Bahrain’s Al Namal To Enter India’s Co-Living Sector

VKL and Al Namal Group, a multinational conglomerate founded by Bahrain-based non-resident Indian (NRI) businessman Varghese Kurien, is entering the co-living homes sector in India through an operating agreement with Square Plums, an upcoming brand of co-living homes based in Bengaluru.

Co-living homes are fully furnished, ready-to-move-in homes based in gated communities available on rent for youngsters relocating to cities for jobs.

VKL and Al Namal Group and Square Plums have been in discussion for the last few weeks and cemented the deal during Kurien’s visit to Bengaluru recently, said a statement.

As part of the agreement, VKL and Al Namal Group plans to build 2 million sqft of co-living homes in Indian metro cities. The group has earmarked an investment of Rs 300 crores (around $45 million) for this foray.

Square Plums is founded in early 2016 by Rajesh Kotta and Hemant Attray, alumni of BITS Pilani. It has managed to create an aspirational brand of co-living homes that is popular with young executives working at leading MNCs and IT companies. In August last year, it announced raising an undisclosed amount of funding from Indian Angel Network.
Kurien said: “We are bullish on the India story and have already invested hundreds of crores in commercial and real estate projects in many cities of Karnataka and Kerala. Co-living homes are a new class in the sector and we have been watching this space for a while.”

Mohammad Mansoor, managing director of Exelon Solutions, a strategic marketing partner for Square Plums, added: “After doing our diligence, we have found that Square Plums, with its focus on high-end, branded homes specifically designed keeping in mind the needs of co-living youngsters, is an ideal operator partner for us. The technology and marketing platform they have built is key for us to succeed in this venture.”

Kotta commented: “Finding a quality rental home is still a challenge in Indian cities, especially for singles. Over the last one year, we have created a product that ideally suits youngsters looking for a home in the city. Homeowners who partner with us have found that on an average, rental yields from Square Plums branded homes can be up to 80 per cent higher.”

Attray said: “In this partnership with VKL and Al Namal Group we look forward to bringing the Square Plums co-living home experience to over 7,000 youngsters across three cities in India.”