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Inspirational Woman: Shubika Bilkha | Business Head of the Real Estate Management Institute

Tell us about yourself and what you currently do?

I am an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and the Columbia Business School; an Associate Member of the Chartered Securities Institute (CSI) in the UK; and have completed the “Building Excellence in Higher Educational Institutions” at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.

I grew up in Mumbai, after which I went to the US for university and then moved to London to work in the financial services sector at Deloitte in their Corporate Finance Advisory team. I have worked extensively in the technology and education sectors, having founded two entrepreneurial ventures at a young age, as well as provided advisory services to a number of real estate, retail and technology companies. I am also a published author having released by first book in 2010 called “Stories of the Cities by the Sea”.

We established REMI two years ago with the vision to “Skill India to Build India” with a view to facilitate individual careers and enhance the skill set of real estate professionals. REMI was founded in response to the realization that skills within the real estate sector in India are underserved and fragmented. REMI currently provides certification programs, executive courses and customized training workshops

Since our inception, we have successfully trained 2000+ people, partnered with 200+ corporates and launched 30+ real estate focused programs across our centers in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It is our endeavor to launch 15 centers and train 50,000 people in real estate in the next 5 years.

What has been the biggest challenge in achieving your success?

Educational institutes in India train millions of students each year, however the majority of Indian graduates across disciplines remain unemployed. For example, as per the Aspiring Minds National Employability Report, of the 1.5 lakh engineering graduates in 2015 from over 650 colleges, 80% of them are unemployable.

While graduates seem to be focused on careers in the IT sector, finance, marketing, among others, the real estate sector remains largely overlooked when determining a viable career path.

The real estate sector in India has been traditionally unorganized and fragmented. Real estate companies have been evolving from being owner driven organizations to more professionally run enterprises. The advent of the new regulatory regime, increased investment from institutional investors, a thrust from the Government towards urban development and infrastructure, and companies achieving significant scale have been the key reasons for the evolution of the sector.

The sector is slated to be a $180 billion opportunity by 2022 with a skill gap of 75 million. Despite this requirement for skilled professionals in the sector to enhance delivery capabilities, there are a limited number of programs and institutes focused on addressing the skill gap and training people on the required global best practices. REMI is one of the few institutes focused on training people for this sector.

Changing the mindset of graduates and their families to look at building a lucrative career in real estate has been a key challenge that we have been able to overcome. With a 100% placement record and a robust Career Development Center (CDC) we provide a number of qualified opportunities to our graduates.

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career

One of my biggest achievements will be if we can successfully execute and deliver on the vision of REMI, which is to pave the way for industry development and ‘Skill India to Build India’, by instilling best practices and building requisite skills in a traditionally unorganized and fragment, but essential sector.

Any role models

I find a number of people truly inspirational and their accomplishments significant, however there is no one role model as such in my life.

One of my most inspirational quotes that I follow in my life is from Sven Lindqvist’s “Exterminate the Brutes”

“It isn’t knowledge we lack, what is missing is the courage to understand what we know and to draw conclusions”

Another one of my most inspirational quotes is an urdu verse:

“Tundi-e- Baad-E-Mukhalif se na ghabra, ae Uqaab;

Yeh to chalti hai tujhe uncha udane ke liye.

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