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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Dolphin Developers plans IPO

Vishwanath Gupta, a major builder-developer of the city, is planning an initial public offering, IPO, as a stepping stone to joining the realty industry at the national level, reports Business Standard.

He has brought together his many companies into a single amalgamated unit ‘Dolphin Developers’. Gupta said the public issue would help him win public support and which was important for the company’s development. He said he was not expecting to raise too much money from the issue, since his was a small company unlike those DLF, Parsavanath etc.

He said he wanted to be more like the five-year-old company Parsavnath, which had overtaken bigger competition due to constant innovation.

“Further we shall need public support for massive projects, which we would be developing in the future,” he said.

Gupta’s training is uniquely suited for a public offering, as he has been closely associated with the stock exchange, been a broker himself earlier before becoming a builder. He said the issue should be so designed that the investor may get some benefit from it. He does not want to price it very aggressively.

“If I make my debut now, only then I would be able to bid for large development projects in future,” he said.

Till now, he has been confined to Kanpur, where he has already built a residential space of 15 lakh sq ft; another 20 lakh sq ft is under construction and about 50-60 lakh sq ft space is in the pipeline.

But due to lack of infrastructure, Kanpur is not able to attract outside investors, thus realty development and attractive prices are confined to certain areas only and buyers are mainly those who have money and have been residing in the business district of Birhana Road, Pheel Khana, Nayagunj and who now want to shift out to more open areas. But there is very little outside investment, therefore Kanpur development has reached a plateau.

People have money and they are able to buy houses costing Rs 70 lakh or duplex of Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million). But this cannot progress till the state government intervenes and improves the infrastructure. There is as yet no sign of the latter.

Therefore Gupta is now diversifying into other areas and cities. He is planning to build a university, which will be functional by July 2007. It is coming up on a plot of 50 acres, which will have all the disciplines under one roof.

Another project, which is coming up on a plot of 200 acres, is Bithoor road, where multiplexes, township and hotels are being planned. It is being planned as a new Kanpur. Future plans include a hospital, at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million).

He plans to foray into cities like Varanasi, Moradabad, Agra, Jhansi, etc.

The company also plans to participate in the Uttar Pradesh government’s township development scheme. The township is to be built on 1500 acres with an investment of Rs 750 crore (Rs 7.5 billion).

In keeping with the demands, Dolphin will have its own group of in house architects. Till now it was relying on a panel and used to give opportunities to a number of new ones.

His latest offering of apartments has a community swimming pool, health club, common playing facilities etc.

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