Ali Raiz , the new CEO of Bahria Town and the son of Malik Raiz is a focused , balanced individual and an innovative entrepreneur. He gives IBEX his insight on the current housing situation in Pakistan and how he wishes to continue the legacy of his father.
Your father is a big Business magnate. This raises a lot of expectations from you as his son and the new CEO of Bahria Town. How do you plan to continue his legacy?
Being a son of such a big business tycoon does add tremendous weight on my shoulders. I have acquired a great deal of experience from my father who has helped me to deliver projects in Lahore and Rawalpindi. I still have a long way to go and to understand my father’s business dynamics. He has always been my ideal and I will always look up to him.
How many hours do you spend at work?
That is a difficult question to answer for a person like me. My philosophy is that if you have an ambition to achieve, then the time you spend even if it is a little more then a normal day’s work ends up being enjoyable. I do not shy away from the commitment of time. Working on my father’s vision of revolutionizing and transforming the housing industry in Pakistan is what keeps me going during long hours of work.
How do you balance your family life with your professional life?
I am married and have a four year old son. Balancing time between family and work is not easy. I wish I could be at both places at once. I try not to think about the work going on in construction sites when I am at home. My wife has always been very supportive of what I do, for which I am eternally grateful to her.
What attributes do you appreciate in others?
I appreciate people who are passionate, aggressive, self-starters, intelligent and who have a clear vision of how, when, where and what to do. I loathe hypocrisy, dishonesty and indolence in others.
Bahria Town is more than a decade old. What have you achieved in the past ten years?
By the grace of Almighty what we started a decade back has matured to be the fastest growing housing society in Asia. We are building a tradition of excellence as we transform a great vision into reality.
It is a matter of great pride for us that our company has created business opportunities for some 1000 local suppliers, creates another 15,000 jobs through supply chain development, paid millions of rupees in taxes and helped support families of more than 10, 000 workers in direct and indirect employment.
Bahria Town being the most progressive developer organization in Pakistanis taking the initiative to reduce the cost of construction by technological innovations and is currently introducing efficient technologies from all across the world on transfer of technology basis.
Bahria Town has become a familiar name all over Pakistan. With Bahria Town, customers are assured of the meticulous planning, innovation and highest standards of construction. Without a question Bahria Town is a recognizable brand.
How does Bahria Town value its customers?
Customer relations are central to our brand vision. We have recently introduced a massive grass root customer service program. Our offices have been redesigned with a customer focused mindset; different counters have been set up for specific services. The procedures at our offices have been simplified to provide maximum convenience to our customers. For instance, we have automated the entire procedure of title transfer which usually takes at least a month in any housing society in Pakistan. A customer walks in our office, takes a token from the token machine, on his turn he shows his original CNIC , his transfer document set is printed on the spot with his details taken from our database. All he needs to do is sign the papers and the transfer is made.
In order to secure our member’s investment we are working in collaboration with the top international firms including TAK Management, Ranhill, Maxcorp and Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises, which are experts in their respective fields.
How does Bahria Town cater to the evolving consumer needs?
Customer needs are the focal point in developing any new product at BahriaTown. We are constantly studying the market to understand the evolving needs of our customers and transform that understanding into products and services using innovative techniques to introduce change. We have a wide range of products that target the eclectic client base. From meeting the customer demands of exquisite luxurious villas like Meadows to projects like Awami Villas that are more suitable for the pragmatic needs of an average individual.
How much of the housing boom has been influenced by low interest rates. What are the other factors which have influenced the housing boom?
There has been too much attention on low rates. Clearly, interest rates have helped the housing industry; however, it is more than that. Fundamentally, there is more demand than supply. There is a shortage of three-quarter of a million houses per year inPakistan.
Do you think that real-estate market will still be able to provide a sound investment?
Real estate is a great investment opportunity for households. I do not think there will be a price-appreciation pop. The returns are still going to be good.
What is the secret behind Bahria Town’s success?
The secret behind Bahria Town’s unprecedented success is its unique development ideology. A project is spread over ten quarterly installments based over 3 years. The company puts huge capital during the first year in facilities so that at the time of competition all allied services of the infrastructure is ready to serve its residents. These services includes mosques, hospitals, school, post office, police station, golf course, commercial areas, food courts, emergency services, entertainment centers and 24/7 maintenance wing. This is to compliment the migration process of the residents and to make their daily life hassle free. The capital is generated through a rich scale of projects spread over different cities which helps the company manage its finances smartly in the interests of its future residents. Bahria Town religiously believes in the concept of “Community first; Profitability follows”.
How do you plan to grow and preserve Bahria Town‘s reputation as the housing revolution in Pakistan?
The downside for many companies begins when their top executives start losing their focus. We are very careful to remain totally focused and goal oriented. We believe that we have an enduring obligation to the people who have made us the phenomenal success that we are today. We are always in the process of innovation and re-engineering our current processes to achieve new higher benchmarks. Our aim is not only to achieve the international standards but to surpass them.
What does the future hold for Bahria Town?
We are all excited about the future and the great opportunities in front of us. Pakistan stands on the juncture of economic emancipation. Bahria Town is now ideally poised for this new phase of dynamic growth by leveraging its established brand image to achieve exponential growth.