Serum Institute of India's (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla has rented a property in Mayfair, London, for around 50,000 pounds ($69,000) a week, a record for the upscale district in the city of Westminster.
Mayfair is one of the most expensive districts in London and the world. Poonawalla has leased a mansion from Polish billionaire Dominika Kulczyk. The property is one of the largest residences in the neighbourhood measuring approx. 25,000 sq. ft (2,322 square meters), the equivalent of around 24 average English homes, sources told Bloomberg.
The abode also comes with an adjacent guest house and backs onto one of Mayfair's "secret gardens," accessible to residents only.
The deal, according to the report, will prove to be a boost for the luxury homes market in central London, which has been impacted by a Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. Rents have dipped by 9.2% in the past five years in Mayfair, as stated by LonRes, a property data company.
Elaine Braid, CEO, Poppy Lane Placements, a boutique agency that supplies staff to luxury private homes, told the news agency that there has been a "massive increase" in demand for staffing from affluent clients renting properties in London and the English countryside as they are either scaling up or want a residence with a bigger garden area.
Poonawalla, who is presently spearheading the production of millions of doses of AstraZeneca Plc's coronavirus vaccine, has had connections in the UK and studied at London's University of Westminster. He had earlier failed in a bid to buy the Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair and convert part of it into a home.
The businessman's family is one of the world's wealthiest families, which possess a $15 billion fortune, the bulk of which is derived from the SII, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.