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‘The real estate market has improved significantly since the second wave’

Apeejay School Faridabad alumnus Tushar Bhatia, who works as the Regional Head at Azuro, says that although business improved drastically after the second wave, speculation is again rising with the emergence of the new Covid variant

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Tushar Bhatia studied at Apeejay School, Faridabad, from 1992 to 2004. The alumnus, who is now based in Mumbai, is a successful professional in the real estate industry—he is the Regional Head of Azuro, a Square Yards subsidiary—even though he wanted to pursue hotel management initially. In an interview, Bhatia talks about how he continues to live his passion by cooking occasionally, post-pandemic trends in renting homes, tips for MBA, and more. Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your experience at Apeejay School, Faridabad. What lessons and values did you pick up there?

My school days were memorable. I had a good rapport with almost every teacher. I was also very active in sports and played basketball, shot put, etc, at inter-school events too. What I had experienced during my time and later when my sister enrolled in the same school, was that the teachers were very supportive. They not only focused on academic progress but also extra-curricular activities to nurture students’ talents.

After taking up Commerce in school, you pursued Computer Applications for graduation followed by an MBA in Finance? What was the reason behind this shift?

I wanted to pursue hotel management after completing my schooling. Even after clearing the IHM Pusa (Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi) examination, I was unable to pursue it owing to some family emergency. Around that time, the IT industry was booming, and it was recommended I pursue a bachelor’s in computer applications (BCA). My first job after graduation was with V Customer where I handled the backend as a Network Administrator for CISCO Systems. However, my family members had traditionally been in the real estate business. So, I thought, ‘Why not pursue a course which can be helpful for my family business?’ and went on to do an MBA.

Did you ever think of pursuing hotel management later in your career?

Not really. But I love cooking! At home, it is my duty to cook every weekend.

Would you recommend an MBA in Finance?

It is not difficult to crack, I think. For instance, I enrolled in a distance MBA course valid for four years—the program is for two years but as a working professional, I got two more years to complete the course. In fact, I could not take the exams in the first three years and finally managed to complete them all only in the fourth year. MBA is majorly theoretical is what I found out but because of my professional experience, I already had the business know-how, which eventually helped me clear the exams easily.

Any other tips for those who want to pursue an MBA?

Yes, I would suggest that one should ideally pursue an MBA only after having some work experience. You can grow in an organisation even without the degree. But especially in the sales, HR, or real estate industry, MBA is helpful since it teaches you several aspects of leadership as well. It teaches you how to manage a team efficiently, apart from boosting individual growth.

Right from the first lockdown till now, what kind of trends have you noticed in real estate?

During the first wave of the pandemic, a lot of people who were living in rented apartments went back to their homes which hit the real estate industry badly. Things, however, improved significantly following the second wave, with house rents going up.

Has there been a revival in demand for property and do you think it will be able to match pre-pandemic levels?

Right before the pandemic, a lot of investors had already pulled out their money from the market and only end-users were driving it. Post-pandemic, investors are coming back to the market, impacting transactions dramatically.

Currently, are there more people who are willing to rent out their properties?

There are more people but in the past one month, there have again been some speculations due to the new Omicron variant and a possible third wave of the pandemic. That is why the owners are also not sure whether to give out their property on rent as the tenants wait for some clarity from the government. Some transactions have been put on hold because of this. 

 Your message for fellow Apeejayites.

Be an active part of the alumni group. As alumni, we can help out each other in terms of job opportunities and also do things for the school as a community. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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