Trump Towers is the new Pune code. That is, after years of speculation whether to set up shop in India, the Donald Trump-led Trump Organization has brokered a deal with the Pune-based Panchshil Realty to set up a project in the country’s self-proclaimed OxfordBSE of the east.
Last month, the Pune-based Panchshil Realty made headlines by announcing a branding tie-up with the New York-headquartered Trump Organization for Trump Towers. Business tycoon Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice-President-Development and Acquisitions, played a pivotal role in ensuring the deal went through.
Responding over email, Trump Jr. explains, “I have had the privilege of visiting India many times and just over a year ago, I met with Panchshil Realty. I visited many of their projects and was drawn by their attention to detail, commitment to quality and love of real estate, similar to our core values at the Trump Organization. As the developer of Trump Tower Pune, Panchshil Realty plans to deliver a project that is second to none and truly will elevate the standard of the luxury in this region.”
With work already underway at the Pune site and expected to be ready by 2015, Trump Towers seems set to be the first Trump branded property in India with Junior clearly emerging as the new architect of Don Trump’s multi-billion dollar empire. As Trump Towers is a branding tie up, the Trump Organization will provide design and branding support while the investment would come in from the Indian partner. The prospect of being the first to own a Trump branded property in India resulted in over 600 inquiries within the first week itself; and 10 sales within 10 days of making the announcement.
“We’ve taken a conscious decision to focus only on luxury residential projects in the future. Given this, it doesn’t get much bigger than bringing the Trump brand to India,” says Sagar Chordia, Director-Residential, Panchshil Realty. Chordia explains that these apartments would be on par with any of the Trump Towers globally, following the same architecture and design standards. The partners are also exploring the possibility of expanding this association to other cities, with Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon, all being under consideration.
For Trump, India has been on the radar for a while now. In addition to the announcements of building Trump Towers Mumbai and Bengaluru, there was also talk of setting up a $1 billion fund to buy property in India but Trump Jr. says that plan was put on hold because of bleak global cues. At present, the focus is clear-growing their footprint in India.
“The increased global interest for India as a destination and growing number of high net worth individuals in the country translate into an increased demand for ultra luxury real estate. The country also continues to see an increased development of iconic hotels and incredible mixed use projects that are redefining cityscapes. With an appreciation for the luxury lifestyle, the next natural step is to bring the Trump Hotel Collection to India,” he says. The strategy would remain the same — partnerships with local developers who would be best suited to navigate the domestic landscape and provide the kind of capabilities required to be successful in the luxury real estate segment.
While Trump Jr. does not totally rule out the possibility of equity investments in the future, branding tie-ups are an important aspect of the group’s international expansion. “Regardless if it is an emerging or a developed market, we continue to only look for branding opportunities with the best developer in key locations,” he says. With Jr. at the helm, the company will work on expanding its presence in emerging markets. “Apart from our strong interest in India, we are also looking at key countries, such as China and Brazil, and within those destinations are looking at Beijing, Shanghai, Rio and Sao Paolo as markets we think our brand would add significant value,” he shares.
While he may have officially joined his father’s company only after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Trump Jr. was no stranger to business, having spent most of his evenings there after school while growing up. His primary focus is to grow the group’s real estate, hospitality and golf interests worldwide, and what really excites him is the all-encompassing nature of his role. “I am involved in many projects from the initial acquisition onto design and construction and through to management depending on the particular property. For me, one of the reasons that I love what I do is the fact that I am able to work on so many components of a project. My day can consist of business meetings in my office to then going and putting on a hard hat and boots, walking a construction site,” he says, describing his role at the organisation.
The siblings, Trump Jr., Ivanka and Eric, share a close bond and all three are EVPs at the Trump Organization and work closely on all projects the group undertakes. “I am very fortunate that I have the ability to work alongside my father and siblings every day at the Trump Organization. We have offices right next to each other and are constantly discussing new opportunities or business decisions with my father. He is an incredible advisor and one I continue to learn from every day,” he says. Inevitably, there are comparisons with his father’s style of leadership, but Trump Jr. shrugs it off. “Naturally, given our age difference and the years of expertise which I am only beginning to catch up on, our styles of business will most certainly be different. However, I don’t think there is anyone like my father. As a businessman and entrepreneur, if my business sense is similar or even close to my father’s, I would say it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The influence, not surprisingly, goes beyond the boardroom. “From a young age, my father has always taught me that nothing will be handed to you and that you must work hard for everything that you have in life. His strong work ethic and passion is something that I certainly have been influenced by and look forward to teaching my own children,” he says. Married to model Vanessa Haydon, the couple is currently expecting their fourth child. Outside of work, Trump Jr. is also an ambassador for Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries for young children. Another area where he’s following his father’s footsteps is on the reality TV show, The Apprentice, where he is now a full-time observer.
Via : ET