Her obvious path was joining the mammoth family business, but Tara Singh Vachani chose to ensure the elderly live happily ever after instead
While the obvious choice for Tara Singh Vachani, the youngest daughter of Max group’s Analjit Singh, would have been to assume the reins of part of the family business, she decided to pursue her dream project Antara – a residential community for senior living – a model she developed after studying over 30 such properties around the world.
The founder and MD of Antara did extensive research and traveled the globe to understand senior living models for two years before taking the leap. “Finally, by 2012, our concept was ready and we took it to our board. We launched Antara, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Max group in 2012.”
It was a conscious decision to keep Antara as part of the group because of its synergies in healthcare. But they decided to have a separate identity because of its unique concept. “We felt it needed to have its own brand identity, but at the same time the association with the Max group would give people a lot of confidence and comfort,” says Vachani.
Between 2012 and now, it has taken four years to bring Vachani’s dream project to life and it wasn’t easy. Vachani’s first challenge was to get regulatory approvals. Handling construction was equally tricky. Apart from operational road bumps, Vachani’s single biggest challenge was to sell the concept. “I think educating the market has been far tougher. We need more such projects and incubation of such concepts to be successful,” she says. It has been an uphill task to convince people as to why it exists as a concept and why it cost as much. Her company has managed to sell 60% of the apartments and the first sale remains close to her heart.
“Our very first resident joined us in August 2013. They were a couple from Dehradun and are very special to me. They were one of the few people who really understood the cost structure and benefits,” she says. Apart from them, Vachani has met all the future residents of Antara to ensure that they feel a personal connect with the company.
She feels that it will take multiple locations for Antara to succeed in the long haul, but for now, wants to test the waters with their single project in Dehradun. “While on a standalone level, Antara Dehradun will not make a financial return; it is worth it, because every rupee we have spent has taken us closer to a better model,” says Vachani, signing off.