Not wanting to be left behind in taking a piece of the retail cake, Mahindra and Mahindra (M and M) is joining in by going in for providing infrastructure as part of its realty projects and not as service provider.
“Like our Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects, M and M can create the infrastructure and sell space for retail. We have already built a small retail space for our customers at Mahindra World City in Chennai and we can provide the support infrastructure as well, like we do with our SEZ customers. But we are not going into mall management at this point of time,” said President and executive director Arun Nanda.
Unlike real estate majors who are not only building retail spaces but also managing the malls, M&M will build retail spaces as part of SEZs and is already earmarking the necessary space for that. The company feels it can replicate its SEZ model in retail as well.
Like the SEZ model, where the developer offers both infrastructure and support services to companies, M&M would also offer the same to retail chains. “Which means if a big-ticket brand like Wal-Mart wants to set up shop in our retail space, we would build the infrastructure for them, offer them back-end services and support, but that’s it,” he said adding that M & M would not “ tie up for actual retail services nor would we run the malls for them.”
M&M has already built a retail space at Mahindra World City, which includes a bank, an ATM, a food court, a florist, a bookshop and a giftshop. That retail infrastructure is for the captive consumers who work in the companies that have taken up SEZ space.