depression in Indian real estate business since foreign investors are cautious about the risk involved in investing. However, opening up of FDI in retail sector will change the scenario in another two years. He believes that we can however be optimistic considering the fact that India is growing at the rate of five percent to six percent, despite the economic turmoil.