The session on ‘Mall management during turbulent times’ was a major point of discussion in India Shopping Centre Forum which initiated the issues like – preparedness for terror, security and fire on one hand and charting out cost effective events and promotions for consumers on the other.
Session leader Yogesh Samat, MD, Foresight Retail, came up with a plethora of questions for the panelists present there. The discussion was also kept open house in order to encourage observations, thoughts or issues to be put forward by the audience as well.
Facing the issue, Mike Rodel, head — Mall Management Operations (India), Pioneer Property Zone, shared his views, “Promotions are important components of the mall management scheme. They should be planned out well in order to make sure that they are value added programmes for customers that might have the scope for training opportunity as well.”
S Raghunandan, CEO, Retail, Prestige Group, stated that a mall management company can actually help a mall to groom the right way and thus create the unique shopping experience that the modern customer cares for. According to him, “Soon we are going to launch a mall, we have already drawn up a list of events on our calendar for every month.”
Yogesh Samat, MD, Foresight Retail also rightly pointed out that leases for mall spaces are signed up by retailers for a period of 6 to 9 years, so changing the retail mix may not be feasible. He also threw light on other issues like CAM costs, accurate billing for electricity and most importantly audit documentations in the course of his discussion.
Abhishek Bansal, ED, Pacific Malls, said, “For the past 4 years we have all the audit charges clearly recoded.” To this, Arif Sheikh, COO, Ansal API added, “Our business is like an open book. So retailers can come and tell if we are charging even a rupee extra.” While Anand Sundaram, COO, Phoenix Mills, tried to justify the fact that CAM costs involve a lot of uncertainty and hence cannot be specified easily, the answers however were mostly as vague as the ‘hidden costs’.
Until now, the panelists came up with the view that there is no standard model in use in the country as far effectively operating and managing a shopping centre is concerned but soon after the event the issue is going to be the most preferred one to be dealt with.
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau