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The session with shopping centre developers and international property consultants (IPCs) seemed to have most of the answers for the engrossed audience. The session was anchored by two stalwarts from the industry – Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj and Pranay Sinha, MD, Star Centres.

Shilpa Malik, president and CEO, Star Centres claims, “Design is the biggest differentiator for malls today. Hence a collaboration between retailers and developers is the need of the hour.”

While there was a buzz about the growing importance of local retailers, Nikhil Chaturvedi, MD, Prozone, highlighted the fact that a retailer is willing to pay in order to get into the ‘right mall’ but certainly not into the ‘wrong’ one for any price quoted to him.

Dharmesh Jain, CMD, Nirmal group pointed out how malls are a capital intensive business. He also predicted that in the future, shopping centres will provide more job opportunities than the information technology for instance. Also sharing an insight about the international players, he talked about how the green practices and compliances are coming into the picture more prominently. Thus as a concluding note he added, collaboration, transparency and learning are some of the essential guide lines for the way forward.

— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau

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