Thursday, August 04, 2011

Bombay Dyeing moves into Real estate, Retail

Parsee business and trusts like Bombay Dyeing, Godrej, Tata hold vast amounts of prime land in Mumbai. These guys are are now unlocking the land value by developing these land parcels and selling these outrageously priced apartments to black money holders. The airline GoAir which is run by Jeh Wadia is a flop airline. I wonder how CNBC TV18 touts it as a successful aviation business. In fact Jeh Wadia had made some disparaging remarks on the poor kids when he started the airline promotions at 500 Rs per seat to Goa. I wonder if he will say the same things about the rich luxury apartment owners who will still be living in 'below the poverty line' apartments as compared to a rich trust fund baby.

On the retail front with the imminent arrival of supermarket chains like  Walmart, Tesco and CarreFour into the top 6 metro cities of India, I am expecting a big jump in prices for  rentals/outright sales of shops in all major neighborhoods. Indian cities are just the right model for Tesco Express stores (1000-5000 sq ft)  which stock Kirana style items while maintaining high quality standards of goods and customer service. A Tesco Express/Walmart express in every neighborhood is not unthinkable as these guys have the processes and knowhow defined to handle large scale operations smoothly

Project ‘ Bombay Dyeing Makeover’ has begun under the leadership of Jeh Wadia, the man behind Wadia group’s successful aviation business. CNBC-TV18’s Tanvi Shukla reports that the two key takeaways from the first annual general meeting (AGM) after Jeh Wadia took over as joint Managing Director of Bombay Dyeing is one, their focus on real estate and two, de-focusing from textiles and focusing more on retail part of the business.
To begin with, real estate is something that management has been talking about. Today they updated the shareholders that construction work has finally begun at the Dadar Spring Mill project. They are also going to be developing the Worli property.

In an interview Wadia says that high interest rates will put pressure on people buying apartments. “But fortunately for us we don’t have very high volumes, we have low volumes. Also, we are in the luxury end of the spectrum. So I don’t see much of a shortage as far as sales are concerned” he added.

Talking about the Group’s retail business, Wadia said that the company will now focus on opening more number of stores and introducing higher value added products. He aims at an entire revamp of the retail business, which would probably give them higher margin profitability, something that they haven’t really seen in the textile business for quite a while.
So Bombay Dyeing seems to be shifting from a textile giant to a company whose core focus will now be in real estate and in retail.