Why is Robert Vadra again making headlines?
Robert Vadra, son- in- law of country’s first political family, is back in the limelight. He has made himself available to a select media to show how he’s changing as an avid entrepreneur, thanks to the UPA’s rule?
The big news is that Vadra has quietly moved into the real estate business.
Six months ago, he made himself available to a leading newspaper for an interview to show he likes to be known as an exporter of handicrafts and costume jewelery. He also said he would join politics only when he felt he could make a difference.
On Monday, The Economic Times carried a front page report that Vadra tied up with Congress-friendly DLF to buy tracts of land in tier-III cities in Haryana and Rajasthan.
He’s has also got a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi, and attempting an entry into the business of chartering aircraft.
Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd , a company wholly owned by Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra, is a partner, along with DLF Hotel Holdings and others, in a partnership firm that owns the business hotel Hilton Garden Inn in the upscale South Delhi business district Saket.
The hotel is located within the DLF Place mall, also known as DLF Courtyard. The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Saket is a small business hotel.
“I have interest in hospitality and am happy to be part of the hotel,” Vadra told ET, speaking on the phone from Europe, where he is travelling presently.
He said the business association with DLF stemmed from a long-standing friendship with the family that controls the realty giant. “I have known the DLF people for a long time and they are friends of mine. I had wanted to invest in real estate and one thing led to another. Right now, I can only be part of a small hotel.”
But is Vadra benefitting from the Congress-led UPA rule for the last six years? No, no. “If I were taking favours from people I would be doing far bigger things. But I am doing this on my own. I can?t expand immediately but I hope to expand a few years down the line,” he said
Moradabad-born Vadra, whose mother is Scottish, rose to national prominence when he married Priyanka Gandhi in 1997. Six months ago, Vadra was quoted saying that “there is a time and place for everything. If I feel that I know enough about this line (politics), if I can dedicate enough time and effort to it, when my children are grown up and if I can make a difference, then why not?”
No politics, Vadra had stated. “I don`t even indulge in the thought at the moment. I enjoy my children, my business, my fitness regime and other pursuits.”
Vadra had also revealed that he was under great pressure to contest from Sultanpur (UP) in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but refused. “There was huge demand for me to stand (from Sultanpur) but I was clear that it was not my place. I was being recognized only because of the family,” he said.
He had candidly admitted that he “does his bit” by accompanying wife Priyanka during election campaigns. “I travel with her when she campaigns. I have been travelling for 12 years. I have done my bit, given many speeches,” he said.
About his brother in law,Rahul Gandhi,Vadra had revealed that he and Rahul Gandhi share a passion for sports and fitness. Rahul is his cycling partner and the two often cycle for anywhere between 50 and 100 km in the mornings. Sometimes, the two of them go to the gym to work out together.
“But I don`t interfere in his (Rahul`s) politics and he doesn`t interfere in my business,” Vadra stressed. “I don`t tell him who to include in his team and he doesn`t tell me who to hire. I know my business and he knows his.”
Now, Vadra is entering the big league of real estate business. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government encouraging the growth rate of realty sector, Vadra is bound to sport a big smile soon.