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India to be a big focus post politics, says Trump Jr

Mumbai: The Trump Organization, which controls the Trump brand of luxury properties across the globe, will look at new branding and licencing deals in India—possibly even hotels—once US President Donald Trump demits office, his son has said.

“India is a market that we would be very interested post politics,” Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of the President, told Mint.

“We have voluntarily given up the ability to do new deals internationally while my father is in office. After politics, we would certainly look at India and other markets. But that (India) would be a big focus of mine. Frankly, it would be easier for me to get going in India because of the relationships we have built up in the last decade,” Trump Jr, who has been at the helm of Trump Organization since his father took office in 2017, said in a telephone interview.

This week, Trump Organization’s Indian partner, Tribeca, flew around 100 Indian homebuyers to New York.

The initiative was a follow-up to a campaign conducted by Tribeca in February 2018, offering potential homebuyers of the new Trump Tower at Gurugram, near New Delhi, a chance to “have dinner” with Trump Jr, 41. Apartments at the upcoming 47-storey luxury tower cost between 5 crore and 10 crore.

New York-based Trump Organization has not signed any fresh deals in overseas markets, including India, in the last two years. However, it has continued to promote its ongoing projects across the world.

“While the (Indian real estate) market has suffered, we have done disproportionately well relative to other high-end projects. We have carved a unique niche for ourselves. Our sales continue to be strong. We continue to dominate despite a general slowdown,” Trump Jr said.

India is among one of the largest markets for the Trump Organization outside the US. The company, which entered India in 2013, works with local developers through brand licensing agreements, but does not make any equity investments.

So far, it has signed partnerships with five realty companies —Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd in Mumbai, Pune-based Panchshil Realty, M3M and Ireo in Gurugram, and Unimark Group in Kolkata.

It currently has three under-construction Trump Tower projects—one each in Gurugram, Kolkata and Mumbai. While the Mumbai and Kolkata projects are set to be delivered next year, the Gurugram complex will be completed by 2022.

Trump Jr said there was no dearth of potential deals in India and the Trump brand has not suffered from an ongoing US investigation into the company over potential tax evasion and fraud in its home country.

“If I want to do deals in India and, if we hadn’t given up, we could do 20 deals this month itself. But we chose not to do that because that would be the right thing to do,” he added.

Trump Jr said the company will also look at expanding its hotel business in India. “We would definitely look at hospitality. Our hotel business is doing great and we look to expand that internationally. We don’t have a hotel in India. Our New York hotel continues to be great business for us and we would love to expand that business to India in time.”

Source: Livemint