Senior executives in realty move on to start their own ventures

At least half a dozen real estate executives of property development and infrastructure companies have quit to set up their own ventures in the past couple of months.

The latest is Hardeep Dayal, who quit as head of real estate at GVK-led Mumbai International Airport. He’s setting up a consultancy for realty companies, having worked as principal, real estate investments, at ICICI Ventures before joining GVK. He refused to comment for this report.

Manoj Motta, head of property at Tata-led Trent Hypermarkets, quit to set up Banyan Resources, which is into setting up and managing annuity assets such as schools, colleges, hostels, clubs and sports facilities and so on. “There was a calling to use my number of years of corporate experience in bringing services to the consumer,” he said, when asked about the venture. Motta has about 20 years experience in real estate development, advisory and asset management.

Earlier this month, Sujay Kalele, chief executive of Pune-based Kolte Patil Developers, quit to set up a realty services entity. His company will help smaller, unbranded real estate developers with services in standardisation and best practices, helping them “secure higher realisations, better sales velocity and increased profitability”, he said.

In June, Anurag Singhvi and R Karthik, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, respectively, of the Mumbai-based Lodha group, quit to set up their own venture, Xanadu Realty, to offer real estate services. The duo, batchmates at Indian Institute of Management (IIM)—Bangalore, declined to comment for the story, saying they were in the process of setting up the entity.

The two quit Lodha after the separation in the Rs 8,000-crore group, where elder brother Abhisheck Lodha got to manage the realty business and younger brother Abhinandan planning to set up a financial services company.

Last year, Cherag Ramakrishnan, chief executive of Equinox Realty, part of the Essar Group, quit to set up his own development company, CeeaR Realty. It has launched three projects across Bengaluru and Mumbai  since inception.

“People sense opportunities in the sector after working for so many years. It becomes difficult to work as an employee after so many years,” said Balaji Raghavan, head, real estate practice, at IIFL.

Added Susil Dungarwal, founder of mall management company Beyond Squarefeet Advisory: “Executives feel they can use their talent in a better manner after working for so many years. But, there is also a fear. I have come across many who have gone back to their jobs after setting up on their own,” he said.

Dungarwal himself had set up Beyond Squarefeet after working with Emaar MGF and Prestige Group, heading their mall development business.

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