Singapore: All roads in Singapore led to the second Business Excellence Research Group (BERG) Real Estate Awards 2015 at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel last week on July 24. The awards event drew over 100 delegates including participants from a large cross-section of real estate players spanning the categories of developers, architects, and interior designers from across Singapore and India. A total of 15 awards were presented at the Gala Awards night.
In her keynote address, Ms. Karuna Gopal, Founder, Foundation of Futuristic Cities, said that people and companies working on smart cities are now shifting their focus from Internet of Things (IoT) to ‘Fog’ computing, which is sometimes known as edge computing. Many of the things surrounding us every day such as PCs and smartphones are on the “edge” – hence the name “fog”.
Going forward, the security and the quality of infrastructure will likely also be a major concern and cited an examples of companies such as IBM, Cisco moving into this arena in a big way, she added.
Making Cities Smart
The highlight of the day was a high-powered panel discussion on “Building Smart Cities – The Millennial Challenge”. Eminent speakers at the panel discussion were Mr Pang Yee Ean, Group COO, Surbana Jurong Pte, Prof Christopher Benninger, Founder Architect, Christopher Charles Benninger Architects Private Limited (CCBA), India, Mr Sanjeev Dasgupta, CEO, India Trust, Ascendas, Ms Karuna Gopal, Founder, Foundation of Futuristic Cities.
The panel veered around to making cities smarter with a humane touch so as to allow all stakeholders including the marginalised people benefit from smart city. The session was moderated by Mr. Vishwesh Iyer, Managing Partner & Director, BERG – Singapore.
Going forward, the annual BERG Real Estate Awards will aim to be a thought leadership platform to discuss evolving trends and business opportunities in the realm of real estate and infrastructure between Singapore and India.
Lifetime Achievement Award
India-based architect Prof. Christopher Benninger, 72, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Singapore-based Business Excellence and Research Group. He was awarded for designing landmark projects in India. Currently, he is designing the Institute of Technology at Hyderabad and Bajaj Institute of Technology near Nagpur.
In his acceptance speech he thanked BERG and said, “It is a great honour to receive this lifetime achievement award in a country like Singapore which we all look up to. It is a country which is very good at urban plans and designs.” Prof. Benninger added that Indian authorities should ideally focus on making 100 existing cities smart instead of building 100 new smart ones. He argued that India has about 300 cities, each with more than half a million population and that he was in favour of making 100 of these 300 cities smart.
The Chairman of BERG Advisory Board Thomas McMahon in his address said, “The (Indian real estate) sector plays a critical role for managing India’s rapidly urbanising population. BERG aims to provide an international thought leadership platform in this process.”
The BERG Award Winners 2015
- The Best Real Estate Consultant of the Year was bagged by Integrated Property Ventures Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.
- The Young Achiever (Female) Award went to Ms. Zonu Reddy, Director, Zonasha Estates & Projects, Bangalore while the Young Achiever (Male) was taken by Nitin Agarwal, Director, SNN Builders Pvt Ltd, Bangalore.
- The Female Professional of The Year was won by Uzma Irfan, Director, Prestige Estates Projects Ltd, Bangalore.
- The Best Institutional Architecture Award went to Red Bridge International Academy by ACE Group, Bangalore.
- The coveted Lifetime Achievement Award was handed over to Prof Christopher Benninger, Chairman, Christopher Charles Benninger Architects, Pune, for his four decades of contribution to designing landmark architectures in India.
- Fortune Park Gitanjali by Ganapati India International Pvt Ltd, Durgapur, West Bengal won the Commercial Project – Mixed Use (East) Award while Sky One by Lunkad Realty, Pune took home the Commercial Project of the Year Award.
- Santushti by Pranami Estates Pvt Ltd, Ranchi, Jharkhand bagged the Residential Property of the Year (East) while Mayfair Villas by Pranit Projects Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad was handed the Environment Friendly Project of the Year Innovative Developer of the Year.
- SNN Raj Greenbay by SNN Builders Pvt Ltd, Bangalore was awarded the Best Themed Project of the Year Developer of the Year (South) and Zonasha Paradiso by Zonasha Estates & Projects Pvt Ltd, Bangalore bagged two awards — Luxury Project of the Year and Emerging Developer of the Year (South), respectively
The BERG Singapore awards, held annually, recognises the contribution of developers, architects and interior designers in India.