Name: Mohan Du
Position title: Founder
Company name: Capital Alliance
Mohan Du is the 28-year-old founder of Capital Alliance, a Melbourne-based development group that is making waves in the industry.
After joining the development industry just three years ago, this young property developer has big visions that are already coming to life.
He recently pulled off one of the biggest hotel deals in Australia, to bring the first five-star Marriott hotel to Australia in almost 20 years. Read about it here.
The deal is a huge milestone for the young company, which aims to transform the Melbourne cityscape and put apartment ownership within the reach of more people.
Mohan said he started in the development industry with the intention to change things up a bit.
“I think the way things have been done before isn’t really up to scratch,” he said.
“Mixing what is traditionally a residential highrise with leisure or a hotel is where the future is and it’s where people want to live.”
Mohan admits it was far from easy joining such a mature industry at a young age.
“The first common mistake people make about me is that they think this is a family business,” he said.
“It’s a business I started, not my family. Obviously I wouldn’t be here without the support from my family but it wasn’t handed to me.”
All Capital Alliance projects have a mixed-use feature in it, including the company’s first major project M Docklands, a combined apartment and hotel development featuring the precinct’s first five star hotel, Peppers.
“People will ask me ‘Why did you build a hotel there?’ and I reply to them ‘Why hasn’t anyone built a hotel here?’” Mohan said.
“Our Peppers hotel is a true five star hotel and the first of its kind in Docklands.
“It’s things like that which has set us apart and because of that we’ve now moved on to our next big project, which is the Marriott Docklands.”
The recently announced Marriott Docklands project will see Capital Alliance bring the first new-build Marriott hotel to Australia in almost 20 years, which Mohan said is his biggest achievement to date.
The Marriott hotel is expected to come to life in about three years and will bring a new style of hospitality to Melbourne.
The AU$250 million development proposes approximately 200 hotel rooms and 260 residential apartments across 36 levels and will feature the city’s first infinity rooftop pool.
Mohan said his recent trip to Hong Kong for the signing of the Marriott deal is his most memorable travel experience to date.
“We got to meet some very important people within the organisation and they all had very nice things to say about our business,” he said.
“For them to acknowledge our vision and what we want to create was a very humbling experience.”
As a start-up business in a mature industry, Mohan believes the Capital Alliance team’s youth sets them apart.
“Our ideas aren’t new ideas but it’s sort of a refresh of how things are done here,” he said.
“It’s always been ingrained in us to do something different and do something special.”
At the risk of being controversial, Mohan said companies like Capital Alliance are going to give the much older and larger development companies some healthy competition.
“I think it will open their eyes a little bit that they need to pick up their game and I genuinely think that’s good for the industry,” he said.
Mohan spoke a lot about respect and said one of the company’s philosophies is to “treat people how we want to be treated”.
“It doesn’t matter how big you get, you should always give the respect that you would want if you were in their position, because that’s where we came from,” he said.
“When you’re dealing with older people in a very ‘old’ industry, you really have to fight tooth and nail to gain people’s respect.
“And I think we’ve done a very good job.”