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Bharti Realty to enter housing segment in 2015

Rasul Bailay, New Delhi, The Financial Express

September 30, 2011

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After striking it big with Bharti Airtel in telecommunications, Bharti group is now aspiring to be among the top three real estate companies in India in the coming years, according to a senior Bharti official.

With several commercial and retail projects in hand, Bharti Realty, unit of Bharti Enterprises, is planning to enter the residential segment in 2015 with upscale homes. “Which cities to start with is yet to be decided. But it would be high-end residential wherever we do, at least in the initial stages,” the Bharti official said.

Bharti Realty currently has its focus on commercial and retail projects. “For the first five years until 2014 we said we won’t do residential,” the official said.

Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle says real estate companies in India’s top seven cities by population are expected to give possession to 750,000 to 800,000 dwelling units between 2011 and 2013. Analysts expect the figure to swell further in the years after that, luring companies like Bharti to win a slice of the promising sector.

At present, Bharti Realty is developing a 500,000 sq ft mall Pavilion in Ludhiana, the home town of Sunil Bharti Mittal, who scripted one of India’s most successful telecommunications ventures.

In 2009, Bharti Realty won the bids for three commercial plots measuring about eight acres in the hospitality and retail district called Aerocity, adjacent to the Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the capital.

Bharti is building 1.5 million sq ft of retail-cum-commercial complexes on the site. Senior officials say the first two floors or almost 25-30% of the building will house a luxury mall and the rest will be commercial space.

“The land came at such a high price that we intend to keep it high-end, something similar to Emporio,” the official said referring to DLF’s luxury mall in New Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area that is home to icons of luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Emporio Armani, among others.

The real estate company is also developing commercial and retail properties in Kolkata as well as in Gurgaon.

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