Facing Down The Odds
October 18, 2014 2 Comments
There is little Kushal Pal Singh hasn’t seen. He built the city of Gurgaon out of nothingness. He also saw it begin to crumble under its own weight.
He almost sold DLF for Rs 26 lakh, but later also saw the value of his shareholding in it climb to Rs1,87,920 crore. Now, it’s declined to just Rs14,701 crore.
In 2007, he was celebrated for bringing India’s biggest IPO.Seven years later, he stands condemned by Sebi, for failing to disclose material information in that very offer. He has also seen both friends and foes occupy high places.
He is among the first who had the vision of a large-sized modern building that is as good as any in developed countries. Now, cash flow questions are being asked about many of his ongoing property projects.
Consistent with the title of his autobiography ‘Whatever the Odds’, his ride is neither smooth nor straightforward.
When KP Singh ventured into Gurgaon in the late seventies, no one would have imagined what it would become over the next few decades. Good fortune and intent and perseverance all played a part.
His now famous chance meeting with Rajiv Gandhi and his partnership approach with farmers from whom he bought land from are both legendary. Amidst the vast landscape of barren land that was once Gurgaon, he had the vision and foresight to see the potential to create a world class city. KP Singh also escorted General Electric into India in 1989, leading to the birth of the BPO industry.At that time, foreign companies were wary about doing business in India.But Singh persuaded General Electric in Gurgaon to open its pilot office for outsourcing companies. Gurgaon later became home to many multinational including Nestlé, American Express, PepsiCo, IBM, British Airways and Ericsson.
Born on August 15, 1931 at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh, Singh graduated in Science from Meerut College. He went to UK to study Aeronautical Engineering where he was selected to the prestigious Indian Army, by British Officers Services Selection Board, UK. He joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun and was later on commissioned into The Deccan Horse — a renowned cavalry regiment of The Indian Army.
His competitors have nothing but respect for him.KP Singh has seen many ups and down.But he has the trait to bounce back.