In an interview with Mr Mayur Shah, MD of Marathon Realty
How and when did Marathon Group start operations?
Marathon Group’s origin actually dates back to 1922, when our patriarch Zaverbhai Shah played a key role in creating a master plan for 550 acres of the suburb of Mulund along with German architects Crown & Carter. In fact, the gridiron plan that was conceived has resulted in Mulund being one of the best-planned suburbs till date. The company was formally established in 1969 with our headquarters in Mulund, and since then, we haven’t looked back. From our humble beginning, we are leading real estate developers in Mumbai.
How do you see the market has grown for your offerings over the years? Where do you feel is more scope for improvement?
Over the years, we have been increasingly diversifying our portfolio- this enables us to reduce the risk of being confined to any one sector. Our portfolio currently spans across townships, affordable housing, luxury housing, retail, large business spaces and commercial offices. As a group over the last decade, we have seen tremendous growth in the affordable housing sector. First with our Nex series of townships in Mulund and Panvel- Nexzone, Nextown and Nexworld and more recently with our large-scale foray into Slum Rehabilitation development in Bhandup with NeoHomes. In Mumbai, there is a vast supply gap for under 75L homes, and that’s where we feel there is a vast market.
What are the core offerings by the company and new offerings in the pipeline for the future?
We are the first to foray into the extended suburbs, where today, we are witnessing the fastest growth. We are developing townships in Panvel and Dombivli and have delivered a township in Badlapur. At Panvel, we have delivered over 1300+ homes and have a strong customer base of 2600+ customers. At Dombivli, too, we have significant plans over the next decade.
In Bhandup, we’ve launched affordable housing projects throughNeoHomes-modern homes for the urban Mumbaikar. Our vision is to transform Bhandup into a residential hub.
In Mulund, we recently launched a premium commercial tower called Marathon Millennium, which comprises offices from 350 sqft, where commercial development is yet to catch up to the strong residential development.
At Lower Parel, we have our flagship commercial project, Marathon Futurex, which houses some marquee names. We recently completed 2 more floors and are offering a unique product called Sky Offices – Grade A spaces from just 800 sqft.
At Byculla, we have a large luxury joint venture project with Adani Realty called Monte South. The project, designed by Hafeez Contractor, will feature four 60 storeys plus towers on a 12.5-acre land parcel – one of the largest remaining land parcels in South Mumbai.
Over the years, do you feel the company has carved out a strong base for itself in the market?
Our delivery track record, our customer-centricity, and our quality have enabled us to build a strong reputation in the market. We are also pioneers in best construction practices.
In 1972, Marathon Group was the first developer to build a high rise with an elevator in Mulund – Poonam. Futurexin Lower Parel was at the time of launch the tallest commercial tower. We built the first residential tower with a helipad in Mumbai. We were the first to use the revolutionary aluminium formwork technology at Marathon Era in Lower Parel. We were amongst the first real estate developer to deploy a whatsapp chatbot and virtual reality experiences for our customers.
Some of the key highlights of our journey-
70’s -90’s– The company has played a vital role in shaping Mulund skyline -Poonam, built-in 1972, was the first building with an elevator in Mulund. Marathon Antariksh was the first high rise in Mulund.
90’s- 00’s– We witnessed exponential growth by venturing into new locations like Lower Parel and Panvel and new categories like townships and affordable housing. We launched affordable housing with the award-winning Marathon Nagari township at Badlapur. We developed our award-winning mixed-use campus at Lower Parel with Marathon Era (residential) and Innova and Icon (commercial). Our flagship commercial project, Marathon Futurex at Lower Parel, opened in 2010. Futurex is a landmark in the city & houses some of the finest international & national brands. We recognised the superb potential of Panvel and launched our first premium township project Marathon Nexzone. It was also the first project in Mumbai to offer e-registration of property.
10’s- Present– We launched two more large township projects at Dombivli. Launched Monte South at Byculla, a joint venture with Adani Realty – one of the most luxurious projects in South Mumbai. We ventured into the education space with the revolutionary NEXT School at Mulund W. NEXT is India’s 1st Big Picture Learning school. We launched NeoHomes – a new generation of urban homes at Bhandup W, that offers the average Mumbaikar the chance to own a home in the city. We have an employee strength of more than 1000.
Where do you see your company 5 years from now?
We aim to expand aggressively in the next 5 years, primarily by focusing on our existing massive land bank at Panvel, Dombivli, Bhandup and Thane. We have plans to bring in 10000+ homes in the affordable segment and 1500+ homes in the luxury segment, as well as 10lac sqft+ of commercial spaces over the next few years. Our vision is to continue shaping the city skyline.