For all of the potential in India’s property sector, foreign investors still need to tread lightly here. This is an oblique and misleading market.
For Vincent Lottefier, chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a joint venture between the global real estate services firm and Indian property services firm Trammell Crow Meghraj, India’s fast-growing property market is a mixture of the alluring and the frustrating. An old Asia hand, Lottefier has experienced the best and worst of real estate in India (his present home) and China (where he used to work).
Asked to contrast the two markets, he says India is by far the harder place in which to do business. "In China there are only a few things to iron out that are big. In India, even when you think you’ve ticked all the boxes, you could still get hit by a truck going the wrong way."
He adds: "There are so many issues [in India]. Basically the list doesn’t end."
Any regular visitor to Asia’s two emerging industrial powerhouses will also have noted the stark contrast in how a building is constructed and managed.