Where the Rich are Investing 2018

Kamal Khetan

For the chairman and managing director of Sunteck Realty, making aggressive bets on bluechips and having a long-term view on equities has been a very rewarding investment strategy

Soumik Kar

Kamal Khetan proudly calls himself “an aggressive businessman and an equally aggressive investor”. After he finished his engineering in the late 1980s, his interest in equities was kindled. By investing in blue-chip stocks, which included Reliance Industries and some from the Tata group, he made, in his own words, “some good money”. That convinced Khetan of the merits of investing in equities which, today, accounts for half of his personal wealth allocation.

The 50-year-old, whose money is managed by his family office, follows a simple investment philosophy  — invest for four to six years in both blue-chip and mid-caps that hold promise. “I am a long-term investor and a strong believer that patience does pay off. The trick is to spot the right stocks,” he says. Today, his investment is spread across sectors as diverse as pharmaceuticals, technology, financial services, automobiles and cement. “When it comes to investing in real estate stocks, there is no better option than Sunteck,” he chips in with a grin. 

We are seated in his office in the tony Signature Island property in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) area. This residential property, along with two other structures that Sunteck has built, is home to the
A list comprising businessmen and film stars with each of their apartment costing no less than #300 million. 

Investment in any equity is made if it ticks three boxes — good sector, good company and good management. According to Khetan, 20-25% return is what he expects from equity each year. Of the equity investment, 80% is through the direct route, while the remainder is through mutual funds. The 20% in fixed income yields Khetan 8-9% return. “This is only a buffer against a volatile equity market. Besides, it is handy to have cash when things get a little difficult,” explains the 50-year-old. Though a professional team runs the show at the family office, Khetan does chip in with suggestions. “I get a statement each month from my team and that’s all I need.”

Being in the real-estate business gives Khetan a good insight into the asset class. Investment here is restricted to properties for self-use that include apartments or villas in and around Mumbai. “Land purchases are restricted for business, and they are done through Sunteck,” he says. A small chunk of his investment portfolio goes into art, something that is more for passion than anything else.  

In the time to come, five years to be specific, Khetan wants the proportion of equities to increase to 70%, with the rest evenly split between fixed income and real estate. “I have not lost any significant money in stocks so far and I hope it remains that way,” he says.