Millennium Post

Dubai's Emaar Properties to partner with local developers to monetise land bank in India

New Delhi: Sitting on a huge land bank of 4,500 acres across India, Dubai-based Emaar Properties is looking for partners to develop some of the land parcels that it does not intend to construct.

Emaar India's new CEO Prashant Gupta said the company has also chalked out plan to launch 7-8 projects in 2019 calendar year, even as its current focus is to complete 10,000 pending units by end of the next year at a cost of about Rs 1,000 crore.

"We have a land bank of 4,500 acres across India. We will not sell land as we are not allowed to do so as per the FDI law. We will go for partnership for land parcels which we dont want to develop," he told PTI.

Gupta said the company will provide the land to its joint venture partners, who would develop projects on their own brand.

"These projects will not be developed under Emaar brand. No co-branding as well," he said, adding that the company would just share revenue with its partners.

The company is in various stage of discussion with local developers, he added.

Asked about launching own projects, Gupta said the company has identified some land parcels where company would like to develop projects.

"We plan to launch 8 projects in calendar year 2019. One or two out of these 8 may happen even this year but we will not push for it as the focus is currently on execution of existing projects," he said.

The company has applied for necessary government approvals to start new projects.

On reports about company selling its office building in Gurugram, Gupta declined to comment terming it as market rumours.

In 2005, Emaar Properties entered Indian real estate market in partnership with India's MGF Group and invested Rs 8,500 crore through joint venture Emaar MGF Land.

However, in April 2016, it decided to end their 11-year old JV. In January this year, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the proposed demerger scheme of Emaar MGF Land, paving the way for two JV partners to go separate ways.

The demerger process got completed by July-end but during the last two years, the Dubai-based firm has been strengthening its India operations.

As part of this exercise, the company raised debt to complete its delayed projects.

"Our entire focus is on completion of all existing projects. We have increased the number of labourers at our sites to 9,000 from 7,000 workers few months back," said Gupta, who joined Emaar India in June from Aditya Birla Group where he worked about seven years.

"Real estate is a complex business. There are lots of challenges. Therefore, we are trying to build a stronger organisation. Like in Dubai, the focus in India will be on customers and speed," he added.

Post-demerger, he said the company has restructured operation where underperforming employees have been given pink slips and those positions being filled with quality talents from across sectors.

"We would like Emaar to be India's most admired real estate player. We know it's a long way and will take us a few years, but that is the ultimate objective," Gupta concluded.

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