Sahil Vachani is CEO & Managing Director of Max Ventures and Industries Limited, one of the three listed companies of the USD 3 billion Indian conglomerate – The Max Group. MaxVIL is the holding company for Max Estates, a Real Estate development subsidiary, Max Speciality Films, an innovation leader in the Speciality Packaging Films business and Max I., an Investment subsidiary. He also serves as a Director on the Boards of Max Financial Services Limited and its subsidiary Max Life Insurance as a representative of the Owner Sponsor Group led by Mr. Analjit Singh. Sahil joined the Max Group in 2016 with a focus on creating a powerful Real Estate brand – Max Estates Limited and steering MaxVIL’s other businesses towards growth.
Sahil started his career as an investment banker with Citigroup in London, where he worked on
Mergers and Acquisitions across the Middle East and Africa region. In 2004, he joined Dixon
Technologies, a consumer appliance manufacturing firm as Business Head. His next career progression was in 2008 as Co-founder and Managing Director of Dixon Appliances Pvt. Ltd., where he was responsible for the business from inception including designing of products, building the team, setting up the manufacturing facility, operations and building relationships with leading brands in India such as Panasonic, Godrej, LG, among others. The Company emerged as the single-largest third party contract manufacturer of Washing Machines for the Indian market. In July 2015, Sahil sold his shareholding in the company to pursue opportunities in Max Group.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Sciences from the University of Warwick, U.K. and an Executive Management Program on Disruptive Innovation from the Harvard Business School.
On Max Estates and the real estate industry
Despite having dabbled in various fields, it is obvious that real estate is where Sahil’s passion lies. Under Sahil’s leadership, Max Estates recently opened its doors to its flagship office project, Max Towers, located on the Delhi Noida Directway (DND). With an investment of nearly Rs 600 Cr, with a super built up area of over 5.5 lakh sq ft, Max Towers is a blend of thoughtful design and superior hospitality which helps integrate work and life. Developed in a brisk time period of approx 2 years, Sahil states that it is perhaps the only stressed real estate asset in North India to have witnessed such a speedy revival and completion. Sahil is now focusing on Max Estates’ second project, the redevelopment of Max House in Okhla, New Delhi, work on which is underway.
A young, clean and honest organization, Max Estates is trying to bring transparency to the real estate sector. Sahil recognizes how much all stakeholders in the real estate sector crave this.
“Everybody knows people who have their life savings stuck in real estate. And it’s just not fair.”
He asserts that the Government recognizes this need too. With all the reforms in the last half decade, be it RERA, demonetization, GST etc., it is evident that real estate is being pushed into corporatization.
Despite his passion for his real estate company, Sahil does not want to expand Pan-India. They plan to stick to the limited but huge market of NCR.
“Real estate is a very localized business with local problems. In this sector, Delhi and Bangalore are like two different countries. The idea is to gain knowledge in one market, build capability and repeat your success over and over again.”
On handling so many diverse roles and companies
Sahil recently realized that trying to be a multiple business group was not very lucrative. He decided to take a more focused approach. Their films and packaging business, on having reached maturity, is now on auto mode with a team of professionals handling it. At the same time, Max I, their investment company, decided to narrow down their area of investment to real estate and real estate technology. Sahil and his team run the real estate business full time and that is where he spends most of his energy.
“The era of conglomerates is over”
Sahil makes a keenly insightful observation. “If you look at the 80s and 90s, when conglomerates started building up in India, there were barriers to access to capital, intellect, markets. Today, none of those is the case. There is hypercompetition in every sector.”
He thinks it is impossible to manage 3 growing companies together and be leaders in their respective fields.
“As a personal philosophy and at Max Group, we want to be at the forefront of the industries in which we operate.”
On Max I
Sahil has also facilitated intellectual & financial Capital to promising and proven early-stage
organizations across identified sunrise sectors led investments through Max I. So far, the company has invested in Azure Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., which owns and operates successful F&B brands such as Mamagoto and Dhaba, and FSN E-Commerce Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates the leading online beauty destination Nykaa.com.
When Sahil started out with Max I, the idea was to look at all sorts of industries and sectors. Moving forward, they have changed the mandate to only invest in real estate technology or real estate enabled investments. The reason for doing that is simply focus.
“If you look at any industry, be it hospitality, transport, anything. Technology has completely transformed most of them. But somehow, it hasn’t happened in real estate.”
He thinks there is a huge opportunity for transformation and disruption to happen in the real estate space to be able to create more efficiency and transparency. Max I looks to invest and partner with companies that have the ability to transform that space. They do not just provide capital but also strategic inputs.
“A lot of people have more capital than us. But for companies in the real estate tech or enablement space, we bring in a lot of value addition, it being our core business.”