The Trump Organisation has finally launched a Trump Tower in Mumbai in collaboration with Mumbai-based developer Lodha Group. While the project is said to be a benchmark in luxury in the city, Trump is not looking to stop here. The company plans to look at investing in hospitality sector in India and is optimistic that popular reality TV show 'The Apprentice' could work well in India. Donald J. Trump Jr., executive vice president, The Trump Organisation and son of the real estate tycoon Donald J. Trump speaks to Shubhra Tandon, on company's future plans in India and his own business philosophy. Excerpts:
Q. Apart from real estate, would you be looking at investments in hospitality or entertainment space?
I think that is something I would like to look at in India. We are growing our hotel management business, and that is something we are looking at for India as well. However, there are limitations for such type of deals in India, because the policies allow one to manage and operate up to a certain level. That means we may never get the room rate to justify the level of luxury we are talking about. So, it is going to be a very selective process. We have seen some resort potential in Mumbai and Delhi. So, those will be two big ones.
Q. The absorptions in India have almost halved to what they were in 2012, and the luxury real estate market is suffering from over supply. In this scenario what gives you the confidence to launch Trump Tower now?
You hear of corrections in the luxury market everywhere, you hear that in New York City as well. Someone does one building that goes very well and suddenly the new per square foot pricing for that location changes to a price, which is twice of what it was ever before. But that will work for a short period. The products which are best in class, with best locations, best amenities, best interiors, still tend to do well and be successful irrespective of the ups and downs of the market. I think where people get into problem is that there are a lot of products that are part of the luxury sector, which actually do not fit in that category. And so, it is really making the distinction between something being called a luxury product and something actually being a luxury product, which is the