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Construction : Web Exclusive | January 2013 | Source : Construction Update

Canada NRI Bob Dhillon bets big on Indian realty biz

Canada-based non-resident Indian Bob Dhillon has announced plans to develop a township off Chandigarh and has hired a consultant to look for business opportunities in what he calls B cities of the country - and that includes Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad, Pune, etc.

Bob Dhillon is president and CEO of realty firm Mainstreet Equity Corp, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He is going to meet the Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, in his next trip to India. The company is looking at opportunities across India, he said and added that government has to relax its FDI norms further to attract more institutional capital in the real estate sector.

He made his first million when he was just 19 by re-selling homes he had bought and refurbished with money borrowed from loan sharks. Unlike in India, they don't break your legs in Canada if you don't pay up. They just take the homes away. In my case, I never had to look back after that, says the Indian-origin billionaire, who now owns and manages as many as 10,000 apartments in Canada, islands, casinos and rainforests, along with interests in financial services, among other businesses.

He owns a 3,000-acre island in Belize, Central America. Some of his neighbours who own properties, he says, include the likes of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, singer Madonna and iconic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.

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