Nakheel Properties, the property developer behind some of Dubai's most ambitious projects including the Palm Jumeirah and The World islands, yesterday confirmed that it had appointed Sanjay Manchanda, a chartered accountant and former finance director, as its new chief executive.
Mr Manchanda was seconded to Nakheel from PricewaterhouseCoopers in October 2010 to help to steer the company through its Dh60 billion (US$16.33bn) financial restructuring.
The graduate of New Delhi's Shri Ram College of Commerce succeeded in reaching an agreement with banks and creditors on a five-year plan less than a year later. He was subsequently promoted to acting chief executive of Nakheel.
"For me personally it's a big challenge," said Mr Manchand. "I have been working here for two years including agreeing one of the most complicated financial restructuring plans, and now I can implement these plans."
Mr Manchanda assumes the post previously held by Chris O'Donnell, who left Nakheel in July last year and was last month appointed the president of Al Futtaim Real Estate Group.
At the Cityscape property exhibit last week, Nakheel took in deposits for Dh1bn of property for the first phase of villas it plans to build at its Jumeirah Park site in Dubai.
"We will be more focused on what the market needs," said Mr Manchanda of the direction Nakheel is taking. "Finance and development go hand in hand. As a developer we need to develop, it's in our DNA. But also we need to make sure that we pay our financial obligations as they become due."