28 August 2014

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Gita Menon: The Lady Realtor with Grit for Success

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Gita Menon is a bubbly energetic lady who exudes confidence and strength. A born entrepreneur, she has ventured into a field which was, until recently, purely male dominated. Gita is into real estate and does it single-handedly.

Eldest born of three sisters, Gita’s father was an industrial consultant. Even though she had her heart set on pursuing medicine as a profession, her father late Mr. P.N.S.Panickar, wanted her to be an entrepreneur. “He has written a book on small scale industrialists”- smiles Gita nostalgically.  “My dad is my hero. It was from him that I learnt business ethics”- explains Gita.

 At twenty one years of age, she majored in foreign trade from Madras University and commenced working with her father in his industrial consultancy firm. He moulded her and Gita being a quick learner, easily grasped the ropes of the business. Gradually Gita started working for a garment exporter and continued for four years. She became an expert on production, technical and marketing aspects of garment exporting.

Thus, she started her own garment export business and did extremely well, but unfortunately, she suffered a major set back. “I made a loss because of non payment by a client, but not to be outdone, I got back on my feet pretty soon, by undertaking orders for local stores.”

 Meanwhile, Gita’s husband shifted base to Africa and she accompanied him there. While in Africa, Gita headed a travel company BTC for two years and enjoyed the experience immensely.

 After returning to India, Gita decided that she had had her fill of production and decided to venture into real estate. “Initially, it started off as a hobby and I was buying and selling property here for my friends settled abroad. But now, I have got into it full time.”- Smiles Gita.

Gita got to be busier during the US meltdown.” The NRI’s sold their property in India to pay off their debts there, but they too were able to make a good profit, despite the debts they had to pay off”- assures Gita. For her, the US meltdown was truly a blessing in disguise as she had good contacts abroad. She did all the selling and buying for her friends settled abroad and she continues to do so still. In fact, she has a good client base at New York.

“I love what I am doing. It gives me more freedom, time on my hands and its extremely challenging too. It turns out to be more challenging when I have to tackle larger properties. This is so because, for large properties, I have to take care of documentation too I need to be extremely careful of fraudulent deals. I need to be careful because some people are prone to indulge in fraud since they are able to duplicate papers and try to sell off properties that do not belong to them”-explains Gita patiently.

 She has to be on her toes and be alert always. “When I smell a rat, I don’t take up the project. I handle projects where I personally know either the buyer or the seller, or also, if it is certified by someone that the project is indeed worthwhile to take up. People keep coming back to me and my friends too refer me to their friends and family, since they know that I get the best deals for them”- Gita.

 Gita’s modus operandi is simple and straightforward. Either the project is brought to her, or someone spells out their requirements. For instance, if a person comes to her and states that he needs a hundred acres of land, she undertakes all the sourcing for it. All the groundwork too is done and Gita has a good network of brokers to assist her.

“In India, real estate is not recognised as a course of study. Indian public is not aware of the advantages of a mandate, unlike in the US.. Real estate is the right choice for people who love to travel .That is very important. You need to go and inspect the property personally “-Gita.

 Gita is more interested in handling commercial properties. Apart from servicing friends, family and existing clients, she does buying and selling for factory land, houses, and commercial properties.

“Real estate is my passion. I have been into this single-handedly since June 2007. I aspire to service every customer to the best of my abilities and   satisfaction. Maybe, if there are parts or portions of land to be sold on the moon, I would willingly take it up-“Gita chuckles with a twinkle in her eye.

 Here is a multi faceted personality who is a joy to associate with. Gita is the treasurer of Chinmaya Mission, Chennai and also the co-coordinator of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Thirupathi. She is also the Director of the Chinmaya Institute of Management, Chennai Chapter.  Hats off to you, Ma’am!

 

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