Born to a banker father, Ramesh Chandra studied civil engineering from IIT Kharagpur. After his graduation, he worked in Kolkata for a short period of time and then left for a masters programme in structural engineering at the University of South Hampton. He is the founder and chairman of Unitech.
Just before he went for his masters, he had a short stint with Bridge and Roof Company in Kolkata. After returning to India, he worked as a pool officer at a government research centre in Roorkee in 1965. His first start-up was a consulting firm thereafter which in the 1970s, he ventured into construction business. It was in the mid eighties that he shifted his vision towards buying land in Gurgaon.
Soon, Unitech saw its first project which dealt with mid-income level residential housing. In 1996, they built their first commercial office complex called Global Business Park. By the time they entered the 21st century, Unitech had become highly active in buying and developing more areas in the National Capital Region.
In the past few years, Chandra has led Unitech’s expansion to other areas of India – Kolkata, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Its recent new venture was Unitech Wireless. It launched mobile phone services under the brand name ‘Uninor’ of which two-third stake belongs to Norway’s Telenor. They also launched Unihomes. It brought to fore a whole new range of low-cost apartments which gave a major boost to the company’s sales. The best responses for the same were not only received from Delhi but also from Mumbai where Chandra endeavours to redevelop a suburban slum.
On the retail front, the company had plans to pump an approximate amount of Rs 20,000 crore into the development of more than 40 malls and shopping centres across India in the next few years. They also plan to invest around Rs 4,332 crore in the hospitality sector. Under his guidance, the brand’s focus is on large, mixed-use developments. The company’s diverse portfolio includes residential, commercial, special economic zones (SEZs), IT Parks, hospitality, retail and entertainment.