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Business growth specialist hammers into building company opportunity

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Hamilton local Ajit Singh has opened the doors of Stonewood Homes Hamilton this month, after almost two decades as a business growth specialist for major brands such as Burger King, Restaurant Brands and Mad Mex NZ.

During his 17-year career in franchising and hospitality, Singh was an area manager for Burger King, Restaurant Brands Ltd and Nando’s, and operations manager for Mad Mex NZ.

 “I arrived in New Zealand in 2001 and joined Burger King as a team member and in my 14 years there I rose to become central North Island area manager, responsible for building and developing 15 restaurants in the area with a combined annual turnover of over $30M,” he said. “Throughout my career, I had a strong interest in building and development and bought and sold land, hence my interest in joining the building industry as I know the immense potential of the industry.”

 Two years ago, Singh left the hospitality industry with the goal of opening a residential construction business.

 “I worked for two years for a renovation company and then decided to open Stonewood Homes Hamilton,” he said. “I looked at a number of home building franchise companies but Stonewood Homes stood out because they have been in the business for 30 years and the brand has grown and stabilised under the new leadership of John Chow since 2016. 

“My research also showed the potential of the building industry was still a solid opportunity and I wanted new home builders in the region to have more choice in reputable builders.”

 Singh said Hamilton City Council’s 2021 Annual Economic Report showed a record 1497 new homes were completed in the area last year, up 6% on 2020, and there was a 12% increase in the number of homes under construction.

 “While forecasters are predicting fewer residential building consents nationwide over the next five years, the outlook is still extremely positive for new home construction in Hamilton,” Singh said. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen people move from Auckland to Hamilton due to the more affordable price of property, as well as a more relaxed lifestyle and this trend will continue.

 “The Stonewood Homes brand is well known across the country and we’re focused on building a strong local business.”

 Singh’s wife Nav, a real estate agent, will also be heavily involved in the business and decision making, with the goal being to build the business up and pass it on to their sons.

 “We’re looking at building the business up over the next 15-20 years with the view to having our two sons take it over,” she said. “We see strong long-term potential in the Hamilton property and construction market.”

 Stonewood Homes Hamilton will offer knockdown rebuilds, custom builds and house and land packages.

 “I also see us moving into the duplex market,” Singh said. “We have a shortage of houses in Hamilton and it’s trending into the duplex market where bigger land sections are being bought to accommodate this.”

 Singh said the building material supply issues that had plagued the industry recently were easing, so there was no better time than now to build
a new home.

 “The demand for new homes remains steady as new homes still represent excellent value for money in the current market and offer buyers the option to fully customise the homes to their need.

 “The reality is waiting won’t stem any of the impacts on the industry and it won’t save time or money for customers to wait.

 “We look forward to working with locals to make their dream homes a reality.”

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