10 December 2019

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Towering Heights

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Mr Suresh, CEO of Arun Excello, foundations Private Limited,  is the  indomitable combination of  humility , integrity, dynamism and excellence. He  passed out from IIT Kharagpur  and is’  a mechanical engineer by profession. “ We are first generation entrepreneurs”, smiles Suresh as he settles down to share his success story.

 After completing his post graduation , in 1981, he was offered prime jobs abroad, but he declined all of them since he believed that there were enough job opportunities available right here in India.
 He started his career with Volta’s and continued with them till 1986Suresh was  assigned to be a part of  a team in charge of a state- of – the – art project  worth 18 crores and this experience stood him in good stead and was anamazing learning experience on all counts. His team worked hard on the project  toiling at it for 18 hours a day.  It gave him hands on experience in site selection,  lay out, recruiting,  advertising etc.

In due course, Suresh started thinking as to why  he should not translate  this rich experience  and put it to use for himself. Hence, his brother,   brother in law, and himself, all of them being engineers, teamed up and went into business for themselves. Thus was the inception of Arun Excello. His family  disapproved of  him opting out  of a secure  job , with assured income. But Suresh remained undaunted and firm.  With savings  he had accumulated  from his job  with Volta’s  and some money loaned out by his parents, he started the company in 1986.

 Initially,  they functioned more as  a contracting company  undertaking mechanical contracts.  Bit by bit they started executing civil contracts too. From 1997, they ventured into  property development.”We  are different in the sense  , that we ventured into property development at a time  when property prices were plunging.  Major companies like Alacrity  and Alsa folded up.  It was at this time that we  ventured into  property development.  But Suresh’s astuteness and foresight stood him in good stead and there has been no looking back for him after that. “Our success. I would attribute, mainly to our  work culture. We believe that  our 250 odd staff is  part of our family  and I see to it that they are treated  like wiseWe have handpicked each of them,  and they are all professionally trained and most of them are highly qualified engineers.”- states Suresh .

We are  there, through thick and thin  the whole way , with our clients.  Once a client,  always a client. That’s our belief’-  asserts Suresh.

 They are well diversified around their core competence areas. – construction, mechanical engineering contracts,  civil engineering contracts and property development. Their dedication and commitment helps them in bagging repeated orders.  Indian Oil in the public sector is  an ample example. ‘Since 1987,  we have been serving them. We still continue to do so.  It has been a long association , for nearly over 23  years.  When Indian Oil went overseas to Mauritius,  we were  proffered the contract  and even to this day,  we handle substantial work for them. Hindustan Lever is another such client,   so too is BPCH, and  mainly  all oil corporations. – “ Suresh.

 The first year, their turn over was  30 lakhs,  now their turn over has grossed  over 150 crores. ‘ We never try to take on more than we can chew’- affirms Suresh. In 1997,  when the markets folded up, I was convinced that  if we can give a product at  the right price,  there are always customers to buy it.Keep working , and the markets will follow’- this is his policy. From their first apartment complex,, they completed 108  apartments. They marketed these in a very unique way,. They assured their prospective  clients that they would initially invest for their flats, and once work was in progress,  and if they were satisfied with the quality of their work,  they can invest for their  flats. This was truly a unique selling tactic which really worked.  .

 Most of his  apartments are named after  ragas. – Desh, Amruthavarshini and  Ragamalika. Ragamalika was  initially sold  at Rs 800 per square feet in the first phase, 950 in the second phase and it rose up to 1200 in the third phase.. Now , after four years, the same  fetch a resale value of Rs. 3800  per square feet , providing value addition to the clients.

He sold out his property at  Old Mahabalipuram    and reinvested at GST In Guindy. Again, common  opinion was that he was making a bad move but  he remained firm.” It takes a lot  of courage to swim against the tide- ‘ asserts Suresh. ‘ In OMR, the road infrastructure is  yet to be developed and this can take more than four years, to be completed.In GST, the infrastructure  is already developed and in place.We have a good  social  infrastructure  too,with good rail connectivity  and a good water source too. My decision turned out to be a very prudent option , since the upcoming projects in OMR were shelved due to the very same reasons’.

‘ My dream project is the upcoming luxury apartment complex- Estancia.’ Aggregating  land, 82 acres, from  200 odd  villagers was  a big challenge. Suresh  ;literally  lived with them for two years  in Valancherry, and finally succeeded.When  a land deal happens, most often the  land owners end up feeling  that they got a raw deal. . but not these  villagers.  He noticed that the  villagers had  no schools  for their children. So, as a  corporate social responsibility initiative,  he started the Vidya Mandir, run on a no – profit  basis.  This cost him 15 crores. 

‘ There are no good schools  between Thambaram and Chengalpet. Vidya mandir filled the gap’. The school has been operational  since June 2009.Residents  are yet to move into Estancia, but the school is functioning already and the villagers are happy that their children would receive the best of education

 Estancia being his dream project he has had  the best of brains  across the globe  to provide  every  possible facility. Estancia  is the first  integrated township  in Chennai which has come up in a work- live- play concept. 

Suresh  is also a very  compassionate person with deep seated  humanitarian values.   He has reserved the  ground  and  first floor  apartments of Estancia for the physically challenged and the senior citizens. ‘ The  idea is to keep them  a part of the community  where they can have the best of both worlds, without having to be  confined to living in old age homes.’- explains Suresh.
 A  senior citizen opted   for an apartment  facing vidya mandir,  so that he can  spend the rest of his life gazing at smiling innocent faces.  The whole apartment complex  is designed to be senior citizen friendly. , tractable by wheel chair,  and has a secure environment.  There is even a  fully  landscaped pathway  with no traffic , specially designed to enable  these senior citizens  to enjoy their morning walk in peace. A poly clinic too is  provided to take care of medical needs.

SRM University is situated just next door to Estancia,   so that,  after passing out from Vidya Mandir,  which is affiliated to CBSE,  the children of the residents can easily apply for professional courses.

Suresh  is blessed with two sons  He has named his son, as well as his company , after his father in law, late  Mr Arunachalam.



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