Publishing, Print on Demand, Self-publishing in India from Team

Interview (Part 1): Prof. Syamales Datta


We had the opportunity of interacting with Prof. Syamales Datta, author of Mastering Real Estate Valuation and Advanced Valuation for Secured Lending by Banks and Financial Institutions.

Syamales Datta received his Physics (Hon) from Calcutta University and joined Howrah Improvement Trust. He qualified with RICS in 1971 and retired from service in the spring of 2004 after serving as chief valuer. A fellow of the IOV and the IOS, Datta has also been a research guide for Annamalai’s masters programme. He has taught valuation at IIEST, IUM, IEM, ILGUS, WBVB, HUDCO, JU, TIU, IOV, IOS, and recently at RVOS.  Datta coordinates symposia. Earlier titles include Valuation of Real Property: Principles & Practice and Advanced Valuation for Secured Lending by Banks and Financial Institutions; the former bestseller is replaced with this paperback by time. The Valuer’s Day Award in 2007 and the Valuer Excellence Award in 2016 are some of Datta’s recent honors.

The author valued for Andal Aerotropolis, mall development rights in Curzon Park, Kolkata and he was consulted by Indo Nabin and the LIC(I). He did a feasibility analysis project for Kolkata Metro’s wing, east of the Ganga. Government projects included the semi-weekly market in Howrah and Nagaland’s cement factory. Works and writings made headlines and case laws and some are sub judice. The author’s profits from self-publishing have surpassed his total royalty earned over two decades from traditional publishers.

Check out his web profiles here:


Describe your writing process.

Before writing a book on real property valuation, I first plan how much coverage is to be given to theories that will be included in the book and how to deal with concepts and events to be covered. Then, I plan the fashion of inclusion of topics like market valuations, statutory valuations, investments, taxation, etc. in the book. In covering them, I carefully follow the guidelines laid down by standards bodies like The International Valuation Standards (IVS) Council, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) etc. I follow this process when I write on real estate valuation.

When I write on other subjects, I concentrate on the purpose of writing, and try to compile information and explanations needed. I select a suitable bibliography and study the thoughts and views on and trends in the subject matter. Finally, I select a framework based on my research and converge on my writing. I generally sit at my desk when I write for extended periods but I sometimes pace my bedroom floor in meditation before arriving at conclusions. During breaks, I relax with a cuppa and digestive cookies.

Explain to potential non-fiction writers the kind of homework they need to do before writing a comprehensive book of non-fiction.

Non-fiction authors should give every effort to themselves study the ideas, concepts and principles pertaining to the subjects of their books. In this process, the writer should examine global and local practices. Use search engines and online encyclopedia,  multimedia presentations, learning platforms and professional groups as far as possible. For example, we have a Facebook group.

Authors should expose themselves to and benefit from the exchange of views with other writers and professionals. One’s own experience in writing contributes richly to new ventures. Research papers and authentic reading materials in the subject also help build up concepts. Even non-fiction writers have a great need to enjoy fiction in order to grow a good sense of style. Style guides are more necessary to writers of non-fiction than fiction, to make intelligible information out of technical data.

How long did it take for you to write this book?

It took me about four years to write Mastering Real Estate Valuation.

Before this, I had written Valuation of Real Property (1st Ed. 1993 & 2nd Ed. 2004, Eastern Law House, Kolkata). Those bestsellers were replaced by Mastering Real Estate Valuation, 1st Ed. which was published Sat 29 Dec 2018 in Hyderabad vide my FaceBook timeline for multimedia from the 49th Indian Valuers Congress 2018.  New legislation, new editions from the IVSC and the RICS and the need to give precedence to truth over the printer’s devil à la offset forced me to expensively self-publish this title from the Portable Document Format. I had previously self-published Advanced Valuation for Secured Lending by Banks and Financial Institutions (2nd Ed. ISBN 978-93-5156-947-3) 242 pages long vide

Please provide us a brief overview of the book.

The reasons that propelled me to write this volume are the dual context of liberalization and globalization, my desire to fully apprise readers of the historical development of the concept of property rights, a non-uniform dearth of reading material on leasehold valuation of real property in the developing nations of the world, updates to the International Valuation Standards and its free availability to members of member organizations like The Institution of Valuers as I am.

The book starts with the basic concepts and characteristics of real estate market. I talk about the challenges that India faces in its real estate market scenario and the evolution of modern real property rights to their complex present day form.

Various valuation approaches and methods have been explained at length. A separate chapter has been added on The Principles of ‘Yield’ which is the most crucial tool in the valuation of income-producing real estate. There are about 60 solved examples on leasehold valuation throughout various chapters of this book that constitute a significant body of problems on income-producing real estate.

Case studies have been provided to illustrate how to go about the valuation of development property and trade-related property as well as valuation and rent-control legislation, inter alia. A variety of cases under the housing sector and commercial real estate have been demonstrated.

There are a total number of 120 odd solved examples that will greatly interest professionals. The use of spreadsheets and pie diagrams is made wherever appropriate like the illustrations involving Hotel Hightopp and Pasteur Nursing Home.

All chapter sections have been provided with dot-separated Latin section numbers and each chapter starts with a part called ‘At a Glance’, for the convenience of varsities and other institutions and the IBBI Valuation Examination’s Asset Class–Land & Building which I have taught twice at the latter program. These are also useful for various training programs of IOV and IOS. The book has a minisite on the Internet at and Chapter 01: Real Estate—Concepts and Context is available free from

Prof. Syamales Datta imparts some more knowledge about real estate valuation and talks about his self-publishing experience in Part 2 of this interview.



  1. All the books of Prof. Syamales Datta are very helpful to real property valuation students including Mastering Real Estate Valuation (First Edition) ISBN 9789353218645 for both educational and professional purposes.
    That the standards of the International Valuation Standards Council have been followed in writing the book will be very useful to all professionals in real estate.
    Of all the valuers known to me in India, I find Prof. Syamales Datta to be the best.

    • Thank you Sujoy for rating my books including the present one so high. I only try to write based on my experience to assist the valuers in choosing modalities to a solution.The effect of my writings on seasoned valuers like you is a big return for me from the profession. I thank you and our valuers’ fraternity profoundly.

  2. A rare book that covered useful to practising valuers and IBBl registration aspirants. Incidently I had a chance to receive this book from the author and I hope the book will be a big hit in the valuation fraternity

    • Thank you Kumar for commenting so high on my book. Suitability for IBBI aspirants is an additional point for the book apart from its general acceptability by valuers. I am grateful to the valuers’ community for everything.

  3. ~ covered important techniques in valuation

  4. The book gives us a good guideline for the real estate valuation and also helps us for the preparation of the upcoming examinations

  5. Great interview

  6. Here is a Facebook video of the speech I delivered on Mastering Real Estate Valuation, 1st Ed. ISBN 9789353218645 at the 49th Indian Valuers Congress held at the Institution of Engineers (IOS), Telangana State Centre, Visvesvaraya Bhawan in Hyderabad on Sat 29 Dec 2018.

    If the link is not visible immediately above please visit my Facebook timeline (wall) as given in my answer above to the question on how long it took me to write the book.

  7. Of all the valuation books available, I found Prof S Dutta book most helpful and lucid.

  8. Pingback: Interview (Part 2) : Prof. Syamales Datta |

  9. Kalpendu Mukherjee,

    After going through the the book christened as “Mastering Real Estate Valuation” published by Prof. Syamales Datta, I must congratulate his devotion on the subject of “Real Estate Valuation”. The author also published several books in the past on the same subject. Those books were also worth-full. I have collected all most all his books as reference books for my valuation professional practices. In fact, I am his admirer of valuation subject.
    The author proved his dexterity on the subject of valuation of immovable properties explaining clearly particularly in the matter of valuation of lease hold properties and equated yield for investment properties. The author observed International Valuation Standards (I.V.S.) as also prevailing Indian norms of valuation practices. His “Mastering Real Estate Valuation” will help immensely for the students aspiring for Post Graduate Valuation Degree, Professional Valuation Degree as also I.B.B.I. examinations in immovable properties / Real Estate properties.
    Expecting such other valuation professional books will come from the author in near future.

  10. I am grateful to Mr Kalpendu Mukherjee for his graceful and generous comments on my book. This will inspire me in my quest for learning my profession more intimately and create more reading materials for my readers.

  11. I had the opportunity to meet up with him & buy his book of Advanced Valuation for Secured Lending by Banks & Financial Institutions for only Rs.500 during my IBBI mandatory50 hrs. training programme held in Techno India’s campus at Salt Lake City. I had his words remembered when he said “this is the particular area where our students fail to understand properly ‘.Now when doing MSC (REV ) from Annamali University I feel he was so true. Hats off to you Sir….

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