After studying law I vectored towards journalism by accident and it's the only job I've done since. It's a job that has taken me on a private jet to Jaisalmer - where I wrote India's first feature on fractional ownership of business jets - to the badlands of west UP where India's sugar economy is inextricably now tied to politics. I'm a big fan of new business models and crafty entrepreneurs. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of those in Asia at the moment.
1. Sajjan Jindal, Mumbai
Steel magnate Sajjan Jindal had to spar a bit to get Maheshwari, a sea-facing bungalow on Nepean Sea Road. In 2011, he paid Rs 300 crore to members of the Maheshwari family for the bungalow. But Manoj Maheshwari held out and, instead, offered to buy Jindal out. Jindal eventually paid Maheshwari Rs 200 crore.
2. Bayer Cropscience, Thane
It took two years to conclude this Rs 1,250 crore deal between Bayer Cropscience and Kalpataru. DB Realty had initially been the frontrunner to acquire the 108-acre plot in Thane, but backed out. Kalpataru intends to develop the land as a mixed-use development with the first projects to be announced early next year.
Image: Prasad Gori for Forbes India
3. Lodha Group, Mumbai
After waiting for three years, cash-strapped DLF sold the 17-acre National Textile mills land parcel to the Lodha Group for Rs 2,725 crore. DLF had bought the land in 2005 for Rs 700 crore, and had initially planned a mall, office blocks and apartments on it.
4. Blackstone, Bangalore
Bangalore was home to the country’s largest commercial real estate deal. Blackstone paid Rs 1,000 crore for over 10 million sq feet of office space built by the Embassy Group. Blackstone gets rental income and can pocket gains from property appreciation.
5. Sudhir and Samir Mehta, New Delhi
The area around Delhi’s Lutyens Bungalow Zone houses the rich and famous. LN Mittal and Sunil Mittal have bungalows on Amrita Shergill Marg. New to the club are Sudhir and Samir Mehta of Torrent Pharma, who paid Rs 111 crore for a 1,124 sq yard plot in Chanakyapuri. The deal valued the land at over Rs 10,00,000 per square yard, a record.