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The desire within: Vijay Wadhwa

Chair Emeritus of The Wadhwa Group Vijay Wadhwa has always looked beyond economics to a greater vision in constructing distinctive buildings. Boasting half a century of success in business, he is obviously onto something.

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The world resurrecting from the pandemic of coronavirus has taught us the value of ‘healthy living’. Visionary developer Vijay Wadhwa, Chair Emeritus and Mentor at Mumbai’s The Wadhwa Group, has followed this principle of ‘healthy living’ for 50-odd years, beginning when he embarked on his mission to design and construct dream homes for millions in India’s financial capital.

Amid the current global health crisis where the modern trend of building compact homes seems to have just created infection hotspots and ill-immune communities across India and South-East Asia, Vijay’s philosophy of designing homes for ‘healthy living’, where he brings nature inside every house he builds, could be one way to support a healthy and sustainable future.

"We must build healthy homes to build immunities and better communities so that we can combat any such calamity in the future," Vijay insists sincerely.

It is Vijay’s prolific and meticulous penchant to a design philosophy inspired by Mother Nature, called VENTILIT, that has allowed The Wadhwa Group to successfully fill its 45 million square feet of residential, commercial premises and townships with abundant sunlight and fresh air.

Vijay carries historic, spiritual and holistic views to incorporate nature into his designs and he is focused on these ‘healthy living’ projects where he gets to perfectly blend modern-day architecture with Vastu Shastra, an ancient Indian architectural science, and Feng Shui, again an age-old practice that balances the human living environment with nature.

Every building constructed by The Wadhwa Group is a landmark planned with passion. The customer-centric design experience is the core value of The Wadhwa Group with Vijay believing in not only providing houses, but a good environment to lead a healthy life.

"We match the designs to the users’ aspirations," he explains. "Every customer gets huge windows, enough sunlight, adequate height and larger spaces – giving them long-lasting natural nourishment. We follow an ‘inside out’ approach for designing well-ventilated spaces with appropriate amenities. Be it our sea-front luxurious property, 25 South in South Mumbai’s bustling Prabhadevi, our affordable housing project in Panvel near Mumbai, or our mid-housing segment projects in Ghatkopar and Mulund of suburban Mumbai, we follow the same philosophy,"

Vijay points out. Vijay views his role as being a mentor. He guides the company through inspiration, advice and experience, and pushes his people to think outside the square.

With an eye to detailing, he carefully studies not only the viability of projects, but also the environmental aspects such as soil samples of the land, sunlight, water tables, air quality, wind testing and weather patterns.

"Living spaces play a crucial role in everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing. Hence, giving a healthy lifestyle to every customer is my social responsibility," he says.

He adds that more than 20,000 satisfied customers and over 150 multinational companies who have been corporate tenants can vouch this fact for The Wadhwa Group. The Wadhwa Group’s diversified project portfolio is a result of longstanding partnerships with an eminent group of consultants.

They are not only design architects, but also structural, M&E and landscape consultants, as well as suppliers and contractors.

Vijay says they all adhere to the Group’s core values to ensure quality and timely delivery of projects every time.

"Each project is different. We have arrangements with the finest material suppliers from all across the globe for our high-end, as well as affordable, housing projects. For instance, for our seafront, luxurious development in Mumbai, Schüco, a world leader in premium aluminum systems from Germany, is supplying us the cladding to cope with Mumbai’s weather – the harsh sun and the monsoons.

We are also procuring electrical equipment from Schneider, Germany, plumbing systems from Switzerland and elevators from Mitsubishi," says Vijay.

Vijay does not believe in making glass envelopes and unsafe traps in the buildings he constructs. Instead he ensures they are fireproof, safe for living and energy-efficient too.

He is known for working closely with his architects, and he brings the best of innovative and tech-led designs out of them for every project he plans.

What I created yesterday, does not satisfy me today.

The Capital, The Wadhwa Group’s award–winning super-structure in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla complex is an example of Vijay’s philosophy to leverage the best of architectural design, material and technology.

He is also known for successfully inking joint ventures and he has formed some remarkable partnerships. In 2018, Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group joined hands with The Wadhwa Group to construct an integrated township project, The Wadhwa Wise City, in Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) at Panvel, near Mumbai.

Last year, he also entered into a joint development agreement to redevelop one of Mumbai’s oldest single-screen movie theatres, Chandan Cinema, in the suburban and upmarket Juhu.

This is also where The Wadhwa Group is planning to develop a retail and commercial complex. It is this reputation that The Wadhwa Group has as a brand that enables its projects to be sold even before building has commenced.

Further, Vijay notes that its professionalism and status as the ‘Most Preferred Developer’ has brought many foreign funds and investors on side. Japanese institutional investor Marubeni Corporation recently announced it would invest INR3 billion (US$40 million) into The Wadhwa Group’s upcoming second phase of its residential project Atmosphere O2 in Mulund.

Vijay still views the next project as the company’s best and he has been constantly moving forward without any compromises. His legacy is now being carried forward by the next generation leader, Navin Makhija, who is spearheading the Group’s operations as Managing Director.

"I am the most dissatisfied person," Vijay exclaims. "What I created yesterday, does not satisfy me today. My job for the company is only detailing," he adds. A lifetime of achievement makes a solid foundation for The Wadhwa Group’s future.

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