Liquid Real Estate Awards 2008: Best overall developer, India
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Liquid Real Estate Awards 2008: Best overall developer, India

Indian property company DLF is expanding from a base of strength in a Delhi suburb to other booming cities. Returns will contract as interest rates and land prices rise but its high-quality product should keep it at the top of the heap. Elliot Wilson reports.

DLF moves out and up from Delhi base

DLF is no fly-by-night arrivé on the Indian property scene. As Delhi Land & Finance, it has been in the real estate business since 1946. It is now run by Kushal Pal Singh, estimated by Forbes magazine to be the world’s eighth-richest man. The company’s $2 billion initial public offering in July 2007 created India’s biggest real estate operation, and was at the time the largest stock sale ever completed in Mumbai. The company’s foundations are to be found in Gurgaon, a fast-growing, all-encompassing commuter belt/suburb/industrial zone to the southwest of Delhi. DLF owns 62 million square feet of land in Gurgaon, out of a total countrywide land bank of 75 million square feet.

It’s also the country’s flagship property company. A senior official at DLF told Liquid Real Estate that while India’s real estate market was currently "in a state of uncertainty" – because of a general slump in domestic stock prices, rising prices and a gently slowing economy – the company boasted the "brand strength and market depth" to survive the lean times.

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