Unitech eyes core sector, global market

December 12, 2007

India’s second-largest real estate developer, Unitech has major plans up its sleeves, which look beyond real estate.
After announcing its plans of entering the telecom business, Unitech now wants to concentrate on positioning itself as a full fledged infrastructure development company with interests in power, roads, airports, in short wherever it sees an opportunity.

Besides, it also plans to enter the international market, talks for which are on with a number of foreign players. Unitech wants to own and operate these infrastructure projects unlike contractual work which it used to take up in the past for developing captive power projects or even some road projects.

Infact, it would not be dependant only on real estate for its future growth. “Infrastructure has a fantastic scope. We have aggressive plans for infrastructure development business in addition to expanding our existing road and highway construction business,” Unitech chairman Ramesh Chandra told SundayET.

This would help the company grow at over 50 % over the next three years. “Over the next five years, we plan to grow 5 to 6 times our current size of around Rs 3,388 crore,” he said. The realtor’s recent initiative to bid for airport development rights falls in line with this larger gameplan. But it’s not just infrastructure development which is on their mind.

Commenting on the proposed international business Mr Chandra said that though things are yet to develop, it will first look at the hospitality sector on foreign shores. The real estate player already has plans to go into hospitality in a big way in the domestic market with a target of as many as 28 hotels by 2010.

Having been more involved in luxury and niche projects, Unitech also doesn’t rule out moving into the mass housing sector in the near future. “Mass housing accounts for nearly 30-35% of the market. Hence it is necessary to build projects for this segment. We will be seriously thinking of building projects for them as well,” added Mr Chandra. Unitech, meanwhile, is already involved in the finance market and operates two real estate funds. Besides, it is also developing a couple of SEZs, one of which is in partnership with the Salim group.

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