US-based high-end condominium developer Trump Organisation has decided to enter the booming Indian real estate sector within the next 12 to 18 months. The firm is on the look out for Indian joint venture partners, Trump Organisation executive vice president (development and acquisition) Donald Trump Jr said.

“Now is the time to come to India. We hope to strike the deal in the next 12-18 months, but are eager to do it before that,” Trump Jr said, but declined to divulge the amount of investment.

“We are interested in major cities for investment. On a later date, we may enter the secondary and tertiary cities, as they grow,” Trump Jr said. He said his company would be interested in investing in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Trump Jr also urged developers to think ‘location, location, brand’ when trying to attract international investors. He stressed that the key challenge for Indian property developers is to ensure they continue to meet the expectations of high net-worth global investors. “Owners and developers must understand the mindset of prospective investors and offer unique and attractive real estate developments in a secure and transparent investment environment,” he said.

Trump Jr also said that his company has no intentions of entering the middle or low-income segment. “We are the best in the high-end sector and are not in a position to beat the best in that segment substantially,” he said.

The company, he added, would be looking into hotels and resorts for development as well. Stating that India has, over the past one decade, created a far more conducive environment for foreign investment, he said infrastructure still remains a major roadblock, needing revamp. “Deregulation has paved the way for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Foreign players have been provided with a level playing field. That’s great. Whenever, they come, efficiencies grow. India required FDI to take the sector to the next level. It will help other sectors as well,” he said.

Transparency in the Indian real estate industry is the need of the hour to give foreign investors the confidence to take larger exposure to the real estate growth in India. “An additional 16.8 million people annually add to the surging demand for infrastructure, housing, schools, hospitals, retail, hospitality and commercial property.

- 20 Nov '07
Economic times
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