Aggressive realtor ‘buys’ Deccan Chargers


Jitendra Jain, managing director of a little-known Mumbai real estate firm Kamla Landmarc, came very close to achieving not one but two major milestones on Friday. First, his company Alumbra Entertainment's debut production, Bhoot Returns, opened in cinema halls across the country. And then, Kamla Landmarc was announced as the buyer of distressed IPL team Deccan Chargers.

The twin landmarks should ideally have come as the crowning glory for the 34-year-old businessman who has over the last five years spearheaded the aggressive growth and diversification of a venture his father launched in 1974. However, a late evening order by the arbitrator appointed by the Bombay High Court in the Deccan Chargers case fuelled uncertainty over Kamla Landmarc's purchase, believed to be worth around Rs 1,250 crore.

Earlier in the day, Hyderabad-based media group Deccan Chronicle had announced that it was selling Deccan Chargers to Kamla Landmarc. According to the terms set by the Bombay High Court, the media firm was supposed to provide a bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore to BCCI before 5 pm Friday to stop the cricket board's franchise termination order from coming into force. With the payment not coming through, the termination took effect until the arbitrator stayed it until October 17.

Those who have known and watched Jain grow did not seem surprised by his ambition or expansion. Jain operates from his office near Santacruz airport in Mumbai and his company has a turnover of about Rs 500 crore, with some 30 real estate projects under its belt. His partners include politician Gopal Dalvi, who recently switched to the NCP from the Shiv Sena.

Jitendra's father Ramesh Jain is the chairman of Kamla Landmarc, Gopal Dalvi's father Shivram Dalvi is its vice-chairman and Gopal is a director. As Jitendra Jain started diversifying his business interests, he and Gopal joined hands to enter film production and floated Alumbra Entertainment. While Bhoot Returns directed by Ram Gopal Verma is Alumbra's first production, it is also behind another sequel, Ab Tak Chhappan-2 which is due for release next year.

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