Gera Developments: Leadership at a Crossroads
For decades, Gera Developments (Gera) was a boutique family-owned real estate development firm in Pune, India. But since 2000, managing director Rohit Gera had turned the company into a dynamic innovator in housing solutions for urban Indian families. Over the 2010s, Gera had multiplied its area under development threefold; it had introduced its new ChildCentric vision of family housing villages (which incorporated children's academies in skills from swimming to singing into the real estate complex); and it had expanded its operations from Pune to the nearby state of Goa. Meanwhile, Rohit's brother Nikhil-a California resident-had invested company funds in several construction projects overseas in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2020, the company stood at a crossroads. With Rohit beginning to envision the end of his managerial career, Gera had several key decisions to make: Should it double down on ChildCentric, introduce new age-differentiated offerings to serve its customers throughout their lives, or return to a more commoditized style of real estate development? To what extent should Gera cast in its lot with Nikhil's U.S. projects? Should the company consider other avenues for international expansion? And to whom would Rohit pass the torch of Gera's leadership-his daughter Diya, or an outside professional manager?