Singapore-based Strawberry Star to offer ‘end-to-end’ services for international investors by Edge Property
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Singapore-based Strawberry Star to offer ‘end-to-end’ services for international investors

30 Apr 2018
Santhosh Gowda, founder and chairman of Strawberry Star Group, spends 15 days in Singapore each month, and another 15 days in London. He now calls Singapore home, and has even established his headquarters here.
Strawberry Star first opened its office in Singapore in March 2015. It started as a London real estate agency. However, Gowda’s ambition was to create “an integrated, end-to-end services platform” for international investors, primarily from Asia and the Middle East, to invest in the UK.
Initially, there was confusion about Strawberry Star’s business, says Gowda. “People would ask if we’re a developer or a property agent, and then they would ask about our track record. It was a chicken-and-egg situation.”
When Gowda started the company in 2007, his intention was to pool together the capital of overseas investors to acquire assets in the UK. His maiden acquisition was a block of 33 apartments in London, purchased in the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008.
At the time, there were only two staff in the company, including Gowda. He had to rely on external consultants and advisers — from property agents to legal advisers and lending partners — to complete the transaction within 30 days. He also had to engage letting agents to help lease out the units, as well as a property management firm to manage the building.
‘Fragmented market’
“The UK real estate market is very fragmented,” he says. “For an overseas investor, it’s especially challenging because there’s no coordination, no follow-up. It’s not just when it comes to acquisition, but rental and sale as well.”
Ten years on, Gowda feels he has finally put in place an “end-to-end” services platform — from acquisition to development, property management, leasing and selling. He even enrolled himself in a three-year programme at Harvard Business School to ensure that he had implemented the right structures, processes and business culture. “I’m graduating this year,” he says.


Article written by Edge Property