Where The Rich Are Investing 2017

Arun Chittilappilly

While the founder and MD of Wonderla Amusement Parks and Resort, prefers equity as an asset class, he likes to invest in mutual funds 

Deepak G Pawar

He runs an amusement park business, but Arun Chittilappilly’s venture has made some serious money for investors. Wonderla, which went public three years back, has nearly tripled the return for investors with the stock trading at Rs.362 level against its issue price of Rs.125. Though a family owned-business, Arun and his wife directly hold around 17% stake, worth Rs.334 crore. While a chunk of Arun's wealth is tied to his business, the 38-year-old follows a diversified asset allocation model. “Outside of my business, I have invested in equity, debt, real estate, and start-ups,” says Arun, whose father is the founder of V-Guard Industries.  

Arun, whose annual remuneration is around Rs.1 crore, prefers to deploy his dividend income into long-term investments. “I am not too obsessed about return, and happy with 4% return over and above the bank deposit rate,” says Arun. 

Equity is his preferred asset class but he likes to invest in mutual funds. Within debt, Arun prefers bank FDs rather than bonds. “I don’t have a large exposure to debt as I have never really fancied this asset class,” says Arun. 

Interestingly, everytime he had to scout for locations to set up amusement parks, Arun would inevitably have to travel to the outskirts of cities. In doing so, he has honed his skills in buying land. “I don’t buy land that is expensive and prefer distant locations,” says Arun, who owns over three acres in the outskirts of Bengaluru and Chennai. For now, he is actively looking at buying land parcels as prices have sharply corrected post demonetisation. “Land rates have come off at a much faster pace than ready apartments,” reveals Arun, who last purchased an apartment two years back in Bengaluru.

A native of the tech city, it’s not surprising that Arun has invested in a startup. “The startup is developing an unique dating-cum-matchmaking app,” reveals Arun, who expects angel funding to really take off in the coming years.

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