Harmonizing Growth: A Vision for Tier 2 Real Estate and Its Artisans
Kezya D Braganza, founder, Bettamint
In the evolving landscape of Indian urbanization Tier-2 cities are quickly becoming epicentres of real estate development, a trend fuelled by rising purchasing power parity, decentralisation of the workforce and growing affluence in India's heartlands. The draw of these cities is clear: properties are more affordable, and the promise of higher returns on investment is strong. This straightforward dynamic—lower land costs and a greater potential for appreciation—presents an attractive proposition for investors and homebuyers alike. As we look toward 2024, these cities are set to balance smart investment with considerable growth, making them hard to overlook.
Driven by a strategic shift toward decentralization and an expanding digital infrastructure, these cities are poised to see an influx of a skilled workforce alongside innovative enterprises. Lower operational costs and untapped talent pools give tier 2 cities a further strategic advantage. The result will be a vibrant ecosystem where local economies benefit from enhanced employment rates, particularly for daily wage earners, and businesses thrive amidst a rich talent pool. This shift is likely to stimulate a more balanced socio-economic growth across the nation, making the spread of prosperity more symmetrical across the various segments of society.
Yet, the sector's expansion is shadowed by challenges that threaten its sustainable growth. As we envision a future painted with the broad strokes of financial gain and infrastructure development, there's a critical human element to this narrative that must remain in focus —the daily wage worker. Today, they remain the most vulnerable, often trapped in cycles of poverty and uncertainty; these workers are increasingly seeking employment in sectors that offer better stability. The root causes are not elusive – the sector's reputation has been marred by unfair wages, delayed payments, and harsh working conditions Even builders need builders, and as the industry accelerates at a rapid clip, it grapples with high turnover and labour shortages. The construction industry, pivotal to real estate growth, is at an inflection point and must evolve to reflect the dignity and modernization its workforce deserves.
Creating a desirable employment landscape necessitates systemic changes—improved working conditions, job security, and clear avenues for skill advancement. Competitive wages, prompt payments, and safe work sites are not just ethical imperatives; they are strategic necessities that will define the sector's ability to sustain its growth.
The introduction of digital IDs for construction workers is a commendable step towards bringing transparency to the system, signalling a drive for transparency and efficient welfare delivery; but it is just the beginning. We need to see a concerted effort from all industry stakeholders to elevate the perception of construction jobs. This includes not only implementing better pay structures, safe and clean working conditions; and job security but also providing career progression opportunities that have long been absent in this field.
The introduction of unique digital IDs for construction workers marks a progressive stride toward modernization, Employers in the construction sector are beginning to use technology not only to refine skills and improve welfare measures but also to professionalize the industry. This use of technology can unlock access to essential services for daily wage earners, such as affordable credit, healthcare, and housing. Precision job matching, transparent time tracking, performance measurement and streamlined payments and incentives are tools that can draw a new, tech-savvy workforce to construction, elevating the profile of these jobs to be on par with more traditional white-collar roles. However, this transformation requires the backing of policy reforms and public-private partnerships to ensure a consistent and skilled labour force.
As we approach 2024, the outlook for Tier 2 cities and its workforce is one of optimism and opportunity. For investors, these cities represent a golden chance to partake in India's urban growth story. For homeowners, the promise of accessible, quality housing is within reach. And for the daily wage workers, it's the prospect of a more secure and dignified livelihood. But for India as a nation, true success lies in creating a balanced and humane urban development, where progress in the real estate sector is synonymous with the advancement of those who lay its foundations. Technology will continue to be a key enabler, creating transparency, accountability and trust while propelling the industry forward.
Ensuring the welfare of daily wage workers is not just a social responsibility but a strategic investment in the sector's sustainable growth. The path ahead is one of inclusive growth, where the success of the real estate sector is interwoven with the advancement of the workforce that powers it.