Smart ways to invest and attain early financial freedom

I have a friend who worked in the US for a few years and came back to Bangalore in 2003. He had a fair amount of savings then and realised soon enough that the real estate scene in Bangalore was hot. Sure enough he invested his entire savings by buying a few plots of land in different parts of Bangalore – between 2004 and 2008, things looked good with the real estate prices giving him 20% return per annum – it was not cash at hand – but he knew, if he needed cash, he could sell the plots within a few months. He also focussed on doing well in career and he was rewarded with two promotions in that period. His lifestyle kept pace with his improving financial condition - he bought a higher end car, took loan and bought a big flat, put his kids to good schools, went on international holidays - everything looked fine till the 2008 crash – early in 2009, his company started downsizing and he lost his job i
Currently we have about 300 million people residing in Urban India – appx 30% of our population – with increasing urbanisation, we will be having close to 550 - 600 million people in urban India by 2035 -  This massive wave of urbanisation in India means that our cities will grow to almost double the size in the next 25 years – we can see this happening all around us – if we compare a 1985 vintage map of any city in India  -we would realise that the city has truly expanded to almost double the size – the same thing will repeat –at a larger scale between 2010 and 2025.Where is the opportunity hidden in this information – if you look at a 20 year horizon, invest in a plot of land (any size that you can afford) in an upcoming gated