Check out our in-depth conversation with Dhruv Gulati, one of the owners and developers of El Encanto del Sur, in San Juan del Sur.
In this conversation, Dhruv walks us through the origins of his business and personal relationship with Nicaragua, as well as what he has learned along the journey. This is a must-see for anyone interested in real estate in Nicaragua.
Scroll down to watch the full video.
The Making of El Encanto del Sur
Are you interested in making an investment in the Nicaragua real estate market? Do you dream of starting your own successful real estate development and seeing it come to fruition? If so, then this may be a valuable story to hear! Read on to see how one investor made his mark on Nicaragua’s real estate market in the town of San Juan del Sur.
Meet Dhruv Gulati, A Founder and Owner of El Encanto del Sur
Behind every successful real estate investment is a person who had a dream and chose to act on it. For El Encanto del Sur, a premier development in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, that person is Dhruv Gulati, one of the founders and owners of this successful development.
Before coming to Nicaragua, Dhruv Gulati lived in California’s Bay Area. About fifteen years ago, he was working in IT, but he needed a change. He wanted to fill his life with something fun, and he wanted to build a legacy to leave behind.
Years before, he’d read articles about real estate in Central America. He used these articles as inspiration for how to solve his boredom. Dhruv and his friend Fred, began to talk about starting a business venture in Central America together. They went to several countries for research: Belize, Panama, and Costa Rica. They thought each one of these countries was beautiful, but they didn’t see the opportunity to start a business there.
The Journey to San Juan del Sur
Dhruv’s business partner Fred traveled to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua in early 2006. When he came back, he insisted that Dhruv check out the area. So they went together and absolutely fell in love! The vibe was exactly what they’d been looking for, and they could clearly see the potential.
Dhruv’s first impression of San Juan del Sur was that it was an undeveloped area but it was beautiful—both the land and the people. It felt like a raw canvas they could work with. Dhruv and his partner knew that the area would not only be a great investment, but it could also be part of a whole new lifestyle for them.
Obtaining Financing and Building the Plan
Dhruv and his business partner bought the land in Nicaragua in 2006. Dhruv even wrote the business plan on a train ride between Zurich and Paris. Dhruv and his partner put the property under contract even before they had the funding for it. They both just knew it was the right project for them. They were in the right place at the right time. They had a vision, even though that vision eventually evolved.
It took a mere six weeks for Dhruv and his partner to raise all the funds they needed for their venture. They finalized the purchase in December 2006. At the time, Nicaragua was a very speculative market leading up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. In that way, Dhruv and his partner were ahead of their time. They knew that San Juan del Sur would grow and evolve with time, and they knew that the land they bought would be an integral part of the town.
Dhruv and his partner really didn’t know much about how to turn their investment into a successful business. But, luckily, there were other people in the San Juan del Sur area who were willing to help. Through networking, they made progress in conceptualizing how their business would work.
The Evolution of El Encanto del Sur
Within nine months, Dhruv and his partner were able to get the land ready to start selling lots. They learned as they went. El Encanto del Sur has always tried to maintain the natural landscape and aesthetic, showcasing Nicaragua’s beauty and vibrance.
Even today, the business continues to evolve, as San Juan del Sur continues to grow and evolve. They make changes based on what people need. Some of those more recent changes include stables for horses and a farm-to-table restaurant that takes advantage of their permaculture farm.
How Dhruv’s Investment Changed His Life
Dhruv invested in property in Nicaragua in part because he wanted to leave a legacy behind. He doesn’t have kids. So instead, he wanted to make this property a big part of his legacy. Investing in the property has helped him grow. Part of that has been the fact that it’s been 14 years since he invested. But part of it is that Nicaragua has changed him for the better.
Dhruv thinks that one of the major benefits of investing in real estate in Nicaraguan is the people. They’re amazing, and they only want to see the country grow. Today, Nicaragua is like Dhruv’s second home. He goes there for Thanksgiving, and he has many friends in the country. Nicaragua has become a huge part of his life. He even hopes that he’ll retire there someday!
Why YOU Should Invest
Dhruv’s advice to investors is, “Don’t do the same thing that I did. Look at Nicaragua as a place where you can leave your mark. Find the place where you can add value. You don’t need to take away from what’s already there. There’s room to grow!”