A House for Everyone
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Renjani Puspo Sari Read : 8986 Date : Friday, January 16, 2015 - 15:34:29

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Benny Tjokrosaputro, 45, is the grandson of the founder of the Batik Keris chain of batik outlets, Kasoem Tjokrosaputro. Benny originally wanted to join the Batik Keris or build a garment factory. But the family urged him to look elsewhere, so he decided to go instead into property. The first project he was involved in was the 400 ha Solo Baru, a 10,000-house family project on the edge of Solo, in 1994. The area is now one of the swankier parts of the city.


    Now, after 30 years in the housing industry, he is better known as a property entrepreneur, under the company Hansonland. Benny’s company PT Hanson International listed in 1990 and today sports a market capitalization of Rp 10 trillion. One of his specialties is affordable housing for low income families. “It’s a social enterprise project. There are about 2 million families living in the greater Jakarta that still don’t have permanent places to stay. Maybe the profit margin is small but we see low cost housing as having good prospects,” says Benny, chief executive of Hanson International.


    He argues that despite the current fast rise in land prices, it’s still possible to market houses at a very low price of Rp 120 million per unit, much lower than other so-called low cost housing that will still start at Rp 300 million. One reason he can be more competitive is that his company has built a land bank for the last 19 years at much lower prices.


    Benny has allocated 2,400 ha for about 160,000 units in Maja Raya of Majaland, a project launched in cooperation with property conglomerate Ciputra last October. This location is adjacent to a commuter railway, about an hour by train to Jakarta. He says the company has provided about 2,000 houses in the first launch, then will add 5,000 for each subsequent launch. In total, Hanson has invested Rp 2 trillion for building houses, commercial centers, facilities, streets and gardens for this project.


    “I think the market for luxury homes is now a bubble, even oversupplied. But cheaper homes are actually under-supplied, while the market demand is huge and the competition in this sector is minimal. I believe the demand will continue for many years,” says Benny.


    Besides Majaland, Benny has also developed a number of projects such as 2,600 units in Serpongland, a settlement for upper middle class buyers launched last June. Also in Tangerang, he is building Cengkareng Land, a project near Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Another current project is in the Bekasi industrial area.