A family entertainment centre, often abbreviated FEC, is a miniature version of an amusement park and is usually located in the premises of malls or shopping arcades. FECs are gaining popularity in malls, as shopping centres these days are adding such zones to increase their footfall. These zones encourage parents to seek out exciting yet safe, fun and wholesome activities for their children, along with teens and adults seeking the latest 3D video games, sports, redemption and motion simulator games to play. With the evolution of mall culture in India and shopping nowadays becoming like a family affair, the FEC zones are sure to play a key role in the success of any mall. Talking to one such FEC player, Funky Kingdom, Shopping Centre News tried to delve deeper in the making of a successful FEC zone. Excerpts from the interview with Jatin Mohan, Promoter, Funky Kingdom.
What was the thought behind launching Funky Kingdom?
After the advent of malls in cities, we felt the genuine need for a good gaming zone, which could engage the entire family – be it kids, parents or even grandparents. At the same time, we wanted to keep the pricing very competitive to attract maximum footfalls.
What were some of the biggest challenges in setting up Funky Kingdom? How did you address them?
Some of the greatest challenges included looking for a suitable location with the right number of footfalls; getting space at an affordable rent; and looking for the right developers who wanted to run the mall. In addition, since the entertainment tax or rule is different in each state, this was another challenge for us in this industry.
How long was the project in the making?
A project generally takes about three months to get completed from the date of identification of the site and project starting on the ground. The one in Moments Mall, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi took less than three months.
What’s the theme at Funky Kingdom?
“Life is a celebration”.
Which malls are you associated with?
Moments Mall, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi; Crystal Palm Mall in Jaipur; and Pacific Mall in Dehradun. Besides, there are many more in the pipeline.
How much space is required for your FEC?
It depends! Although we need a minimum 5,000 sq. ft of carpet area, it varies from location tolocation and depends on the mall size or footfalls.
Do you franchise your model?
Not at the moment. But we are open to this model for growth.
What are the ticket charges for Funky Kingdom?
Entry is free. However, for playing purposes, we have redeemable cards. The range starts from Rs. 300. In case you play less, the balance amount will be redeemed.
How long does it take to break even in such a project?
It typically takes 6 months to 1 year for a project of this nature to break even.
What are your marketing and advertising plans?
Our marketing plans include associating with events of interest to kids and connecting with likewise brands. We are also looking forward to get written about in the media editorially.
What’s been your retail rental tie-up with malls?
It depends on location to location as well as on the requirement of mall developers.
What are your future plans?
We are looking at expanding aggressively with focus on Tier-II cities.