Indian property firm sets its sights on diaspora in Asia

(Above left) Godrej Infinity, a project in Pune in India. Godrej Properties (GPL) established an international representative office in Singapore on Wednesday. Mr Malhotra (above right), GPL's executive director, says the physical presence will enabl
(Above) Godrej Infinity, a project in Pune in India. Godrej Properties (GPL) established an international representative office in Singapore on Wednesday. Mr Malhotra, GPL's executive director, says the physical presence will enable it to market its properties more effectively to Indians in the region.PHOTOS: GODREJ PROPERTIES
(Above left) Godrej Infinity, a project in Pune in India. Godrej Properties (GPL) established an international representative office in Singapore on Wednesday. Mr Malhotra (above right), GPL's executive director, says the physical presence will enabl
Godrej Infinity, a project in Pune in India. Godrej Properties (GPL) established an international representative office in Singapore on Wednesday. Mr Malhotra (above), GPL's executive director, says the physical presence will enable it to market its properties more effectively to Indians in the region.PHOTOS: GODREJ PROPERTIES

The Indian diaspora in Singapore and the region is being targeted for real estate investments in the motherland by the nation's largest listed real estate developer.

Mumbai-headquartered Godrej Properties (GPL), which notched up sales of about S$1.03 billion in its latest financial year ending in March, established an international representative office in Singapore on Wednesday at One Fullerton Road at Raffles Place.

"We want to provide a service to non-resident Indians and help them in their choice of residential properties in India," said Mr Mohit Malhotra, executive director of Godrej Properties.

"Indian nationals living abroad and people of Indian origin in the region have a high disposable income. They also actively invest in India, so we would like to tap the opportunities in Singapore where there is a large Indian community with strong cultural linkages with India," he added.

The 350,000 ethnic Indians in Singapore, together with a further 350,000 Indian nationals working in the financial services, information technology, marine and construction sectors in the city-state, make up a sizeable part of the target audience of Godrej Properties.

"Our strategic positioning in Singapore will help increase our market share," Mr Malhotra explained. "To be physically present in Singapore will enable us to market our properties, mainly residential properties, more effectively to Indians in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

TAPPING LINKS TO INDIA

Indian nationals living abroad and people of Indian origin in the region have a high disposable income. They also actively invest in India, so we would like to tap the opportunities in Singapore where there is a large Indian community with strong cultural linkages between Singapore and India.

MR MOHIT MALHOTRA, executive director of Godrej Properties.

"This presents a major market opportunity in this region."

GPL established its first overseas representative office in Dubai in 2014 to cater to the Indian diaspora in the United Arab Emirates and in the Middle East.

Over the years, GPL has been working with customers in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia, Africa, UK and USA.

GPL is currently developing residential, commercial and township projects spread across some 12 million square metres in 12 cities.

The cities are: Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Chandigarh, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Kolkata.

The properties are mainly high-end, with prices ranging from S$100,000 to S$2 million for apartments ranging from 40 sq m to 200 sq m. These are for one to four-bedroom apartment units.

Any individual who holds the Overseas Citizen of India card or the Person of Indian Origin card issued by the government of India can buy real estate in the South Asian country.

Foreign investors would have to meet the requirements set out by the Reserve Bank of India for foreign nationals and those of non-Indian origin.

Institutional investors can participate in Indian real estate by way of setting up real estate funds according to guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

Geraldine Goh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Indian property firm sets its sights on diaspora in Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe