Kushal Pal Singh, 75, is credited with almost single-handedly transforming Gurgaon, a once sleepy village on the outskirts of Delhi, into one of India's hottest and ritziest residential and commercial hubs over the last two decades. DLF, his company, now has projects and properties in over 30 cities in India.
But his road to success has had several twists and turns. From being a recruit of the Indian Army, Singh went on to join DLF, which was established by his father-in-law, Chaudhary Raghuvendra Singh, in the early 70s, and eventually assumed control of the company.
Singh and his company are in the spotlight as DLF is all set to hit the markets with the biggest IPO in Indian history-depending on the final price, it could mobilise up to Rs 9,625 crore.
Given that DLF is diluting only 10.26 per cent of its equity, the public float will catapult Singh, already a dollar multi-billionaire, into the ranks of the richest three-or-four Indians on this planet. The DLF stock is also expected to become a benchmark for the valuation of other real estate companies listed on the Indian bourses.
However, there are concerns as well. Singh's track record on corporate governance has been sullied by allegations that he has been less than fair to minority shareholders in the past.
A government investigation has since cleared the company of the charges. Says Singh in a statement on the DLF website: "DLF aims to be a professional and responsive corporate entity that positively transforms the quality of life of society at large." As the promoter of India's largest real estate company, he will now be judged on how he redeems that pledge.