UAE’s KEF eyes India expansion

KEF Company to invest Dh1.1 billion in major India expansion drive

The UAE-based KEF Company, in a significant business expansion and diversification drive involving an initial investment of Dh1.1 billion, announced its foray into hospitality and healthcare sectors with new iconic projects in South India.

Faizal Kottikollon, Chairman of the company, which is operating out of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), said the projects include a five-star hotel, a Super-Specialty hospital, and an integrated manufacturing facility with pre-cast concrete technology, factories  for making kitchens, toilets, doors and windows.

Kottikollon, who founded KEF Holdings, a Sharjah-based integrated valve manufacturer and provider of steel castings, said the new high-tech manufacturing facility, specializing in precast concrete technology, is the first project in the pipeline.

The 500-bed state-of-the-art healthcare complex, which is being built as a joint venture with the PeeKay Group, a leading business group in Kerala and Dr. Ali Faizal, a renowned cardiologist in Kozhikode, will require an investment of Rs5 billion.

The hospital complex, which is expected to open by the end of next year, will primarily focus on cardiac sciences, neurosciences and orthopedics, along with a world-class rehabilitation programme. The company is aiming to create a research based center of excellence and establish it as a novel center of medical tourism in the region.

 The luxury hotel, to be set up on 30 acres at Chelambra in Kozhikode with a modern convention center with a capacity for 3,500 people, will require over Rs8.5 billion in investment.

The factories, involving an investment of Rs3 billion, will be built in Kochi and other cities. They will have integrated manufacturing facilities with pre-cast concrete technology and plants for making kitchens, toilets, doors and windows.

Kottikollon said the high-tech, quality-controlled precast facilities would be a game-changing initiative for Kerala’s infrastructure sector by ensuring enhanced quality and expediting on-time project execution.

Mike Down, KEF’s Vice President for Infrastructure, said the factories are being designed to take construction technology to the highest level possible, from design, production, technical and management. Our studies showed that precast technology provides significant benefits in early completion of the project, with time savings of up to 40 per cent over conventional methods of construction.

Combined, the three projects are expected to create up to 10,000 jobs.

Kottikollon said his group also has plans to set up similar projects at other locations, including Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore in the next phase of expansion.

As part of the diversification programme, the KEF Company is also looking at establishing educational institutions in India.

The KEF Company is a multi-tiered holding company with interests across eight verticals that include infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, education, investments, agriculture, metals and sports.

KEF’s corporate headquarters at the DIFC also serves as the home of the Faizal & Shabana Foundation, an initiative headed by Mrs. Shabana Faizal with focus on healthcare, education and social welfare activities. The foundation actively funds and promotes activities such as the KE Safiya Autism Centre in Mahe, Teri initiative “Light a Billion Lives”, Care and Caress society and other humanitarian projects to support the under privileged.

In 2011, the US industrial giant Tyco International acquired a 75 per cent stake in KEF’s Sharjah-based valve manufacturing plant, KEF Holdings, in a $300 million deal.

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