Close this search box.

Nurullah Veljee The Game Changer of Realty Industry in Goa

The best investment option in the world is the investment in real estate. This fact was realized by Nurallah Kamruddin Veljee in early 90s
Estimated Reading Time
Nurullah Veljee
Share Button

The best investment option in the world is the investment in real estate. This fact was realized by Nurallah Kamruddin Veljee in early 90s when Goa was just getting ready to face the concrete development. He is one of the pioneers of realty business in Goa. It is now almost four decades that Veljee has been working consistently in this business, going through the roller coaster ride and is now back in full form with his “Second Inning”. Here is the insight into the journey of Goa’s Realty Game Changer “Nurullah Veljee”.

I have seen Mr. Veljee right from the time when he had established his first office in early 90s at the prime location in Panaji near the “Goa’s Portuguese Colony” Fontainhas. Those days Goa was hardly developed. With few buildings around, small roads and scanty traffic was the scenario then, not much business used to move around like the way it is now. People of Goa were not aware of the tsunami of development which was about to take its toll on this beautiful tiny state just in the coming decades. Everything was peaceful and lot of harmony prevailed around then.

According to my knowledge not many real estate agents were in the fray then. But as you say only the one who grabs the opportunity first wins at the end. Mr. Veljee had realized this long back and took his first step towards it by entering into the market of Real Estate business. “We had a small piece of land around 300 SQ mt in the center of capital city near market area where my family had a small accommodation facility for business travelers in the name of Kismat Lodge. At that time Panaji city was just getting ready to face the upcoming developments. My family sensed this transformation and decided to develop the property on our existing lodge into “Kismat Hotel,” narrated Mr. Veljee.

According to Mr. Veljee this was the time he had his first brush with the Real Estate business in Goa. “I started working on this project. We got the plans drawn by Ramesh Kamat and I got it approved from PDA. The next step was the approval from Panaji Municipal Corporation and after that the search of developer since we had no funds to transform our ideas into the reality. There was series of rounds we had to go through this fundraising process until we found our developer “Premier Builder” whose offer was very lucrative and we took it. After completing all the procedure I had to get all my family members involved into this and then the agreement was signed with the developer and rest is the history,” said Mr. Veljee.

Looking at the narration you may feel that the journey to towards the success was very easy for Mr. Veljee and anybody could have done it in his place. But that is the truth, since the story does not ends here. According to Mr. Veljee the work stopped within no time immediately after its commencement due to unforeseen legal hassles, “in the six months time we had to move to almost three courts but at the end we came out as winner with little restrictions laid down by the courts. We had to restrict ourselves in the development. This experience gave me lot of courage in my future dealings in the property business,” said Mr. Veljee.

The A team of Space Deal
The A team of Space Deal

According to Mr. Veljee, he is a school dropout. “My education is just 4th standard, but my real school is my work which taught me a lot from the beginning. I learned a lot in those 6 months of litigation. It was very difficult time I had to go through then. There were no takers for the shops since the property was under litigation and court put the stay on the project. I had to take up the marketing of the shops which were given to the Premier Builders as a part of the deal. Finally I managed to sell two shops and from those funds we completed the project,” Said Veljee. When he was narrating me this incident I felt the whole experience he went through.

According to Mr. Veljee, his first experience led to teach him a lot. He realized and learned how to get into and get out of the litigation. That also made him a good sales man as he managed to sell those two shops while the project was under litigation. That experience made him rich to some extent and he learned how to make money from this business. “This project developed my interest in property business. Subsequently I did few more projects with Premier Builder in the Joint venture. With the money I earned I purchased my first car. (Let me tell you in those days owning a car was the matter of pride) I had no office then, so I decided to set up my office in my car,” narrated Mr. Veljee.

He set up his real estate business office in his car. “The car was my office till in 1986 when my dad gave me an office which is situated at Fontainhas in Panaji and on 15th January 1987 I started my new journey into the real estate industry from my own office,” Veljee said.

After starting the business from his office at Panaji, Mr. Veljee decided to bring in the bigger players into Goa’s developing real estate industry and the first client he brought into Goa was Mumbai’s famous “Rizvi Builders”. The entry of Rizvi Builders into the Goa market brought the sense of insecurity amongst the local developers. “We finalized quite a few properties in very short span of time and Rizvi developed three major projects in the city, Rizvi Chambers, Rizvi Sadan and Rizvi Towers. But somehow due to the scenario created by the local builders Rizvi slowly started losing their interest into the business and they did not go ahead with any more projects in the state,” explained Mr. Veljee. According to Mr. Veljee, they (Rizvi) started selling all the plots they had acquired in Goa. “They had no interest to develop any more properties in Goa. Initially they had a plan to start the hotels in Goa but it never went through,” Said Mr. Veljee.

As the business started developing Mr. Veljee started investing into many small and big properties this way he managed to acquire a very well known property situated on the 18th June road known as “Gulf Super Market” and converted that into small shopping arcade. But due to low demand from the takers he finally had to lease out the whole thing to single company. “Before acquiring the Gulf Super Market property I had acquired another smaller property on 18th June road known as “Ding Dong”. I had a plan to start the mini supermarket in that property but ultimately I decided to rent it out and I gave all 16 shops to single company “BATA”.

The Celebration at Space Deal
The Celebration at Space Deal

According to my knowledge Mr. Veljee was always seems to find him more attracted towards the properties which are under litigations and since this time I had an opportunity I managed to ask him this question to which he replied saying “Yes, your information is correct. I had lot of deals in this segment. Even my association with Rizvi culminated into lots of dealings of disputed properties in Goa. The primary reason behind this was the need of fewer investments in such properties and one could start with just small money. While the clear titled properties have to be settled by paying the entire amount upfront. So my style was to invest small amount into the litigated properties and slowly get it cleared.”

Normally playing the game in litigated property is always the matter of risk which no one is ready to take even now. Why to lose even the small amount of money but Mr. Veljee has altogether different view on this. According to him, he always believed in being reasonable “We would always pay the tenants what they deserve and that always lead to getting the matter settled with them,” he quoted.

When I ask Mr. Veljee if he had any visible challenge from the competitors he said “If that was as easy as it seems then everybody would have jumped into it. Nobody wants to take a risk. Let me put it to you this way, there are properties which I had negotiated in 1987 and 90 are still in market and I am still negotiating with those properties while the clear titled properties have been already sold out long back.” This shows the consistency of Mr. Veljee into this business.

According to Mr. Veljee, those who wait for long they realize that the wait was not worth in many cases. “In the situation of ongoing market price of the properties in Goa the landlords were under impression that they will earn more but it is not that way. You get rates only when the property is clear and marketable but when there are obstructions they do not get market price. According to me many of them have realized today that it is better to settle for the reasonable price then waiting forever,” said Mr. Veljee.

Mr. Nurullah Veljee started his so-called second inning in 2015 with the big bang which actually took this entire industry of real estate by surprise. Everybody started wondering what Mr. Veljee is up to. According to Mr. Veljee he has his own reasons for doing this. “It is very simple. Everybody wants the piece of Goa. Buyers are coming in and they seem not getting the right link and they go away. According to me when a buyer comes in they have made up their mind to buy but since they do not get right link they get spooked,” explained Mr. Veljee.

Today entire real estate industry stakeholders in the state feels that there is a recession in the market but according to Mr. Veljee, there is no recession at all. “As far as the real estate in Goa is concerned there is no recession,” Says Veljee. “This week I am doing the business of 22 Crore and I am expecting to close the deal by end of this week itself,” he said with full confidence flashing in his eyes.

When I asked him as how he is quoting that there is no recession despite of the facts that there are so many properties remaining stagnant in the Goa market he said, “That is due to the price they expecting. The deal which I am closing of one property in south Goa the landlords have been very reasonable and hence my investors are ready to put in the money. As per our business principle we always keep our margins very low and we never keep the markups (hike in actual price) and this lead to develop the confidence of our clients into us. We close the deal on making sure that builder gets his price and buyer gets his value for the money.”

The Complete Team of Space Deal
The Complete Team of Space Deal

Mr. Veljee has a big plans lined up in front of him to make Goa’s real estate industry boom. He his having the plans in which he wants to develop the agricultural lands for the purpose of only cultivation and not for building the concrete jungle. This may surprise you but Mr. Veljee has a very valid answer to this too. According to him, “Real estate is my business and I cannot close down my shop. I am here to sell and I will. But I also have love for Goa. I want to retain its greenery at least for some more years. Hence whatever experience I have gained here I want to share that with the farmers so that the lands which are lying idle the farmers should get some returns out of it by leasing them to us. I am working on the formula, which I will reveal soon in front of media. According to that formula, the farmers will not lose their land like they had in the past and will still be in position to earn some money out of it. I am not sure I am going to succeed, but at least I will move forward. I am also going to approach to the government with all these ideas and I am going to take their support.”

According to Mr. Veljee, He does not want the landlords to rush after the changing of zone. He has the valid reasons and four decades of experience and based on that he feels that there is no point in turning the Goa into the concrete jungle. “It is quite possible that you have financial difficulties but that everyone has. I am here to show you the way to come out from that trap. I want people to learn from their mistakes. The land in Porvorim was sold at Rs. 350 – 400 just two decades back but the same is costing now Rs. 10 thousand. I am trying to tell the landlords to not to hurry and sell their lands instead develop them into farming. If they come to me I will surely guide them.”

Mr. Veljee is working on very scale at the moment. According to his new business model he is opening the chain of property Hubs all over the Goa which will be the franchise of Space Deal having the similar standard of working with the professional touch. “The property hubs are not owned by us. People who are interested setting up of a property hub needs to pay us the franchise deposit of 15 Lakh rupees and the yearly fee of Rs. 1,25,000. Once the franchise is finalized they need to design the office as per the standards maintained in the corporate office. At present we have appointed two franchises Margao and Vasco while there are nine more are yet to setup. Besides Goa we will also have the franchisees set up in Mumbai and Calcutta very soon,” said Mr. Veljee.

According to Mr. Veljee, his business model is based on the real estate businesses which run abroad. “This is how they work abroad and I am following the similar business model here. This is the model even if I do not run tomorrow it will continue as its self-sustainable,” said Mr. Veljee. There is another concept which Mr. Veljee is working on at the moment and it is called “Ambassador Concept”. “I conceptualized this idea solely keeping in the mind small time brokers. I felt that after we started this big office with the big bang the small timers have panicked. But I am not the one who would crush anybody. Since we are growing we also want them to grow with us. According to our Ambassador model the small time brokers will be our sub-agents. They will be able access all our stores as well as our corporate office. Today we have more than one thousand properties in Goa with us. While the small timers have just few properties if they join the hands with us the data will be shared with them enabling them to develop some more business. According to Mr. Veljee all his offices are connected with the server and sharing of data is much easier.

When I spoke to Mr. Veljee about his aggressive marketing and advertising policy he said that “I had two options in front of me. First either wait for five years or spend now and do the business in next five years and that is what I did, instead of waiting for 5 years I did the aggressive publicity in just 6 months and have developed the branding of Space Deal in Goa,” said Mr. Veljee.

space deal

When I asked Mr. veljee if he wants to give any message across to the people who are associated with these property businesses in Goa he said, “Yes, I want to tell everyone that come and join the hands with us. We are growing and you can also grow with us.”

According to Mr. Veljee, he is doing his business with complete transparency. “I do not entertain black money at all. All our brokerages come in a form of crossed cheques in the name of the company. Here every nail is accounted for,” he said with full confidence.

One more hurdle which Mr. Veljee is facing at the moment is the behavior of the sellers. “The moment they hear our name their price goes up. They start thinking that space deal buyers are very rich and have lot of money to spend. According to me, the rich man does not become rich unless he is intelligent. I want the people to be reasonable and take sensible decisions. We close the 90% of sales due to our transparency,” he said.

According to Mr. Veljee making money is not his primary motive here. “Money I have always made, what gives me satisfaction is the faith that our client maintains on us. That is my biggest achievement. In my last six months in this office only 1 cheque of mine had gone back that too because my credit came in about 15 min late. From the time I entered this office my financial things are moving reasonable. I have invested all my savings into this business. and I am not sorry for that at all since I know that I am here to do much bigger business then anybody in this industry would ever dreamt of,” said Mr. Veljee.

According to Mr. Veljee, when he thought of starting this project he approached his very close friend for last 35 years with the offer of 50% stake into the company for the investment of just Rs. 50 Lakh which obviously his friend turned down and today according to Mr. Veljee his company’s net worth is 10 crore. According to him this is the real achievement. Mr. Veljee is the true game changer in the realty industry of Goa.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Also Read