The values of transparency, accountability, honesty and a progressive approach have made PS Group one of the most trustworthy names in the real estate sector. Headquartered in Kolkata, the realty group’s first-generation founders Surendra Kumar Dugar and Pradip Kumar Chopra, give us an overview of its inception, planning and policies, and its gen-next takes us through its projects, future prospects and innovations.
Bespoke condominiums, duplexes, pool villas, walkways, sprawling terraces, luxury clubs and the best world-class amenities that a home buyer can think of are all available under one roof in Kolkata.
Welcome to the world of PS Group, the leading real estate company that perfectly balances urban convenience and the luxury of nature. Launched in 1985 with the vision “to be the most trusted name in real estate globally”, the group has been developing landmark buildings and expansive residential parks to ensure fulfilment to its residents. With its rich heritage, excellent reputation and impressive clientele, PS has been fulfilling the dreams of its customers for three decades now.
The drive to ‘elevate lifestyles and living experiences’ combined with their core values, qualitatively superior construction and world-class developments, led PS to craft a niche and build a loyal customer base of more than 15,000 happy home buyers. A leading company in Kolkata with a market share of approximately 14% for cumulative launches between 2015 and 2023 by established developers. The company has witnessed a CAGR of more than 40% during the 2019-2022 period in the topline segment.
The inception of PS
Surendra Kumar Dugar and Pradip Kumar Chopra, looking to make it big in the real estate industry. Thirty years back, they started with the single vision: of building homes that foster good life without compromising on quality. They saw a great opportunity in real estate and joined hands as partners to kickstart their dream. This marked the birth of PS Group—where P stands for Pradip and S for Surendra. Surendra Kumar Dugar, first generation Managing Director, has the fondest memory of many afternoons spent running around in his ancestral house in Rajasthan. During his growing up years, he was fascinated by the architectural wonders that were uniquely intrinsic to Rajasthan. “It all started at the age of 20 when I took over my family business after my father’s demise. Less charmed by it, I decided to pursue my dream of creating magnificent homes,” begins Surendra Kumar Dugar. From a small plot of litigated land owned by him, the duo explored the real estate sector in Kolkata. Their journey continued with scouting around for land, collaborating with landowners, and developing and delivering best-in-class homes.
“There has been a real-estate boom in the last 15 years. People look for holistic projects which can offer a plethora of amenities under one roof and at affordable cost. Realising this need of the future, we grabbed this opportunity 15 years back and started taking on expansive projects which offered best living experiences at justified prices. Our realisation was ahead of its time. Our vision has taken shape and people are realising that living in one single complex offers better security and a cosmopolitan crowd with a wholesome life,” insists Surendra Kumar Dugar. Today, PS is an eminent name in the industry with more than 140 projects and over 100 joint ventures. The Group is also ISO certified with CARE rating A.
Getting their bearings right
The first property under the PS banner on Chakraberia Road in Kolkata was delivered on time with the finest finish and make. “We came in at the right place at the right time. One of the most decisive things we established, with the development of our first property, was trust. We provided residents with a community hall, quality mosaic flooring and superior fittings, and delivered homes six months ahead of schedule. This was unusual in the Calcutta of the mid ’80s where builders had a dubious reputation of delivering years behind schedule,” he quips. Their second property was sold out soon and there were talks among landowners about two young men providing an excellent proposition, a higher financial return and no disagreements or litigation. “In nearly four decades, the group has never gone to court against any of its joint venture partners,” he adds with pride.
By mid ’90s, PS had established a reputation of delivering properties better than what was promised. Another thing that brought prospective buyers to them was their friendliness. Unlike hardcore businessmen seeking to fleece customers, the duo was always available to discuss sales, bookings and philosophy with customers.
Following customer-first culture
PS Group’s customer-first culture stems from its sense of commitment to be fair to its customers. Pradip Kumar Chopra, Chairman Emeritus, states, “There are various opportunities for companies to save money while compromising on longterm construction quality which can go unmonitored. Pre-empting the possibility, PS has created a culture supported by a system where standards cannot be compromised and attempts to do so can be caught immediately. For instance, though the company buys branded products, we check every incoming batch at the laboratory for quality.” PS properties are fatigue-proof and appear younger hence the owners have to pay lower maintenance costs.
The Group’s main focus is to introduce innovative items and exceed customer expectation. It believes in understanding the customers and evolving to meet their needs. They do frequent data analysis of the micromarkets in terms of products, facilities, size and strategies on project pricing before launching any project. PS distinguishes itself by implementing proper product mix, innovative designs, timely project delivery and valuing buyer empathy. “As long as the PS logo is affixed on the property, we hold ourselves morally responsible. At Panache, a 5-acre property in Salt Lake, we provided 30 per cent more than what had been promised to our customers. By delivering beyond what we promise, we forge relationships for life,” elaborates Pradip Kumar Chopra.
New innovations & perspectives
PS Group’s second-generation entrepreneurs Saurav Dugar, Gaurav Dugar (sons of Surendra Kumar Dugar), Prashant Chopra (son of Pradip Kumar Chopra), Ravi Dugar (son of Santosh Kumar Dugar) and Arihant Sancheti (son of Arun Sancheti) joined the business with innovative thinking and newer perspectives, thus steering the expansion and growth of the company. “PS was already a reputed name in the industry when we came in. This implied that we had to shoulder a greater responsibility—that of imbibing the values that had led to the trust garnered in the market and maintaining our leadership in the real estate category,” states the present Chairman Prashant Chopra. The new generation relied on the business model established by the founders and value added by organising practices, which was the need of the hour for a growing company. “We have an asset light model where projects are executed through Joint Development Agreement, outsourcing construction activities without compromising quality via strict standards maintained by inhouse procurement and quality control departments. This results in ROCE (return on capital employed) better than leading real estate players,” he adds.
The group is open to adopting cuttingedge innovations in its operations and believes in experimenting to reach newer heights. Optimising processes and increasing efficiency via System Formwork, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), ERP systems, cloud-based software, building information modelling, advanced CRM software and increased mechanisation are aiding the expansion of business. “There are many firsts when it comes to embracing technology at PS. Be it being the first to use aluminium formwork in construction or implementing advanced project management software to monitor progress, PS has always aimed at being future ready,” states Director Ravi Dugar. Technological progress has resulted in significant advances in the functions of procurement and selling. Increased virtual meets, immersive walkthroughs, virtual tours of apartments and Chatbot integrations are emerging as important tools for marketing and sales and redefining buyers’ experience. Building management systems with intelligent data analysis is changing the way one looks at managing a property, streamlining activities and reducing operating cost.
Staying ahead of the curve
Driven by a team of young millennials who are guided by their visionary predecessors, PS Group forms an integral part of an ecosystem where engineers, architects, designers, landscapists and channel partners contribute to provide the best. “Ever since my association with the PS Group, the one thing that has remained constant is adhering to best practices and keeping to commitments. This has enabled the company to become a trusted name for home buyers. Without compromising on technology and expertise, we ensure that the user gets the best of locations, luxuries, comfort, well-being, safety, specifications and fair pricing. The PS culture is hands-on, site-driven and mutually engaged, and its driving force is timely completion and delivery. Everything is in the open here; the documentation is filed by site team, unresolved issues stand out immediately, the site becomes the hub of decisionmaking, probable construction delays are followed up by accelerated working and everyone is on the same page,” states Arun Sancheti, Director at PS Group.
PS has many firsts that are trendsetting in the category. It is the first organised real estate company in Kolkata to have made asset-light joint ventures intrinsic to its business; the first to have invested in cutting-edge technologies such as System Formwork and Building Information Modeling. It has also created an ecosystem of trustworthy partners that help enhance organisational stability.
Elevating living experiences
Currently, PS has many key luxury projects at its helm—The Reserve is coveted as Kolkata’s most luxurious condominiums; Aurus is the city’s first double height simplex homes; and Navyom boasts of the largest landscaping in all of Alipore and New Alipore. “At the heart of all our developments lies innovation. Be it Jiva Homes, the first biophilic living residential development in Kolkata; or One10, a project designed to provide holistic growth for children; or Anassa, the only project in the city that has a sky lounge at 418 ft above sea level. Every development aims to foster living experiences at par with global benchmarks at premium locations in the city. Our latest launch Vaanya is our green dream come true. Deeply inspired by forest dwelling, we were excited to offer it to Kolkata. It is a 9-acre zero pollution residential project which would amplify wellbeing and holistic living. We have delivered 4.8 million sq ft residences post-pandemic and have added 3,826 happy buyers to the PS family. We are planning to deliver more than 2.8 million sq ft in this financial year and gearing up to launch another 10 million sq ft in the near future. In the next decade, we are planning to move horizontally and expand vertically, with some of the blueprints being developing international standard old-age homes and focusing on co-living spaces,” informs the present Managing Director Gaurav Dugar.
Sustainability is at the forefront of conceptualisation, leading the group to conceive landscaping as biodiversity hubs instead of planning mere gardens and open spaces. “We want to be known as an organisation that stands by the Earth. To make real estate a more responsible asset class, we became a founding member of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in 2015 that encourages green practices in real estate. Going forward, our focus will be on environment and sustainability. All of our construction processes are environmentally responsible, as reflected in our 4R’s: reusing, reducing, renewables, and recycling across construction sites. Sustainable raw materials, modern waste management technologies, rainwater harvesting, energy conservation and tools and techniques that minimise the carbon footprint, are standard, across all projects.” voices Arihant Sancheti.
Paving the path to success
Looking back at success story of PS Group, Surendra Kumar Dugar insists that his inspiration comes from Rajasthan. “I was born and brought up in Kolkata, but our association with our native place was much celebrated through our regular visits. I have discovered important life lessons in mundane daily routines there. Thriving amidst adversities and making the most of limited resources are the learnings that have stayed with me. I have always ensured that our heritage is embraced within the family.”
With a combination of conventional wisdom and modern tactics, PS has earned the reputation of being a successful real estate player in the industry. “Wisdom lies in knowing where the perfect balance is and being able to take risks while acknowledging the outcome. There are many firsts that we have delivered at PS but a good quality home and a better lifestyle have always been at the core of our efforts,” he adds in his closing statement.