How has your association been with Select CITYWALK so far? Any challenges that you faced?
I have been associated with the mall since 2005, when I joined as executive assistant. Since then I have played key roles in operations and marketing before taking charge as Executive Director. When I started my journey, the concept of malls was still at its infancy in India. So, it was challenging because I had to set the rules, and everything had to done from scratch be it promotions, marketing strategy, leasing strategy, legal, terms of tenures to be given to brands, etc. I have taken an initiative in every area.
Altogether, it has been an exciting journey so far. Interestingly, when I started I had no knowledge of retail but today I am abreast with the business of most of the prominent brands.
What are the key changes that you have managed to bring in so far?
There have been many changes but I would like to highlight the revenue share model. Although it was already a favourable model in the western countries, I brought in this concept to Select CITYWALK for the first time.
What are your expectations from the new role? Have you laid down any targets for yourself?
We are one of the most happening malls in Delhi. My biggest challenge under my new role would be to keep up the momentum. The expectations of retailers as well as customers are very high, and they keep us forcing for newer and better things. My job is to fulfill their expectations and provide them with the best shopping environment.
You are neighbour to yet another mall. Do you think this has increased your competition?
We do not consider them as a competition. It is just the beginning and we have the space for everyone. Ultimately, customers will buy whatever they want to. If their favourite brand is available in the mall next to ours, they would certainly go there. We do not have any hold over customers; we just wanted to portray ourselves as a destination mall, where they can get everything. My job is to excite people enough to make them visit Select CITYWALK.
Do you think Select CITYWALK has changed the shopping dynamics of South Delhi?
There are many angles to it. There is a great economic activity going on; everything sold by the retailers helps strengthen the economy in a way. It has emerged as the most promising destination for people living in close vicinity because of the high-end brand availability here.
According to you, what is the USP of your mall?
I think catchment is an important factor that works in our favour. We cater to evolved customers who already know about the brands. They are already purchasing the brands; we are simply making the brands available to them. So the biggest USP of the mall is that it can attract affluent customers. The customer has always been our focal point.
What piece of advice would you like to give to international brands seeking space in your mall?
Everybody coming from abroad has the expectation of securing a larger space. They need to understand that there is a serious limitation of space here. Hence, we would suggest them to come with small format outlets.
Is H&M coming to Select CITYWALK?
We are in the middle of discussions with many international brands including GAP and H&M, which might open their shop sometime next year. However, there are no official words yet.
How is the consumer sentiment in this ongoing festive season as compared to the last year? Also, say a few words on mall preparations?
The mood is better. In fact, the footfall has increased by 12 per cent as compared to last year. People have already started buying, which should further improve as the season approaches. Also, we had received tremendous response during Dussehra sales as well.
As far as preparations are concerned, the Diwali decor is already up. Anyone visiting the mall is approached by us to take a pledge to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali. Also, there are many activities lined up to cherish the festivity.
Tell us about any new additions that you have made to the mall.
We have plans to add a few more services by the end of this year.