Blackstone Puts Big Money in Indian Real Estate

New York City-based Blackstone Group is in advanced talks to acquire over 360,000 sq ft spread over six floors in the First International Financial Center (FIFC) Tower at Bandra-Kurla Complex, a business district in Mumbai, for over $125 million.

Real Estate

With rising income levels of India’s consumers, Blackstone has started focusing on retail spaces in India. The company has acquired properties across major markets in India in deals that are turning out to be benchmarks in the real estate sector. It owns India’s biggest portfolio of income producing office assets totaling over 30 million sq ft worth over a billion dollars across Noida, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore says ET Realty.

 

February 13, 2017   No Comments

Qualcomm Expands its Design Initiatives in India

After successfully completing the first edition of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge, the company announced an investment of $8.5 million for its second edition, where the challenge will focus on rural technology, biometric devices, payment terminals, agriculture technology, medical technology, and smart infrastructure.

“Qualcomm Design in India Challenge is one of the most successful initiatives by Qualcomm to nurture some of the talented startups in India. After seeing the overpowering response during the 2016 edition, we decided to go ahead with a second year, as well as expanding the number of participants Qualcomm nurtures through this program from 10 to 16 participants in 2017,” announced Qualcomm Technologies‘ senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific and India Jim Cathey in his statement.

Innovation

The company plans to support mobile and IoT vendors in India by providing advanced cameras, audio, and RF designs at its new Innovation Lab to be set up in the southern city of Hyderabad, as well as at its current Innovation Lab in Bangalore which will be expanded to support the initiative, reports the Economic Times.

February 8, 2017   No Comments

Some iPhones May Soon Be “Made in India”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call in the first week of February that India is “the place to be.” And Priyank Kharge, the minister for Information Technology for the state of Karnataka, India, said that Cupertino-based Apple Inc., will at first, begin assembling iPhones in India by the end of April.  “Apple’s iPhones will be made in Bangalore (the capital city of Karnataka) and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market,” added Kharge.

apple-ipad_1

Wistron, Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer, will use its existing facility in an industrial zone to the north of Bangalore to assemble the smartphones, and later, it will start manufacturing them.

The company sold a modest 2.5 million iPhones in the country in 2016. While that was its best year ever in terms of revenues and sales, it only ranked 10th among vendors in the December quarter according to Counterpoint Research, says Bloomberg. Apple accounts for less than 2 percent of shipments in India, where an estimated 750 million smartphones will be sold by 2020. “In the longer term, it’s a great move,” Cook added on the post-earnings call. “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country.”

February 6, 2017   No Comments

Ola Claims 75% Market Share of India’s Urban Taxi Services

India’s Bangalore-based transport aggregator Ola said that because of its India-specific innovations such as offline booking and local language apps, the company “effectively holds over three-fourth market share”, reports the Economic Times. COO Pranay Jivrajka told the Press Trust of India that the focus of a business needs to be on localization in building customized products, and replicating existing business models and innovations will not work for the market here.
Ola Logo

“We are using technology to create ‘Made for India’ solutions, both on the supply and demand side, right from offline bookings for customers and 2G optimization to local language apps. Several introductions by our competition such as the ride later option, and the cash payment option have already been pioneered months ago by Ola’s technology team,” Jivrajka added.

Backed by investment from Japan’s SoftBank, Ola is a credible  competitor in India  to California-based Uber.

January 2, 2017   No Comments

India’s Property Market May Flourish in 2017

Word on the street was that India’s November 2016 demonetization of high value currency notes would have a significant impact on the real estate price; here is what the experts say:

Forbes reports that 2017 will be a bumper year for India’s real estate market as well as for its economy. The country tops the list of preferred destinations for investment in property by institutional investors.

High Rise Apartments

The middle class in India, the driver of the surge in domestic consumption, has very little household debt and is looking for suitable housing. The finance industry is supportive and India’s central bank has repeatedly cut interest rates. All these factors are promising trends for investors in the realty market, and for 2017 Bangalore and Mumbai are the top-ranked cities for both investment and development, according to the 2017 version of Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific, put out by Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute.

India is seeing a boom in business-park development, and suburban development is creating new business and residential neighborhoods. Blackstone of New York City, the Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, privately-held Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda are seriously interested in property assets in India.

Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle India says: 2016 saw the biggest changes in decades, especially on the policy front – the Goods and Services Tax and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill cleared hurdles, and are on their way to implementation. REITs will help smaller investors to invest in Grade-A commercial real estate across India. India’s first REIT listing will happen in 2017.

India’s Tier-I cities moved up to the 36th rank in JLL’s biannual Global Real Estate Transparency Index in 2016 due to improvements in structural reforms and liberalization of the foreign direct investment policy. India came 4th in developing Asia in terms of Foreign Direct Investment inflows per the World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. Thanks to a proactive government keen on improving India’s ranking on different indices and strengthening public institutions, the country is poised to become a modern economy.

As the real estate market achieves higher transparency, the mismatch of demand/supply can offer opportunities for developers and investors alike. Indian real estate is on its way to becoming a consolidated and moderately efficient  sector over the next few years.

 

December 30, 2016   No Comments