ProLogis lands first deal in India

The Denver- based logistics firm has entered into a joint venture with an Indian real estate developer and has appointed Abhijit Malkani to head its operations in the country, which it describes as “the next logical step."

ProLogis has entered the Indian market with a 50/50 development joint venture agreement with Indian real estate developer K Raheja.

The JV will acquire land, develop properties and manage the assets acquired, according to the firm, as it gears up for a $575 million investment spree, creating approximately 7.5 million square feet of commercial space in the process.

It will initially focus on securing development opportunities in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Pune. The vehicle already has acquired 27 acres of land in Loni, near Pune, and is in advanced stages of land acquisition talks for 140 acres in Bengaluru, plus 120 acres in Chennai, 99 acres in Kolkata, 70 acres in Mumbai, and an additional 33 acres in Pune.

The move is seen by ProLogis as the next step in Asia where it already has a significant business.

“Over the last few years, ProLogis has achieved tremendous success in Asia following the establishment of operations in Japan, China and South Korea,” said Jeff Schwartz, ProLogis chairman and chief executive officer, in the statement.

“India is a logical next step, he said, noting the firm had seen demand for modern warehouse space in India rise steadily over the past several years owing to strong growth in manufacturing, widespread infrastructure improvements and greater interest among companies to outsource logistics requirements.

K Raheja is a private, family-owned company founded in 1956. It has over 6000 employees and develops a variety of real estate products, including office, retail, hotel and residential. Its clients include multi-national corporations such as IBM, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Nokia, Accenture, Oracle, and Citigroup.

At the same time, ProLogis announced the appointment of Abhijit Malkani [pictured] to head its operations in India. Malkani is the former regional director of Indian and Middle East operations for NAI Global, a network of independent commercial real estate firms. While at NAI, Malkani helped establish the NAI operations in India and led the acquisition and investment process for several multinational companies entering the Indian market.

Earlier this week, ProLogis announced it had formed a partnership with Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita to launch a $1 billion (€637 million) joint venture, ProLogis Middle East, to target advanced logistics warehouse space in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, a trade bloc comprising the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf.