New Delhi-based entrepreneur Robert Vadra, married into the country ‘s most powerful family, has made a quiet and relatively unheralded entry into the real estate business, including a partnership withDLF Ltd. India ‘s largest realty firm. Vadra, the son-in-law of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi , has stayed away from electoral politics, maintaining that he wants to be known as a businessman.
In interviews, he has said that his focus is on Artex , a small company specialising in jewellery and handicraft exports. That seems to be changing as 42-year-old Vadra, known for his punishing fitness regime and love for fast bikes, has sought to scale up and diversify his business activities since 2008, acquiring tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi, and attempting an entry into the business of chartering aircraft. Regulatory filings available in the public domain and reviewed by ET reporters reveal the changing graph of Vadra ‘sbusiness interests. These include wide-ranging transactions with the DLF Group.
Several of his companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed flagship DLF Ltd.
A JOINT VENTURE AND SOME LOANS
Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd , a company wholly owned by Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra, is a partner, along with DLF Hotel Holdings and others, in a partnership firm that owns the business hotel Hilton Garden Inn in the upscale South Delhi business district Saket. The hotel is located within the DLF Place mall, also known as DLF Courtyard. “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 told ET, speaking on the phone from Europe, where he is travelling presently. He said the business association with DLF stemmed from a long-standing friendship with the family that controls the realty giant. “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,” he added.