In an exclusive interview of Entrepreneur First Magazine with Dr. D.K Aggarwal, Chairman of SMC Real Estate Advisors, discusses the firm’s journey, challenges during the pandemic, and their adoption of immersive technologies. Explore the strategies and values driving SMC’s success in the dynamic real estate advisory sector. Don’t miss this compelling read!
Q1. Can you please tell us in brief about your company?
SMC Real Estate Advisors is a trusted and prominent real estate advisory firm based in New Delhi, India. Our primary focus is to offer expert guidance, personalized solutions, and a seamless experience to clients in their property buying, and investing endeavors. We leverage our extensive network, industry expertise, and innovative solutions to deliver exceptional service and help clients achieve their real estate goals effectively. Over the years, we’ve grown and strengthened our position in the market, serving clients across India and expanding internationally, including in Dubai. Our commitment to excellence, transparency, and client satisfaction has been key to our success.
Q2. Tell us about the key person? What is his/her role and responsibility in the company?
Dr. D. K. Aggarwal, the Chairman, along with Anshika Aggarwal, Director, are responsible for overseeing and driving the business.
Dr. D. K. Aggarwal plays a pivotal role in the organization and has led SMC to grow into a multi-dimensional company. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). He is the National President of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI), a 115- year-old apex chamber of India. He is also the former President of the Commodity Participants Association of India.
Dr. Aggarwal has helped the Company grow into its present diverse structure, leading a host of businesses. Innovation in offerings, branding, research, and arbitrage are his forte. Dr. Aggarwal has rich experience of 28 years in Equity, Derivatives, Commodity, Debt, Forex, Real Estate, Fund Management, and Risk Management. His leadership qualities have helped him manage, control, and supervise a large number of businesses in these market segments.
As the Chairman & Managing Director of SMC Capitals Limited, a Category I Merchant Banker, and the Chairman & Managing Director of SMC Investments and Advisors Ltd., He holds diverse responsibilities. Under his leadership, the company has achieved substantial growth and recognition. Dr. Aggarwal has played a crucial role in making SMC Group one of India’s top financial services firms, listed on both NSE and BSE, boasting a vast network spanning 600+ cities and towns, 3500+ employees, and over 12,000 registered associates and service providers. The group has received numerous accolades for its excellence.
Dr. Aggarwal has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the SME Leader Award 2018 by ICAI and the “Dare to Dream Awards – Financial Services” 2018 by Zee Business.
He actively participates in various professional bodies and institutions, contributing his expertise to areas like banking, commodities exchange, and advisory boards for educational institutions.
Ms. Anshika Aggarwal, serving as a Director, is also among the key persons within the organization. She plays a vital role in the company’s leadership. Her involvement signifies a commitment to the company’s growth and success. She contributes to strategic planning, and management oversight.
Q3. Who all are your clients?
SMC Real Estate Advisors Private Limited serves a wide range of clients, including High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs), Corporate Clients, Individual Home Buyer, Investors etc. And whoever seek personalized real estate solutions and investment opportunities tailored to their specific needs and financial goals.
Q4. How are you different from people working in a similar domain?
What makes SMC Real Estate Advisors unique is our relentless commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and innovation. We leverage our extensive network, industry expertise, and data-driven recommendations to provide personalized solutions that help clients navigate market complexities effectively.
Our dedication to transparency, coupled with our diverse inventory of residential and commercial properties, ensures that we cater to individual preferences and business requirements. Through continuous innovation, personalized service, and strong industry relationships, we maintain our position as a top real estate advisory firm in India, setting us apart from others in our field.
Q5. How and why it is important to map your digital customer experience journey?
Mapping the digital customer experience journey is vital in the modern business landscape for several reasons. Firstly, it allows us to gain a deep understanding of our customers’ interactions with our brand across digital channels. This insight helps us identify pain points and areas for improvement, ensuring that we provide a seamless and satisfying experience.
Secondly, by mapping the customer journey, we can tailor our digital strategies and services to meet the evolving needs and preferences of our customers. This personalization not only enhances customer satisfaction but also strengthens brand loyalty.
Moreover, a well-mapped digital customer experience journey enables us to optimize our marketing efforts, ensuring that we reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. This, in turn, maximizes our return on investment and drives business growth.
In essence, mapping the digital customer experience journey is essential for staying competitive, understanding customer behavior, and delivering exceptional service in the digital age. It’s a strategic tool that guides us in providing a more meaningful and engaging experience for our clients.
Q6. What is the goal of your company, and how are you planning to achieve it?
The primary goal of SMC Real Estate Advisors is to maintain its position as a trusted leader in the real estate advisory industry by continually expanding its market presence, embracing technological innovation, diversifying its services to adapt to changing market trends, prioritizing a client-centric approach, nurturing strong industry partnerships, and actively contributing to corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Additionally, we aspire to be the preferred choice and trusted real estate advisor for anyone looking to buy a home. To achieve this, our strategic plan includes forging partnerships with the top 100 real estate developers across the country. We aim to become a premium channel partner for these developers, ensuring that our clients have access to the best opportunities and expert guidance in their real estate ventures. Through these strategic efforts, SMC aims to provide expert guidance and exceptional experiences to clients while staying at the forefront of the real estate advisory sector, ultimately becoming the go-to destination for those seeking a trusted partner in their real estate journey.
Q7. What were the challenges faced by the company during the pandemic? And how did you overcome them?
The pandemic presented several significant challenges to our business. One of the most prominent was the sudden disruption in the real estate market as lockdowns and economic uncertainty impacted property transactions. We also faced operational challenges as remote work became the norm.
To overcome these challenges, we swiftly adapted by enhancing our digital capabilities, offering virtual property tours and online consultations to meet the evolving needs of clients who sought to view properties safely from their homes. We also provided financial advisory services to help clients navigate economic uncertainty.
Additionally, we adopted cost-effective measures to optimize our operations while maintaining our commitment to employee well-being. Our resilient team and client- centric approach played a pivotal role in successfully mitigating the pandemic’s impact on our business.
In essence, our ability to adapt, innovate, and prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our clients and employees allowed us to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and continue serving our clients effectively.
Q8. How are new immersive technologies making a positive impact on enterprises? And what new technologies are you using in your organization?
Immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are indeed transforming the way enterprises operate. They enhance training programs, improve customer engagement, and facilitate better decision-making. In our organization, we have embraced these technologies to provide clients with virtual property tours, enabling them to explore properties from the comfort of their homes. This not only enhances the property viewing experience but also ensures safety, especially during situations like the pandemic.
In our organization, we are actively leveraging new technologies to enhance our operations and provide innovative solutions to our clients. One significant way we incorporate technology is through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate leads for our business. AI-powered lead generation enables us to identify potential clients and opportunities more effectively, ensuring that we can connect with those who are most likely to benefit from our services.
Furthermore, we have integrated cloud-based accounting systems to streamline our operations and offer clients more efficient financial services. These technologies have allowed us to adapt to the changing business landscape and provide innovative solutions to our clients, ultimately enhancing their overall experience.
Q9. What are you looking forward to accomplishing most in 2023?
In 2023, we are excited about several key accomplishments on the horizon. Firstly, we aim to further expand our market presence, both domestically and internationally, to serve a broader client base. Additionally, we’re dedicated to enhancing our technological capabilities, ensuring that our clients have access to cutting-edge tools for property exploration and financial services.
We are committed to delivering exceptional experiences to our clients by continuously diversifying our services and staying at the forefront of market trends. Lastly, we look forward to launching a range of corporate social responsibility initiatives, contributing to the betterment of the community. We propose leveraging the group’s strength in terms of activating the existing, robust franchise brand network of more than 2500+ offices.
Overall, 2023 promises to be a year of growth, innovation, and social responsibility for SMC Real Estate Advisors, and we eagerly anticipate achieving these milestones.
Q10. What are the new trends you see in the industry today?
The real estate advisory industry is undergoing notable transformations. Some key trends we observe include a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly properties, driven by increased environmental awareness among buyers. Technology integration is crucial, with virtual property tours and augmented reality tools enhancing the property viewing experience.
Moreover, the concept of co-working spaces and shared offices has revolutionized the commercial real estate sector. The pandemic has accelerated remote work, leading to a surge in demand for suburban properties with larger living spaces and dedicated home offices. These trends are reshaping the industry and prompting us to adapt our services and strategies to meet the evolving needs of our clients effectively.
Q11. What challenges do you have to overcome to get here today?
My journey has had its share of challenges. One of the most prominent ones was the dedication and hard work required to become a Chartered Accountant, a dream I set my sights on at a young age. The rigorous study and demanding exams were no easy feat, but I persevered because I believed in the goal.
Starting my own business also presented challenges, as I had to learn how to run and manage a business, deal with customers, and navigate the stresses of entrepreneurship.
However, I’ve always believed in staying focused, seeking help when needed, and learning from these experiences. Each challenge has ultimately made me stronger and more determined to achieve my goals, both personally and professionally.
Q12. What does success looks like to you?
Success, to me, goes beyond financial achievements. It encompasses making a positive impact in the lives of others, whether it’s helping clients achieve their real estate goals or contributing to the growth of our team and the community. Success is also about continuous growth, innovation, and personal development. It means having a sense of purpose, striving for excellence, and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. Ultimately, success is about finding fulfillment in what I do and the difference I can make in the world.
Q13. As a leader of your organization, what important decisions do you make for the company?
As the leader of our organization, my role involves making crucial decisions that shape our company’s trajectory. These decisions encompass strategic planning, technology adoption, financial management, market adaptation, team development, and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Success hinges on these choices, as they ensure our competitiveness, innovation, financial health, and commitment to delivering outstanding service to our clients while contributing positively to the community and our team’s growth.