Sai Rama Raju Marella

Consultant – Academics & Research | sairamam at iihs dot ac dot in

2014    MPlan, Housing CEPT University Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2010    BArch Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University Hyderabad, Telangana, India



Countries: India
States: Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
Cities: Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Hyderabad
Languages: English, Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati

Sai Rama Raju Marella is an architect and urban planner. He earned his master’s degree from CEPT University specialising in housing. He has considerable professional experience in the fields of architecture, urban design, urban planning and real estate. Prior to IIHS, SaiRam worked with Aarusha Home Pvt. Ltd. on rental housing with a focus on students and single-employee segment. Here, he piloted a project for blue-collar low-income industrial workers. He has also worked with the Urban Development and Urban Housing Department of Gujarat under the Affordable Housing Mission as a Town Planning Specialist. He worked as a state coordinator for the Slum Free City Plan of Action and assisted urban local bodies in the in-situ development of slums and was also involved in state policies and programmes related to housing and slum development in Gujarat. Sai Rama has also worked with the Centre for Research Development Consultancy (CRDC-CEPT University) on urban design projects including on the new campus for the Sardar Patel Institute for Public Administration (SPIPA) in Ahmedabad. He has also worked on the planning and design aspects and Kolawada Lake Front Development master planning and design aspects.


Sai Rama is a Senior Associate with the Academics and Research team. He is part of the housing team at IIHS and focuses on affordable housing, rental housing and real estate. He has worked on the model national urban rental housing policy for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, affordable housing as well as green building policy for the state of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He is also part of various research on slum redevelopment, low-income rental housing, tenancy laws as well as private affordable housing markets in India.


  • Affordable Housing: Policy and Practice, Housing, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Spatial Appreciation, Urban design and planning, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • National Urban Missions, Housing, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Practica, Urban design and planning, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Exposure visits to Hyderabad, Urban design and planning, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS



  • Integrated Capacity Building Programme (ICBP), Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), IIHS
  • Capacity Building Programme for Town Planning Officials of Maharashtra (YASHADA), Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), IIHS
  • Land Use Planning (GIZ),Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), IIHS

Journal Article 

  • Marella, S. R., Priya, K. & D’Souza, P. V. (2022) COVID-19 and precarious Housing: Paying guest accommodation in a metropolitan Indian city. Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs, 12(2), 348–370.
  • Marella, S. R., Krishna, P., & D’Souza, P. V. (2022). COVID-19 and precarious housing: Paying guest accommodation in a metropolitan Indian city. Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs. 12(2).


Other Writing

  • Abhinav, M., & Marella, S. R.  (2020, October 9). Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala. India Water Portal.
  • Harish, S., Marella, S. R., Priya, K., & D’Souza, P. V. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on paying guest accommodations in India. United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner Human Rights.
  • Marella, S. M., (2020, August 09). With barely any occupants, lockdown has hit Bengaluru’s PG housing operators. The News Minute.
  • Marella, S. R. (2023, March 29 – 31). Unaided low income shared rental housing: A case of formal rental housing market in Bangalore. Paper presented at the Housing studies association (HSA) annual conference: Futures of housing justice, United Kingdom.
  • Participated in the workshop on Energy, Culture & Society in the Global South organised by Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, 31 May-01 June 2019.
  • Promoting ‘Residential REITs’ and Rental Management Companies for Enhancing and Sustaining the Supply of Rental Housing, Aspects of Capital and Finance, and Management
  • Enabling the Business Environment for Green Buildings Development
  • TDR Mobilisation for In-Situ Slum Redevelopment and Reconstituting KSDB as a Planning Authority
  • Advisory services for Sustainable Urban Development–Smart Cities (SUD-SC) on the Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission (OLHM)
  • Energy Innovations for Low Income Housing in India and South Africa
  • Feasibility Study for Inner City Redevelopment for Identified Areas of Halasuru Market Area and Kamaraju Road, Bengaluru
  • Techno-Feasibility Study for Implementing the Proposed Bengaluru One Lakh Affordable Housing Project
  • Analysing and Providing Suggestions and Recommendations for Drafting the Model National Rental Housing Policy
  • PEAK Urban: Metropolitan Development and Land Based Financing
  • Evaluation of PMAY Housing Scheme in Jharkhand