THE head of a leading PLC has unveiled plans to create a multi-million pound development in his home town in India.
Meenu Malhotra, chair and founder of the North East-based Malhotra Group PLC, has revealed the £150m scheme in Ludhiana, Punjab – one of the largest investments in the company’s 40-year history.
Mr Malhotra created the highly successful company, which has its headquarters in Newcastle and operates across leisure, care and developments, along with owning a large, national, commercial property portfolio.
The entrepreneur has always had a long-held dream to create a development in his home country on a 12-15 acres site he has owned for a number of years.
All the consents needed for this mega project – including planning permissions – are being granted via a single window process, which will allow the development to get underway this year.
The ambitious “one stop shop” plan– which will create around 2000 jobs – will include the creation of 11 towers which will house 1100 two and three bedroomed apartments, a 550,000 sq ft shopping mall with national and international retail outlets and restaurants, a hotel plus a multiplex cinema.
The project site is within five miles of the bustling city of Ludhiana, creating a secure and gated complex which will also offer a huge range of sports facilities including swimming pool, badminton and tennis courts, snooker and table tennis rooms and walking tracks.
The iconic centre tower – which will be 15 storeys high – will also include an additional restaurant for residents which will operate 24/7.
The Punjab Government and the city has invested heavily in the road network around Ludhiana – which is the business centre of Northern India – which gives the project site excellent connectivity to internal roads and the newly developed highways.
It will also be in easy reach of a whole host of amenities including schools, universities, places of worship and hospitals, along with being close to local bus and railway stations.
The scheme is taking into account environmental considerations, with the installation of green energy solar panels and underground car parking to minimise air pollution.
The Malhotra Group PLC is now in talks with leading Indian project management and consultancy companies to develop the scheme, with recruitment already underway.
“I have always referred to Newcastle as my adopted home and am very grateful to the people of the North East for their continued support,” said Mr Malhotra.
“But at the same time I have always been a patriotic Indian, proud Punjabi and my home town of Ludhiana remains very close to my heart.
“I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for the area and I have been delighted by the encouragement and support we’ve had from the Punjab Government who have welcomed the project and the mega investment we are making.”
He added: “It will provide much needed job creation and personally will give me the opportunity to share my passion mentoring SMEs, assisting start-ups and little angels, which I’ve done for many years in the UK.”
Mr Malhotra will divide his time between India and the UK, in order to lead the development on behalf of both Malhotra Group and the family.
“I will remain at the helm of UK operations, however during my visits to India the company’s day to day business affairs will be in the very capable hands of my younger brother Bunty, who heads our care division, and my eldest son, Atul, who heads our leisure division,” he said.
“My plan is now to focus on the job at hand for the benefit of the people and economy of Ludhiana, by delivering an international facility.
“It is a huge responsibility, most humbling and I feel very privileged to be working in India.”