Mukesh Kumar, Vice President, Infiniti mall, feels if developers are given an incentive to develop shopping malls in various parts of the country it would help consolidate the retail real estate industry. He further adds that faster clearance from various statutory bodies and recognising it as an industry are some of the concrete steps that must be considered by the government.
What is your assessment of the Indian retail real-estate industry?
The progress of retail- real estate industry over the past few years is very much on the expected lines. The Mall culture was new to the country and therefore there was a cautious approach from the developers. However, with initial success one can see more investments in this sector from the developers. Retailers also are willing to move towards the shopping centers since it is easy to do business with the malls. With the visitors preference of malls to the high street wherever there are quality malls, it is bound to be good for retailers as well as developers.
How will the Indian retail real-estate industry look like in the year 2020?
Currently, only 8-10 percent of retail business is contributed by the organized retail market in India. One could look at taking it to at least 40-50 percent by the year 2020. This is very much possible however, all the stake holders developer, retailer and government must proactively work towards this goal. It is not going to be easy to achieve this but by creating necessary Infrastructure and environment, this could turn into a realty.
What are the key challenges facing the retail real-estate industry of India today?
The perception of the foreign retail players have to be changed towards India. They see a great market potential in the country however, the government will have to take many steps to ensure their smooth entry. Today it takes more than a year to get all the clearances from various ministries. A single window has to be created to speed up the process and get more clarity in the policies so that they are clearly understood by everyone.
Why do you think the Indian retail real-estate industry is lagging behind the West and China?
Unlike India, most of the other countries including China have very clearly defined guidelines for foreign investment. The government has set up various bodies to help the retailers bring in investment. With the help of government they are able to build good quality retail space. They are also given various exemption in taxes.
What are your suggestions for the industry and the government to consolidate the growth of retail real-estate in the country?
Developers must be given incentive to develop shopping malls in various parts of the country. Faster clearance from various statutory bodies and recognizing it as an infrastructure are some of the concrete steps that needs to be considered the government. This will not only bring in quality retail in the country but will also help in improving the GDP. Current level of quality space available is inadequate for retailers to set up shops.
If you were granted one wish for the retail real-estate industry, what would it be?
Put the clearances on fast track and put greater confidence in the retailers.