Shubhranshu Pani, Regional Director–Retail, JLL, initiated view-building on the dynamics behind the right business model of shopping centre by talking about how the shopping centre business is a tough and dynamic one. It needs a lot of planning in advance and rigorous ground work to create the right business model as one wrong planning decision can mar the entire project and have it incur heavy losses.
The exciting session, which promised to cover key issues like choosing the right location and understanding your catchment area, choosing the right theme for your mall, designing the tenant mix, etc, had Sunil Biyani, Director, Future Group, said that entering a new market for them is based on a gut feeling about the market more than research numbers. “Retailers and developers must work together to determine which market can effectively consume how many malls,” he said. Sunil also added that this is the only way to build successful shopping centres.
Kishore, Bhatia, MD and CEO, Inorbit Malls, added that India is a different economy than other Western economies. “In today’s scenario in India, the challenge is the way the industry is progessing and the solution should come from the govrnment level,” he added.
Pranay Sinha, Founder, Starcentres, shared his views on the subject by saying that planning and designing is critical to the success of any shopping centre. “Dead spaces have to be minimised. Retail planning–making an accurate forecast of which retailers would come onboard and how much retail space would they require–is the need of the hour,” he said. It is wise to build small with possibility of expansion than to build large and then have unleased retail space, he added.
Nikhil Chaturvedi, MD, Provogue and MD, Prozone Realty, said that now it is not viable to develop shopping centres without having a residential project interwoven with it. “Even from the lenders” (banks) perspective, they would rather loan to projects that have residential aspect to them because they are assured that their loan would not sink. Commercial real estate development does not enjoy such a goodwill,” he said. Therefore, for developers’ profitability, it makes sense to also have a residential project to be a part of shopping centre project.
For a detailed coverage and intensive interactions with our key speakers, watch out for the next issue of Shopping Centre News.