Reducing the cost, collaboration, reaching out to the industry, and customer information sharing makes a huge difference to the business of the single mall developers. This was stated by T Anupam, Chief Executive, Lotuspi Advisory while addressing the audiences on the second day of the India Shopping Centre Forum 2012 held in Mumbai from May 8-9.
The panelists zeroed in on reducing the common area maintenance charges for the successful running of the mall. On talking about Common Area Maintenance Services (CAM), Santosh Pandey, VP, Growel’s 101 said, “Gross leasable area and the ratio between anchor and vanilla stores help in reducing the CAM.”
Highlighting the importance of a mall manager, Neeraj Duggal, Head- Lighthouse Mall Advisory said, “Generally the mall managers are appointed after the mall is completed. However, it is very important to bring the management team and the advisory committee at the initial stage.”
Citing another challenge faced by a single mall developer, M Balasubramaniam, Director, Mangal Tirth State said, “For a single mall developer, bargaining facility vis-a-vis availability of the resources is very less. Another huge factor is the interest rates which is about 15- 16 percent. If a developer is able to generate rentals and after paying the taxes they are still left with surplus, it’s an achievement.”
Yogeshwar Sharma, VP- Commercial and Leasing, Select CITYWALK agreed with Balasubramaniam and added, “Banks ask for higher rate of interest from the single mall developers because of the higher risk involved with the same.”
Balasubramaniam opined that design plays a very challenging role for the single mall developers. “Lots of design planning is required as both an over-designed mall or a not-so-properly designed mall adds to the cost. Doing everything at the optimum level and at the right time will actually reduce the cost,” he suggested.
Shabnam Singhal, Managing Partner, SIRIUS D&E, argued that it’s not always about the location of the mall but management, branding, retailing, and supervisory activities add to the success story of the single mall developers. Duggal felt that even if the design of the mall is flawed, it can be compensated by the positioning of the anchors in the mall.