Old-economy players diversify into realty biz

Companies such as Birla Group, pharma major Alembic, shipping and logistics company DBC Sons and jewellery retailer Malabar Group are developing blueprints for their real estate ventures.

According to reports, Kumar Mangalam Birla made an entry into the real estate vertical earlier this year. The Group carved out Birla Estates out of Century Textile, and plans to develop commercial property. Birla reportedly owns over 40 acres of land in Mumbai alone, according to market sources.

Players such as Tatas, Godrej, Piramal, Wadia and Bharti Enterprises have already made inroads into the sector by developing either old textile mills or land banks, which they had acquired aeons ago.

DBC Sons, too, launched a real estate vertical last year. The company is unlocking the value of its land bank holding by launching a residential township in Pune. “We have been acquiring land in and around Mumbai for the past 40-odd years. We have a land bank and are looking to develop good-quality housing,” said Tushad Dubash, Director, Duville Estate, DBC’s real estate vertical. To a question on why the company did not go for joint developments, Dubash said the company is keen to go it alone as it didn’t want to give the complete control of land to third-party developers. While he didn’t specify the investments made in the Pune project, Dubash said he expected a project realisation of ₹1,500 crore from it.

Wadia’s Bombay Realty recently appointed a new CEO to strengthen its realty play. The company is also currently developing a 29-acre luxury residential project, called Island City Center, in Dadar area, and a 25-acre mixed-use project, Wadia International Centre. Jeh Wadia, scion of the group, reportedly directly oversees the project. The company has a land bank of over 100 acres.

Supreme Holdings and Hospitality has also forayed into real estate with its residential project, under Belmac Residences, in Pune. Prateek Jatia, Executive Director, Belmac said: “The launch of Belmac Residences is in line with our strategy of establishing a strong footprint in large developing markets across the country. We believe Pune market has a great potential and is one of the most important real estate markets.”

The 107-year-old Alembic Group has also entered the real estate business in Bengaluru with Alchemy Real Estate. Udit Amin, President, Alembic said in a statement: “Alchemy Real Estate is proud to make a foray into Bengaluru, a beautiful city that offers countless exciting opportunities for sustainable growth and development.”

Gold jewellery retailer Malabar Group, too, is planning to expand pan-India with property development projects worth ₹10,000 crore. The Kerala-based group plans to develop commercial and residential properties across the country as part of its aggressive expansion plan. “We have prepared a roadmap to emerge as one of the biggest real estate players in the country by 2020. We are in the process of tying up for joint ventures at the national level,” said Group Chairman MP Ahammed. Malabar Developers currently has a land bank of 200 acres spread across three States, more than 2 million sqft of ongoing projects, and more than 16 million sqft of upcoming projects.

Credits The Hindu Business Line

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