Piramal Finance to invest Rs10,000 crore in hotel assets: MD Khushru Jijina

Khushru Jijina, managing director of Piramal Finance. Photo: Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint

Bengaluru: Piramal Finance Ltd plans to invest around Rs10,000 crore in the hospitality sector in the next three years, a top company executive said, betting on growth prospects in a sector it entered earlier this year.

The Mumbai-based firm, a unit of Piramal Enterprises Ltd, is also expanding investments in affordable housing, Khushru Jijina, managing director of Piramal Finance and Piramal Housing Finance Ltd said. It has already invested Rs520 crore—in structured debt and construction finance—in Bengaluru-based GM Infinite’s Global Techies Town project in Electronic City.

After inking two deals totalling around Rs1,200 crore across four hospitality projects in 2018, Piramal Finance is working on seven-eight transactions to be closed during the year.

“Our investments in the hospitality sector are expected to rapidly grow, with a separate team and focus on this space. We are seeing a lot of opportunities for us to offer different kinds of capital to meet various demands particularly during a time when many assets run the risk of turning into NPAs (non-performing assets),” Jijina said in an interview.

Jijina said Piramal also plans to invest more in affordable housing, given various government incentives and tax benefits for both low-cost and middle-income projects.

In February, Piramal Finance said it will focus on affordable and mid-income housing projects across major cities with an initial investment of Rs3,000 crore. Piramal intends to scale it up and invest around $2 billion in such projects by 2020.

Apart from the GM Infinite deal, affordable housing firm Mahaveer Group has also raised Rs380 crore from Piramal Finance for five of its projects in Bengaluru.

The 27-acre Global Techies Town project is part of a 124-acre mixed-use development project. The starting price for a two-bedroom apartment is around Rs40 lakh.

“In the last two years, we have sold nearly 3,000 homes in Bengaluru, including 1,500 homes in the Global Techies project. As a financial partner, Piramal is very quick in closing a transaction which is quite helpful,” said GM Infinite chairman and managing director Gulam Mustafa.

GM Infinite is also acquiring land for a 70-acre township project on Sarjapur Road and Piramal is planning to partner with the developer for it.

On its new housing finance business, that was launched in Mumbai in 2017, Piramal Housing Finance has already crossed Rs1,000 crore of loans in a span of six months.

Last week, it launched operations in Delhi and this week, in Bengaluru.

“Going forward, by 2020, we plan to expand our reach with 24 branches across India to establish our pan-India presence,” Jijina said.