Tag Archives: Bob Dhillon

Canadian NRI Bob Dhillon to enter Indian realty

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Bob Dhillon, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty-Agencies: Canada-based NRI billionaire, Bob Dhillon is considering investing up to $100 million (about Rs 540 crore) in the Indian real estate market and is planning to approach the Haryana Government for developing a township near Chandigarh.

Dhillon, the President and CEO of realty firm Mainstreet Equity Corp, is visiting India as part of a large business delegation accompanying Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

“I am looking at Haryana, more specifically areas adjoining Chandigarh, for development of a township. I am in the process of discussion with the state government,” he said.

Dhillon, whose family hails from Tallewal village in Barnala district of Punjab, noted that the ageing population of Indian diaspora in Canada — most of them are of descendants of Punjab — is looking for a second home in India. The planned project would be near upcoming international airport.

On likely investment, he said, “Under the right circumstances, we would consider investing $25—100 million in India.”

He said the investment in India might be in his personal capacity.

Asked about the Indian market, Dhillon said, “India is a developers’ dream because of its demographics, migration from rural to urban areas and collapse of joint family system.”

Stating that India needs institutional capital to deal with the rising housing demand, he said the government should make changes in laws to attract foreign investment.

The clarity in ownership rights, easy repatriation of capital and pragmatic landlord-tenancy Act are required for easy inflow of institutional capital, he said.

“I would be in the best market of the world, if the policies were tweaked to my appetite,” Dhillon said and hoped that the Indian government, which has made changes in retail FDI, would give priority to housing sector as well.

On his Toronto Stock Exchange-listed realty firm Mainstreet, he said the company, which acquires and rents apartments, has assets worth about $1.2 billion and has an annualised revenue of approximately $90—100 million. The company has over 8,000 apartments in Canada.

FDI in real estate will propel India to ranks of China, says billionaire NRI Bob Dhillon

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Bob Dhillon, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty-Agencies: Billionaire Indo-Canadian landlord Bob Dhillon, who is on the Canadian Prime Minister’s entourage currently visiting India, said India can be a developer’s dream because of so many factors. The Japan-born, India-educated businessman also said he “will be the first person to invest in India,” if the country “now goes for the kind of reforms it has just announced for FDI in retail.”

Dhillon, who is the biggest Indian-origin landlord in the western world, said that Indian policy-makers need to unlock the real estate market for institutional investors and then see the results.

“As I said, India is a developer’s dream because of its demographics, migration from rural to urban areas, and the breakdown of extended family to the nucleus,” Dhillon said in an interview before his departure for New Delhi.

“Any push to foreign investment in real estate will be a major boost to India’s GDP.”

Dhillon is the founder and CEO of Calgary-based Mainstreet Equity, which runs over 8,500 properties from Canada to Belize in Central America. The company, which he started from the back of his car, has been the 10th best performing stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It was the first Indian-owned company to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the late 1990s.

Dhillon said foreign institutional capital will create a real estate industry in India rivalling that of China.

“The Indian correlation of real estate industry to the GDP is very low compared to other developing and developed countries,” he pointed out. “For example, in North America, real estate accounts for 30 percent of the GDP. But in India, real estate accounts for just 5 percent of the GDP. Now that is not good for a country which has to lift millions and millions out of poverty.”

Asked what major steps India should take to attract foreign institutional investors in real estate, the billionaire said, “They need to make some major changes to alter the face of real estate – and thus the economy. One, they have to relax FDI in real estate as they did in the case of retail. Two, they have to spell out ownership rights. Right now, it’s grey area and we don’t know what our rights are.

“Third, we want more favourable landlord tenancy rights. It means they have to rewrite landlord tenancy act, etc. Right now, tenants can encroach and there is no redressal mechanism. Fourth, we want clarifications on repatriation of capital because they still have currency control.”

Dhillon, who has developed a 2,300-acre leisure island in Belize in Central America for celebrities and Hollywood stars, said he was looking forward to conveying his ideas to leaders and policymakers in India.