Renowned for its timeless beauty, year-round warm climate and world-renowned beaches, the Seychelles is, undoubtedly, the archetypal tropical paradise. Building the high-end luxury residential development of Pangia Beach on a remote tropical island with 90,000 inhabitants situated over thousands of kilometres from any major city definitely doesn’t come without its challenges. Today, Vincent, one part of the husband and wife development team behind Pangia Beach, tells us more about how they are overcoming these challenges of remoteness.
1. What is your role in this project?
As one of the developers behind Pangia Beach, I’m intimately involved in all aspects of this venture from project management to sales. I’m fortunate to work closely together on this project with my wife, Georgia. As a result, bringing this luxury residential project to fruition has become a wonderful journey of communication and collaboration.
With 16 years of experience at Morgan Stanley and HgCapital, I have a background in finance and private equity, while Georgia has worked her whole career for top interior design and property development companies. We have a similar dedicated work ethic and attention to detail, but at the same time we also have complementary skills. While Georgia is focused on the aesthetics and design of Pangia Beach, my strengths are more on the project management, finance, legal and sales side. Together we make a strong, unified and very determined team.
2. What has proven to be the greatest challenge to developing in Seychelles?
Developing any luxury residential development requires a complicated web of architects, engineers, contractors, and suppliers working in tandem to finish the job. On top of that, we are faced with the fact that few of these experts are based in Seychelles. As such, our greatest challenge to date has been to manage a team of consultants and experts who are spread across the globe. It’s not always easy to find a time that is conducive to all, nor is it always easy to explain the intricacies of a design detail over the phone. Thanks to occasional face-to-face team meetings and modern technology, such as Skype, WeTransfer and Dropbox, we have been able to overcome this challenge.
3. What constraints does the geographical location of the Seychelles pose for construction?
Almost everything used in the country, including construction materials, is imported. Having to import construction materials over long distances raises the gross development costs considerably. When coupled with the lack of local wholesalers or suppliers, the pressure on the contractor to ensure every detail is meticulously planned for each stage of construction is substantially higher than the norm. Missing a particular item or running out of stock will slow the project down or can even bring it to a halt for weeks. In order to overcome this challenge of potential delays, we chose to work with Laxmanbhai. With almost four decades of construction experience in the Seychelles, Laxmanbhai is the best and most reputable contractor on the island. They are truly renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail and on time delivery. I’m glad to say that we are currently ahead of schedule and the first apartments will be ready by September 2017.
4. The Seychelles authorities are renowned for their efforts to preserve the environment. Do any of the environmental regulations pose a challenge to the development of the project?
With an abundance of flora and fauna, tropical fish and coral life, the Seychelles Government does indeed carefully protect the natural beauty of the country and actively champions the Blue Economy concept. As a result, the requirements and standards set by the Government need to be carefully managed and followed. At Pangia Beach, we take our environmental responsibility seriously and are managing these hurdles by using an open communication with the Ministry of Environment. In fact, the Principal Secretary was on site only a few weeks ago.
5. Have any of these challenges made you feel that it wasn’t worth it?
Nothing worth having or doing comes easy. Challenges are to be expected and we knew going into the project that Seychelles came with a unique set of challenges, but none have made us question our decision to invest in Seychelles and in Pangia Beach. The beauty of the country and the vision that is Pangia Beach overrule all and any challenges faced. With construction in full swing, we are extremely excited that soon we will be able to share this vision of a beautiful residential complex and marina with our prospective owners.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Pangia Beach.