“Safety of Environment is within the mandate of Builders” Wasiq Naeem

by M. Wasim

As the CEO of Star Marketing (Pvt.) Ltd., Wasiq Naeem is one of the most renowned and respectable figures of housing and real estate industry. It is because of him and his truly innovative approach which ranks Star Marketing (Pvt.) Ltd. at the top amongst all real estate marketing agencies in Pakistan.

During a very brief spell he has shared his views to about ongoing housing trends pertaining to environmental significance and green amenities. These candid, yet valuable views are shared for our readers and followers.

  •  Star Marketing is indeed the top real estate marketing agency in Pakistan. How much it ensures or prioritizes the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report of a project before marketing it?

Wasiq Naeem: Though it is within the mandate of the Developer or Builder to prioritize safety of environment while planning projects and getting them approved, Star Marketing always tries to guide and inform its Developer clients about the need of adhering to the prevalent laws and develop environment friendly projects.

  • Various research reports in the West have deduced that homebuyers now pay importance and priority to scenic views, greenery and environment (which is very related to their health and ambiance) while buying their home. Is this trend also followed in Pakistan? 

Wasiq Naeem: This trend is only partially followed in Pakistan. But, then, there are valid reasons behind it. The West has successfully achieved the target of expanding basic facilities and utility services to their entire areas, be it urban, rural or totally unpopulated areas. In Pakistan such facilities, which include electricity, gas, water, road networks, education and health facilities, are centered only in urban, semi urban and populated areas. This makes the urban property costlier for the homebuyers, while property in the unpopulated areas is unlivable. So, scenic views and greenery come at a higher cost which cannot be afforded by all classes.

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan has an inclination towards vertical housing development like high-rises or apartments living. But comparing apartmental neighborhoods with housing societies in terms of area, we have seen that green spaces and amenities like park, playgrounds etc. are rarely given in high-rise projects. Please comment, owing to the fact there is already enough barren land available in Pakistan.

Wasiq Naeem: The Prime Minister’s concept of Vertical housing relates to urban cities, where land is scarce and expensive. All cosmopolitan centers of the world have failed to find any other better alternative. However many Developers in Pakistan try hard to accommodate green spaces, open rooftop areas, community centers, indoor gyms and play areas in their high rise projects

  • As Karachi is already become a dense city, was that the reason the STAR Marketing shifted their head office to Islamabad, which is serene and green?

Wasiq Naeem: We are still based in Karachi and have regional offices in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Multan.

  • Why the government hasn’t implemented real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill in Pakistan, which ensures transparency and better regulations of real estate trading in the country?

Wasiq Naeem: As far as we know, the basic framework of RERA has been finalized, and it will be implemented after completing the legal requirements. Hopefully, it will regulate and promote the Real Estate sector and augment measures for appropriate protection of real estate buyers together with regulation of mega projects in the real estate sector by any developer.

  • Pakistan really needs affordable housing for its masses and there is already a deficit of more than 10 million houses for unsheltered in the country. But we see builders’ community mostly are striving for posh housing schemes. Can real estate marketing firms identify this flaw to them?

Wasiq Naeem: I don’t think that Developers are only focusing on posh projects. Star Marketing is handling a number of projects across Pakistan which cater to middle class and the lower middle class.

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