ARMANI & FERRAGAMO Unhappy With DLF. Seeking New Partner

Italian luxury brands Salvatore Ferragamo and Giorgio Armani are considering chaning their existing local partner, a subsidiary of real estate developer DLF, and have been talking to other corporate groups and investors. 

Over the last five years, several leading luxury brands have already parted ways with the partner they chose to come to India with and have formed new alliances.

 Several have changed partners more than twice. The best known example of a break-up between a global brand and an Indian partner was between the Murjani family and Gucci three years ago and more recetly, with Jimmy Choo and Bottega Veneta, both the brands dumped the Murjanis and opted for Genesis Colors. There are several other examples of luxury retailers changing partners. Ermenegildo Zegna, one of the first luxury brands to set up shop in India, has now tied up with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Brands, while Paul Smith chose to ally with Genesis Colors. Even Genesis, which has several well-known luxury brands in its portfolio, was dumped by German luxury brand Aigner last year.

The crux of the whole problem is the standard template of a relationship that is short term and one sided in favour of the brand owner. Zegna and Reliance fought long over who would be the CEO of the alliance. Reliance insisted on having their own man while Zegna preferred their own.  Add to this the problems of acute shortage of high quality real estate to house retail outlets, high customs duties that push up retail prices and the buying habits of the Indian consumer who is terribly value-conscious.

Global Luxury Brands opt for alliances of short durations and keep the controls in their hands as they anticipate that the government will eventually allow 100 per cent foreign investment in single-brand retail. But will the Government do so? I don’t see that happening any time soon.

DLF Looking to Sell Aman Resorts & It’s Stake in Hilton Group

Real Estate giant – DLF is in a selling spree. DLF purchased the AMAN RESORTS in 2007 by paying over US$ 400 million has confirmed its decision to sell the hotel chain, with the exception of the Aman Hotel in New Delhi. The company is also seeking to sell its real estate joint venture with the Hilton Group, and also number of plots that had been acquired for building hotels but not used subsequently.

So is DLF going through a cash-crunch or it’s feeling the heat for associating with Son-in-Law of the India’s First Family, Robert Vadra? Fashionscandal had posted earlier about DLF Hotel Holdings entering into a partnership with Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., a company fully owned by Robert Vadra and his mother, Maureen Vadra. In 2008, Vadra acquired tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel, Hilton Garden Inn  in DLF Place Mall in Saket, Delhi. Several of Vadra’s companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the flagship DLF Ltd

You can read the earlier posting here:

No More Neeva & Rahul Jain’s Exotic Jungle Parties

One of the best parties that I had ever attended in Delhi were the one hosted by Neeva and Rahul Jain at their farm (a dairy farm) in the heart of the city. I had never expected a jungle like farm in the heart of Delhi. Yes Neeva and Rahul Jain had a 14 Acre Dairy Farm around Malcha Marg and it’s at this farm they had hosted some of Delhi’s most memorable parties.

But now there won’t be any more such parties at this farm because some months back the real estate giant – DLF and Robert Vadra’s Skylight bought out the farm from Rahul and Neeva Jain. No doubt it’s a great buy. Nestled in Delhi’s Ridge around Malcha Marg, this farm land is a property to die for.

But I am wondering what DLF-Skylight will do with this land. The land is for ‘Dairy-Farm’ use. But then with their clout, the land-use notification can be changed and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Luxury Hotel props up in that land; that exotic land of, which I have some fond memories.

Samir Thapar left India and now JCT Football Team Shuts Down was the FIRST to report in November 2010 about Samir Thapar of JCT and few other Thapar Companies selling off everything and leaving India for good. You can read the older post in the Archives or here –…his-properties/ 

JCT, the Thapar Company owned a prestigious football team in India. The team had great players but now with the sudden shut-down of the team as its owner is cooling his heels in Canada, the 20 odd talented players suddenly find themselves in the lurch. Samir Thapar sold off his Lutyen’s Delhi House to DLF for an astounding Rs.300 Crores. Now sources tell me that Rajiv Singh of DLF is rennovating that huge palatial house to gift it to his daughter.

Samy (that’s what friends called Samir) Thapar lived an extravagant life. Fast cars, fast babes and lately his Aurangzeb Road house had become The After-Party Adda in town for every trashy firang girls. All sorts of expat girls – from backpackers to NGO workers to lingerie models illegally working without work-permit landed at Samy’s house for flowing booze, great food, luxuriant bathrooms to powder their nose and much-much more. Samir Thapar’s businesses weren’t doing good. How can they when the man is partying hard every night??? Reportedly he was in huge debts and that’s when he liquidated his properties and moved off to Canada.

Now Ajay Singh who dreamt of making it big when he left his modest home in Ropar last year and signed a two-year deal with JCT has nowhere to go. The young striker, who comes from a poor background, did make his mark by scoring five of JCT’s 17 goals in the I-League but today he is a devastated man. With JCT disbanding the team abruptly, Ajay is jobless. A few clubs approached him immediately at the end of the I-League but he rejected those because he had a two-year contract with JCT. Now, no one knows from where he will receive his next month’s salary.

Robert Vadra Ties-Up with DLF

The son-in-law of India’s First Family, Robert Vadra is going big into Reality Business with – Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. that is fully owned by Robert and his mother Maureen Vadra and has entered into partnership with DLF Hotel Holdings. Vadra is no more satisfied just with Artex, a small company specialising in jewellery and handicraft exports. Now he is scaling up his business activities. In 2008, Vadra acquired tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel, Hilton Garden Inn  in DLF Place Mall in Saket, Delhi.  Vadra is next planning to enter the business of chartering aircrafts (With Elections coming up, this is going to be a lucrative business.). All these information is available on the public domain with the Registrar of Companies. Several of his companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the flagship DLF Ltd. 

In an interview with a national business paper, Robert Vadra in a telephonic chat from Europe stated, “The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Saket is a small business hotel. I have interest in hospitality and am happy to be part of the hotel.”  Vadra also added, “I have known the DLF people for a long time and they are friends of mine. I had wanted to invest in real estate and one thing led to another. Right now, I can only be part of a small hotel. If I were taking favours from people I would be doing far bigger things. But I am doing this on my own. I can’t expand immediately but I hope to expand a few years down the line.” 

We wish you all the best Robert Vadra. Cheers!