When the dapper Lalit Fabiani suggests a quick dinner catch-up on one of his many business trips to Mumbai, one is delighted by the on-the-dot arrival of his elegant S Class in the driveway.
Soon, we are at Bastian, where a table eludes us, so we’re at a nice corner at the bar to exchange little footnotes on life. There’s a home rule here—no snacks are served at the bar—which Lalit deftly bends by mirroring the accent of the British manager! The toasty, tubby manager is so fascinated by the authenticity of Lalit’s accent that he immediately asks whether he’s a UK citizen. Still in character, Lalit laughs and explains, “I am from Spain, but went to school in Britain.” The nibbles arrive shortly after, and we are shown to the table, too.
“Changing accents is innate! I like to take the onus of breaking the ice with new people and like to find some common ground to do so,” Lalit shares, letting us in on his affable personality.
His uncle and mentor, Harish Fabiani, is the promoter of IndiaLand, a real estate development firm that’s focused on commercial projects in prominent Indian cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Coimbatore and Pune. His cousins Sonali and Simran have also joined the family business.
Lalit is a Piscean through and through. A gentle sign for the most part, one tries to imagine this calm young man negotiating his way through the cut-throat world of real estate development, as the Chief Operating Officer of the Americorp Group.
Here, we revisit a conversation that went into fascinating territory:
You’re a global citizen, working across Dubai, Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore, London, Madrid... yet something about Spain still qualifies as ‘home’. Where does this bond come in? While Dubai renders a super-engaging, cosmopolitan and ever-evolving ethos, I’m as Spanish as it gets. Tenerife is a world of its own; warm and charming, with an easy pace. The most endearing part is undeniably the people and their abilities to be content in a world otherwise consumed by consumerism. Spain is rich and abundant as far as culture is concerned, oozing with a very apparent Mediterranean flair. What differentiates it from a very contemporary Dubai is how organic it feels, since most restaurants and bars are old, family-owned and bred in tradition. I’m fortunate to be able to experience such an eclectic whirlwind of incredible cities like Dubai, London and Mumbai.
Let’s talk about your passions—as a businessman and as a young man. I do what I do because I enjoy it! One would imagine real estate in India to be a fairly technical space, but it’s been creatively engaging and has inculcated a sense of curiosity for design in all aspects of it. I’m closely analysing design no matter where I am. It’s fascinating how effortlessly Mumbai manages to bring different functions to one single space. You could be having your lunch break in the business district while being a stone’s throw from an art gallery exhibiting a 20ft Dali. Here, in India, I appreciate the conversion of our palaces into luxury hotels.
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