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Realty’s Newcomers

Way back in 1984, the Tata Group entered the real estate business by setting up Tata Housing Development Company as a subsidiary of Tata Sons. It stood out because most industrial houses shunned property development those days. Even the industrialists who were building up conglomerates or diversifying into new areas rarely looked at realty, then considered a messy business. On the other hand, real estate barons such as Kushal Pal Singh of DLF, the Ansal brothers (Sushil and Gopal), Ramesh Chandra with his Unitech brand in Delhi, and the Rahejas, the Hiranandanis, Mofatraj Munot with his Kalpataru Group in Mumbai, to name a few, were cementing the foundations of their real estate empires in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Cut to 2012, and many traditional industrialists have embraced real estate as a big business opportunity. The Mahindras have their realty play. The Godrej property dream is being realised by a team under Pirojsha Godrej, a third generation scion. UB Group's Vijay Mallya has developed a couple of iconic towers and a mall in Bangalore on land that he inherited. The Wadias are developing their massive tracts of textile mill land they own in the heart of Mumbai. B.K. Birla's Century Textiles is on the same path. The Ashok Piramal Group has been in real estate for over 10 years and has scaled up by acquiring a couple of defunct textile mills. And there are dozens more.

Meanwhile, the Tata Group set up a second company — Tata Realty and Infrastructure (TRIL) — in 2007 to focus on information technology parks, special economic zones (SEZ) as well as airports, roads and bridges. This is quite apart from Tata Housing Development Company, which has roughly 45 million sq. ft under development currently. Source: Business World << Back