The global consultancy’s Centre of Expertise in Bengaluru enables clients tosurvey properties virtually. By M.A. Siraj

Those looking for a home in Bengaluru now have reason to cheer. Global real estate and investment management company JLL’s recently-launched Global Centre of Expertise (CoE) is where you need to head for technology, data and information management. Spread over 20,000 sq. ft. at Prestige Trade Towers, the CoE brings together state-of-the-art facility focused on harnessing emerging technologies for developing new solutions for its clients around the world. With over 170 employees and technology experts, it will provide a single data, engineering and support platform to its clients globally.

The CoE marks a significant milestone in the global major’s digital transformation as it would help manage all its products and services remotely and enable clients to have virtual reality experience and make smart decisions without travelling to the location. It will also serve as a liquid lab for architects to build and test advanced digital products to support customers.

Speaking at the launch, Anthony Couse, CEO, JLL in Asia Pacific said that the centre assumes significance as countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea account for a huge chunk of investment which is likely to be of the order of $20 trillion by 2020. He said as of now the value of the global commercial realty is assessed at $53 trillion. With movement of people to urban areas gathering pace, more focus would be needed on convergence of Proptech (Property + Technology) and Fintech (Finance + Technology).

Growing investments

Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head of JLL in India, said availability and cost of talent as well as the real estate, social and physical infrastructure were among the factors that led to the choice of Bengaluru. According to him, of the 180 start-ups in Proptech, 78 were from India which received $1 billion of investments in the last five years (2012-17). Globally, Proptech has attracted an investment of $7 billion.

George Thomas, Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology, Data & Information Management in Asia Pacific, said Proptech has gained pace since 2013 in the wake of emergence of Fintech, entry of drones, growing need for smart spaces, expansion of online marketplace and automation-linked productivity.

Affordable housing

Nair hopes that with growing digitisation, the Indian realty market will overcome the challenge of transparency. He foresees further momentum in the affordable housing sector which he said had registered 40% more sales during January-September 2018 in comparison with the corresponding period during 2017. Most sales were recorded in the Rs. 50 lakh-and-less segment. He said PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana), tax breaks for developers and RERA had positively impacted sales. With an annual demand of 10 million units, India offers limitless potential for residential real estate. He pointed out that certain sectors such as co-working spaces were registering a fast rise as nearly 350 players have come into the sector since 2013.

A humanoid robot welcomes visitors at the centre which also has a Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE). It enables clients to experience the virtual environment of a property, both at the geographical location as well as internal, to visualise the potential space, its utilisation and surroundings. Sparing the clients the hassles of travelling to remote locations, it would expedite decision-making from afar.

The CoE will serve as a liquid lab for architects to build and test advanced digital products to support customers.

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