With about 600 malls expected in India in a couple of years, it comes as no surprise that international firms in mall and real estate management are showing interest in the country. Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated and Colonial First State Property Management have announced a joint venture partnership to form Asia’s first integrated retail development and management service provider, christened Sandalwood. The 50:50 joint venture is set to facilitate Asian and Indian developers and retailers in capitalising on premium opportunities as well as creating long-term value for retail assets.
“With the growing number of malls, it becomes imperative to consider factors that would differentiate one mall from the other. This includes factors such as rents, design, product mix, tenant mix, mall management and events and promotions. This is where a need for a highly specialised mall management company arises,” commented Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, at the launch of Sandalwood. He said, “Sandalwood will seek to create long-term value for India’s mall owners through its globally benchmarked practices, proven expertise in property development, and intensive asset management.” Puri refused to share the valuation of the joint venture.
In India, Sandalwood’s operations will be spearheaded by Gagan Singh. Sharing her views on the JV, she said, “Initially our operations will be focused on six Asian markets – India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia, and our official launch in India will be on June 1, 2008. We have some very major plans for India since the retail boom in India is reaching unprecedented heights. Through Sandalwood, we plan to meet India’s growing need for sophisticated mall management and asset management services. Our tagline ‘Living Retail’ is based on making retail ‘live’ with the launch of our services.”
To facilitate talent management, the new company will launch Sandalwood Academy at Melbourne, and based on that they will also launch a Centre of Excellence in the respective countries. In terms of financials, apart from the initial fees, the company might also plan to go into a profit-sharing basis with the mall owners post the launch of the malls. From conceptualisation stage to development of the final structure, to manpower management, tenant mix, product mix, and services provided by the mall, Sandalwood will be involved with everything related to mall management.
Colonial First State Property Management is one of Australia’s largest full-service property development, management and leasing specialists. Since its inception in 1983, the firm has undertaken more than 25 major shopping centre developments and now manages 36 centres on behalf of third-party clients in every state of Australia, including iconic Chadstone Shopping Centre in Victoria, Chatswood Chase in Sydney and Queens Plaza in Brisbane.
– Zainab Morbiwala, Mumbai Bureau