Discussing what an ideal shopping centre is in the eyes of investors and developers, and the current situation of the investment market in India combining the advantages of the retail segment as an investment strategy, was the session called “The Ideal Shopping Centre in the Eyes of Tenants, Investors and Developers. ” The session was moderated by Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head, JLL. Puri started the project with mentioning key touch-points that were going to be covered in-depth in the discussion. They were namely leading developers would describe their formula for the successful creation of a retail and entertainment centre—from the emergence of a concept to its implementation on site.
Pushpa Bector, Sr VP & Head, Leasing & Mall Management, DLF Mall of India, said that for an ideal mall, for all involved, it is imperative to invest in excellent development of manpower. Shilpa Malik, Starcentres, said that what needs to be done is to, for shopping centres, to be relevant to their consumers–not for a year or two, but for its entire life cycle. She also added that at no point in its course of existence should mall developers or retailers struggle to fill the centre. And that is the primary reason why many shopping centres get on a downswing.
Pushpa shared her thoughts on what the problems are in developing an ideal mall. She said that the largest problem is integration of all departments involved. “It’s vital that the design the cornerstone of any shopping centre. There is a lot of cross-learning and it should be,” she said.
On what the thoughts are on for retailers to expand to tier II and III cities, Rajat Tuli, MD, Happily Unmarried, said that these cities are hungry for brands. They are looking for action and that retailers remain to be bullish about the near future when it comes to expansion.
Talking about transiting from tier I to tier II or III towns, Shilpa said that the main thing to keep in mind is the scale and second would be the price. Tier II towns would not be as open as their more metro counterparts to spend on extravagance. “How you actually configure the shopping centre in terms of amenities, common areas, so that the common maintenance charge is not discouraging the retailers, will make or break a mall. We also need to look at greener options,” she added.
Nimish Sonawala, MD, Skidata, added that technology will be a challenge going forward. There are companies that are doing extremely well, but they also would require tools to reach the end-users. When the industry would require the overall manpower requirements begin to taper down, then it would be evident that technology is seeping into each vertical of SC management.