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Kolkata-based realtor Sumit Dabriwala quitting Future Market Network

Future Market was demerged from Pantaloon Retail two years ago and was earlier known as Agre Developers.

Sumit Dabriwala, the chief executive of Future Group’s public-listed retail and logistics infrastructure firm Future Market Network Ltd (formerly Agre Developers) is quitting, according to sources close to the development. Dabriwala, a Kolkata-based realtor, had joined the firm as its chief over two years ago after striking a deal to sell part of his group to Future Market.

“Sumit Dabriwala is leaving the organisation but it has not been decided internally who will take over the reins from him,” a person privy to the development told VCCircle.

When contacted, a Future Group spokesperson said, “As a policy, we don’t comment on market speculations.”

Dabriwala’s exit may put a question mark over the status of certain projects with which he was closely associated. This includes the Riverside Project, among others, which is developing an integrated township called Calcutta Riverside at Batanagar near Kolkata.

Sprawled over 262 acres, the township has been promoted by Hiland and Belani groups in a joint venture with Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and the shoe company Bata India, which has a large tract of land asset.

Dabriwala is a director with Hiland Group and United Credit Belani Group besides being associated with another Kolkata-based realty developer Urbanus Infrastructure Development. He had relocated to Mumbai in 2010 and taken charge of Agre Developers as its managing director.

This was after Pantaloon Retail demerged its mall management business to Future Mall Management Ltd, which was later renamed Agre Developers. The firm was again rechristened Future Market Network.

Last fiscal, Future Market merged with itself Prudent Vintrade Pvt Ltd and AIGL Holding & Investments Pvt Ltd, among others. These two companies, through associate firms, were holding beneficial interests in Riverbank Project and the said investments came under Future Market.

Promoters of these companies now hold a significant minority stake in Future Market. But it could not be immediately ascertained what the beneficial interest of Dabriwala had been out of this although he owns a small chunk of shares in his personal capacity. Future Group owns 68.73 per cent stake in the company.

Before a string of mergers diluted the equity base, it counted ICICI Venture, Kotak Private Equity and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala among its investors.

Business strategy
The township project near Kolkata did not gel with the core focus area of the group, which revolves around retail-related infrastructure and logistics infrastructure projects. It has been focusing on warehouse & logistics infrastructure, wholesale trade infrastructure and modern retail infrastructure.

It had also forged a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Fung Properties, a part of $15 billion organisation specialising in supply chain management in sourcing and distribution of consumer goods.

Future Market also partnered with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) for the development of the logistics infrastructure parks in the country and has committed to invest Rs 100 crore in the business.

It also owns majority stake in Delhi-based Star Centers which specialises in planning and management of shopping malls.

For the first half of FY13 ended September 2012, Future Market clocked net sales of Rs 75.6 crore with net loss of Rs 24 crore. This was after the firm managed to show negligible profit supported by ‘other income’ in FY12.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

Future Enterprises Ltd. (formerly Future Retail Ltd., Pantaloon Retail India Ltd.) owns and operates a chain of retail stores under the brand name Big Baazar, Home Town, Ezone, Food Hall, Food Bazaar and Fashion at Big Bazaar. Its offers e-tailing, food, home and electronics, telecom and information technology, general merchandise, leisure and entertainment, wellness and beauty and books and music. The firm also offers loyalty programs and discount coupon for the users. The company was founded in 1987 and is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra with additional offices in Gujarat and Kolkata.