We have emerged stronger and wiser

Mohit Nirula, CEO, Columbia Pacific Communities>
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Looking Back

Columbia Pacific Communities is the country’s largest operator and creator of senior living communities. 2021 required us to do right by the residents we have the privilege to serve, the teams that help us provide this service, our vendors who make both the operations of the communities and the development of new projects possible and our investors who were unstinting in both their moral and material support.


I am grateful to our Leadership Team that was able to steer the company through this extremely turbulent year. With the blessings of the Almighty and the seniors we serve, Columbia Pacific Communities has emerged stronger and wiser.


Our communities are safe and happy, our projects are on schedule and we have a robust pipeline of new senior living communities ready for launch across multiple cities in 2022 – 23.


At the operations level, our focussed objective was to keep our residents safe and protected from the COVID virus. Our front-line team ensured that both our residents and service personnel were double-vaccinated expeditiously. The Columbia Pacific Communities’ philosophy of Positive Ageing allowed our residents to continue to be socially engaged while maintaining physical distance.


The guidance from our healthcare partners – Manipal Hospitals, the sage advice of the Resident Committees and the wholehearted cooperation of our residents ensured that both our residents and their extended families enjoyed peace of mind in a year that has been stressful in the extreme.


Most importantly, as a service company, it is our people – both at the communities and the Support and Strategy Office that truly make us the country’s most preferred senior living community operators.


I am especially grateful to our investors for their support and endorsement that allowed us to retain each and every member of our team and not deduct any salaries at any point in time. This was in striking contrast with what we saw happening around us.


Looking Forward


2021 was a tipping point for the senior living industry. The lived and experienced safety, comfort and companionship of senior citizens residing in communities designed for them was in complete contrast with the anguish and desperation experienced by those living on their own or in mixed family condominiums.


This contrast was also experienced by the children living in cities and countries away from their parents.


The demand for homes within senior living communities has gone through the roof – both in operating communities where we have a waiting list and in communities under development where there is a 4x increase in demand.


It is our belief that 2022 will firmly establish senior living communities as a complete and comprehensive solution for seniors needs – both at the moment and as these needs evolve over time.  Well run senior living communities that frees residents from the chores of daily life, encourages them and provides opportunities to embrace positive ageing as a lifestyle and gives them peace of mind for their medical needs will become the preferred option for seniors and their children.


Priorities, going ahead


The reason our team and the company were able to do so well in 2021 was on account of their singular focus on Columbia Pacific Communities’ mission statement: “To be the country’s most preferred operator and creator of senior living communities”.


Readers will notice that, we as a company, by using the term “preferred”, have surrendered the measurement of our success to our residents, our team members and our Developer partners.


It is they, based on their interaction with Columbia Pacific Communities, who shall rate our performance based on their experience as residents of our communities, as members of our work teams and as partners in the projects we launch together.


It is this one all important, all-encompassing driver of all our actions – the desire to remain true to all three stakeholders that will drive our company forward in our endeavour to be synonymous with providing seniors the opportunity to truly indulge themselves after they have spent a lifetime in service of their parents, their children, their organisations, society and the nation.


As far as advice for young professionals is concerned, Our team members are expected to adhere to the Company Dharma in all their interactions with our stakeholders – Unconditional Love, Respect and Care. Being human and respecting core values is normally the first elements to be sacrificed at the altar of what is expedient.


It is at these times that our actions be guided by what is “right” instead of what is “convenient” is tested to the core.


Much can be gained by singular focus on the end or results. Longer term, abiding and sustaining victories are achieved when one focusses as much on the means by which one attains the results.


Learnings and realizations across 2021


2021 and especially the second wave showed us what we should have always known – life is transitory.

When one evaluates one’s priorities against this paradigm, one realises that with the right priorities, every moment of this brief time on earth can be enriched by having one’s actions guided by the eternal values of humility and empathy.

I hope that “better” times do not make one lapse into the more material and impermanent excesses of the self.