No mall today can afford to operate in isolation and just be a ‘shopping’ destination. They are transforming into community spaces, bringing to the discerning consumer the best of brands, food, and entertainment. They’re hubs where people go to rejuvenate, socialise and entertain.
Here are the major entertainment hubs in different FEC centres across India:
1THE ENTERTAINMENT CITY
Entertainment City, one of the renowned social sanctuaries located in the heart of Noida, homes around five hundred premium Family Entertainment, Retail, Movies,F&B, and Hospitality brands. Since its inception in 2002, Entertainment City continues to make a steady and progressive journey towards becoming the biggest entertainment hub achieving great milestones one after another.
With a monthly footfall of around 6 million people, Entertainment City became functional in 2007 with its fi rst project, The Great India Place Mall, followed by Noida’s fi rst amusement and water park, Worlds of Wonder. Greatly admired by residents of Delhi and Noida, Entertainment City kept enhancing its services and infrastructure and with every passing year became a bigger and better entertainment destination.
The year 2015 paved way for Wonder Speedway, North India’s largest go-karting track at Worlds of Wonder, which led to the opening of another mall, and Gardens Galleria, which has today become an up-market F&B hotspot and shopping destination. Consequently, 2016 brought the indoor theme park, KidZania: the park which blends reality with entertainment to provide kids with a platform to discover, explore, and learn about the real world.
Presently, the place is widespread in 147 acres of land and owns the largest KidZania franchise in Asia- Pacifi c, Decathlon along with the fi nest amusement destination, Worlds of Wonder, The Great India Place and Gardens Galleria Mall. Entertainment City is a joint venture between Appu Ghar and Unitech. In fact, Metro Walk and Adventure Island are also a part of the same group. The major attractions are:
WORLDS OF WONDER: Worlds of Wonder is a world-class destination, offering people the perfect getaway which includes international standard adventure park, water park and go-karting track. 20 TÜV Nord certified rides, 26 world class slides, the largest go-karting track in North India, along with rain dance, largest man-made lake for an exquisite boating experience, 360-meter lazy river, and a beach themed wave pool are what make Worlds of Wonder stand apart.
PLAYBOX: Playbox is an extremely interesting and engaging facility primarily catering to children between the ages of two and nine A space for kids, where they can explore and define their own meaning of entertainment in a safe, clean and secure environment, Playbox is one of the play spaces in Delhi- NCR spanning 14,000 sq. ft.of area. The brand’s unique activities work towards promoting social and peer interaction, cognitive development,
creativity, and imagination.
KIDZANIA: KidZania is a global indoor entertainment and learning center for families that emulates the workings of a real city built-to-scale for kids. It is a safe, unique, and interactive center that aims to empower, inspire and educate kids from 2 to 16 years of age through 100+ activities. The entertainment city is the largest Kidzania franchise in Asia-Pacific.
Technology Maintenance and Safety
Mahim Singh, explains, “We have been trying our best to make all the units of Entertainment City modern by adding technological aspects to it. The malls, The Great India Place and Gardens Galleria are completely equipped with digital directories. People can share and locate any store within the mall through these. There are multiple LED screens present at the mall that keep the patrons updated about the latest happenings in the mall’s premises, ongoing offers and upcoming events. That’s not all, there are some larger than life screens also available in the plaza area that keep people entertained. As we are currently screening T20 matches live and people are really enjoying it. An increase in the footfall can be seen since we’ve started the screening at The Great India Place and Gardens Galleria.”
Worlds of Wonder follows three international safety and security norms:
1. TUV NORD: German Safety Standards, best in class, for all Rides with Annual Inspection by the TUV Team
2. Daily Safety and Security Inspection as per manufacturers’ protocol
3. Daily Checking of all Auto safety and Security systems of Individual rides.
Entertainment City employs more than 1,700 people. Around 50 percent of them are on contractual basis and a large part of these employees take care of the multiple FEC zones. All the staff and operators are duly trained as per ‘TUV Norms and Standards’ and regularly checked and updated for the same.
The Entertainment City do have plans to enhance the entertainment in the coming years with a 17-screens INOX multiplex, 5- star hotel in Gardens Galleria arena, and 40,000 sq.ft. trampoline park ranks top in their expansion plans which are already underway.
Launched in 2012, SMAAASH is one of India’s acclaimed gaming and entertainment centers that marries sports, virtual reality, music and dining into an immersive, evolved, interactive and innovative social experience for family, friends and children. Being a virtual reality led entertainment gaming center – vastly credited to its inhouse research and production capabilities, head mounted displays are used to produce games such as Walk the Plank, Finger Coaster, Cockpit 360 etc.
SMAAASH implores the child in you to joyously revel in an unmatched range of activities ranging from highly interactive sports simulators to many more thrilling and recreational attractions. With its current presence in 32 centres across 16 cities, it touted as one of India’sentertainment powerhouse in foreign shores with its Mall of America launch. Redefi ning sports entertainment and customer engagement with ground-breaking entertainment ideas and novel dining concepts, SMAAASH has something for everyone anyone of any age making it a perfect destination for “kids” of all ages.
Nilendu Mitra, Vice President Marketing, says SMAAASH is a perfect family entertainment place that offers Virtual Reality gaming, Bowling, Sky Karting, simulated sport to Dining. “It offers’ Larger than life’ sports experiences to each one at their location proximity. Not only this but the below mentioned features help SMAAASH to have the leverage over the others.”
– It is that hottest destinationin town that caters to anyone between 8 to 80. And if you are young at heart, age could just be a number for enjoying the thrilling activities at SMAAASH.
– The country’s premiere urban sports park boasts of the world’s first 360-degree cricket simulator where one can experience first-hand facing cricket legends like Dale Steyn, Wasim Akram and of course the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Football fans in the mood to kick around a ball can challenge the Super- Sonic Goalkeeper while playing Football Super Keeper and other football games.
– The prestigious association with legendary cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, make this place much more talked about when it comes to games.
– We are currently present in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Noida, Mangalore, Bhopal, Mysore, Indore, Chandigarh, Pune and Ludhiana, SMAAASH also touted as one of India’s entertainment powerhouse in foreign shores with its Mall of America launch. We now have 33 centers.
– We are the first to open a Pocket Friendly Pub Exchange at our Noida centre. We also have Pub Exchange at our other centers like Cyberhub, Gurgaon, etc.
– Custom packages for teams of all sizes 15 to 700 suits both startups and corporates. 15 to 800
– SMAAASH Sky Karting offers a world-class racing track by a Spain and Germany based firm Protex Karting, the renowned creators of protective barrier suitable for indoor and outdoor Karting circuits. The electric karts provide much superior acceleration compared to engine powered karts.
– Pitstop BrewPub at SMAAASH, Sector 29 Gurgaon is an English pub inspired café concept with a microbrewery serving brewed beer to everyone.
Investment, Revenue and Expansion
To set up as an 8,000 to 10,000 sq.ft. space, depending on the planogram and assortment of games, approximately it takes US $4 million investment. SMAAASH expects to earn revenue of Rs 300 crore this financial year. SMAAASH is aggressively expanding in Tier II & III towns. Recently they have opened centers in Amritsar and Gwalior.
3OYSTERS WATER PARK
Set up by the Rhiti Group with an investment of Rs 250 crore, Oysters Water Park is spread over 10 acres of land is a beach-themed water park which boasts of never-seen- before signature rides which are unique to India.
“It’s a state-of-the-art water park, which needs over 120 people to run it and the group is planning on converting it into an FEC soon, complete with a shopping arcade,” says Benu Sehgal, Business Head, Intersports Pvt. Ltd. Intersports– which manages brand Oysters Water Park – is a 100 percent subsidiary of Rhiti Group.
The attractions and rides cater to people of all ages. For someone looking for thrill and adventure, the park offers the nation’s wildest water ride, a 90-feet free fall drop as we;; as their marquee ride ‘OMG – Oh My Gurgaon’. These are one of a kind rides in India where people are dropped to a near vertical height of 20 meters and get looped into a slide and experience 0 to 2.5G in two seconds before coming to a thundering halt.
For families with children, there are ‘Water Keys and Pirate Station’ – places to spend quality family time together. The park holds a great organic appeal, that, mixed with its marketing efforts has produced results beyond expectation, making it one of the best performing amusement zones in Delhi-NCR.
Busters is the latest entrant into the organised retail FEC space in South India. The brand, currently is on an aggressive expansion spree.
“Busters is planning to operate six more properties by December 2018 and reach a total of 15 by 2019. We are constantly looking to expand both organically as well as inorganically and are aiming to touch 30 centres by 2020,” says Abhishek Jain, CMD, Busters.
“We develop our centres to be true FECs that offer the best in gaming and entertainment experiences for various age groups. We are customer-centric in our designs, gaming choices, and most importantly, pricing. Our centres offer a wide price range to ensure a lower entry barrier and more choice,” he adds.
The bowling arena, rides and an exclusive selection of arcade games are the key attractions at Busters. The brand believes in changing key attractions from centre to centre, depending on the access to space – including vertical space / height – that they have.
Technology Maintenance and Safety
“Every centre has a minimum of two technicians at all times who are backed by technical heads based at our headquarters. Our technical heads have more than 40 years of experience in the industry who constantly train and update the rest of technical team. All our equipment is under constant supervision and is checked on a regular basis for damages and repairs,” says Aditya Konka, CEO, Busters.
Busters have about 12 to 18 people for 10,000 sq.ft centre. The staff is trained regularly as there is constant movement of machines happening within and between the centers, every month to maximize user experience.
Investment, Revenue and Expansion
Busters is a fully self-funded venture at this point. Currently, the brand is operating in Mantra Mall and L and T Next Galleria Mall, Hyderabad, two centers are under fit-out at GSM Mall (Hyderabad) and GT Mall (Bengaluru).
“Our rental agreement commercially can vary between MG, pure revenue sharing, or fixed rent. The lease terms ranges between 5 to 15 years,” says Jain.
5FUNCITY- VIVIANA MALL
Viviana Mall offers an entire package of exciting entertainment hubs those appeals to their patrons. “Our constant engagements with customers have helped us in identifying their requirements. It’s not only the entertainment factor that has clicked but the varied options across products and services that has connected with each age group,” says Sunil Shroff, CEO, Viviana Mall.
“We offer a complete mix of Indian as well as international brands and cater to their shopping, entertainment, dining and rejuvenation requirements. Right from our inception we were cognizant about out tenant mix, we firmly believe that with the evolution of mall culture in India, the FEC zones are sure to play a key role in the success of any mall. Hence, we have strategically created various offerings on each floor to give customers a chance to keep them relaxed, rejuvenated and entertained,” he adds.
The major attractions are Fun City, Toy Train, skating rink, indoor football dribble court, Net cricket arena, twilight bowling, 7D adventure game arcade, India’s 1st 4D megaplex, etc. Every Saturday, there is live music concert by various well-known music bands and karaoke sessions.
The mall also holds the Viviana Soccer League every year, much like IPL, which has a great fan following.
It also has one of the largest megaplexes in the country, Cinepolis, with a capacity of 14 screens to showcase over 70 shows on a single day with a seating capacity of 2,400 people.
6PLAY HOUSE, OBEROI MALL
Oberoi Mall has been the trend setter and one of the most sought after malls in the Western suburbs of Mumbai. The mall has reinvigorated its offerings such as elevating PVR to PVR Icon, which is a richer cinema experience with Dolby Atmos and 4 K projection technology and roping in Japanese entertainment major, NAMCO.
“In the F&B segment, we have bought in fresher and exciting brands such as Farzi Café, British Brewing Company, Starbucks, Social, etc. Clearly recognising that the customer is paramount, all our actions and strategies are directed towards providing a wholesome new experience to those visiting the mall,” says Anupam T, Vice President, Oberoi Mall.
The star attraction in the mall’s FEC is PVR Play House, especially designed for children to enjoy in their own space equipped with bean bags, play area with slides and gourmet menu of their own.
“We also have a food court with spacious seating and large number of international and national fashion brands to choose from along with Namco which is full of video games, children’s play area, etc. adds up to the overall experience becoming a one stop destination for Fun, Food, Films and Fashion,” he adds.
7TIME ZONE INORBIT
Timezone at Inorbit Mall is the major attraction as far as FEC is concerned. Timezone, has recently revamped and relaunched itself as #NextGenTimezone. The mall aims to lure in families with kids with lot of new exciting games and irresistible offers.
KRAZEE WHIRL: Timezone has added a Krazee element to normal bumper cars – being launched first time in Mumbai. Unlike other bumper cars, they have dual joystick with attractive LED illumination in the base of the cars, enhancing the experience with an enclosed glass room setup.
WILLY WONKA: It’s the latest in redemption games being launched for the first time in India at Inorbit Mall Malad. This is a character licensed game for adults which is extremely addictive and has a great recall value. In many stores internationally, customers que up ahead of store opening to play the game first every day.
FAMILY BOWLING: Bowling has adapted itself in a complete new look for kids and parents to compete together which is why we have termed it as ‘Family Bowling’. The latest graphics and animations make knocking off the pins more fun.
Apart from this the mall is refreshing its offerings from its multiplex partner, Inox. There are 4 additional screens coming up at Inox, the 4 new screens will be Insignia auditoriums. Currently the mall has 7 auditorium – 6 regular and 1 Insignia.
“Malls are no longer perceived as shopping venues. They have evolved as social places where people come to relax and unwind amidst their busy lives. Major FEC players like Smaaash and Timezone have renovated and innovated to offer more than just arcade games. There are various other attractions introduced like bowling/cricket/outdoor rides etc. Adding in, out of the box activities and options is what sets the mall apart. Hence the entertainment quotient also includes events and promotions that keeps the customer entertained and engaged. Events like live screening of cricket matches, stand up acts, open air movie screenings entice shoppers to visit the mall with their families. Shoppers actively participate in Fashion events, marathons and DJ parties arranged on special occasions by the mall,” says Rajneesh Mahajan, CEO, Inorbit Malls (India) Private Ltd.
8OMAXE- CONNAUGHT PLACE
Omaxe Connaught Place (OCP) houses, Oh!Max, the country’s largest indoor theme zone with many exciting and engaging attractions. Spread across approx. 1.9 million sq. ft., Omaxe Connaught Place provides space for ‘Shopdom and Joydom’ along with office space as well as a five-star hotel.
OCP as it popularly known, also has one of the largest retail zones in Greater Noida which comprises of a multiplex, a sprawling food court, restaurants, a hypermarket, as well as plenty of retail outlets.
OCP offers several unique entertainment options. The mall houses, Oh!Max, the country’s largest indoor theme Zone that has attractions which are unique in their own way. Some of the key attractions include Land of Dinosaurs, The Secret Chambers of Taj, Jungle of Amazon, Chocolate Factory, The Unsinkable Titanic and Treasure of Tut among others.
“The initial response of the entertainment segment has been very encouraging. The general feedback from our target audience has been very satisfactory. A testimony of the same is the fact that a good chunk of our entertainment segment visitors are also repeat visitors, which is also a clear reflection that our offerings are unique in the market,” says Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe.
“The FEC is one of the key highlights of our mall and it is certainly helping us in getting higher footfall. As all our themes are unique, we are confi dent it will remain a major draw for the visitors. We are confi dent that as more and more brands become operation and visibility of our malls increases, the entertainment segment will also keep progressive at the same pace or even faster,” he adds.
9KUND, CITY CENTRE RAIPUR
City Centre Raipur has created differentiated structures (Kund area, Dessert Street, dining street, kids’ street, bar lounge, Valentine Café and Garden of Senses, among others). Kund area at the mall is the most happening area. Traditionally, the international experience of malls was more like big boxes, fully air-conditioned in one large space. The Indian concept of bazaar, on the other hand, is very different. The younger generation finds the KUND area a great place to hangout with friends over coffee or tea. The usual shoppers after a stretch of walking across the mall tend to enjoy the fountain and relax at the Kund area. Kund in the centre of the mall and coffee shops and restaurants, strategically placed at pivotal locations, provides opportunities to rest under wide-spreading trees and observe the world around the visitor: a marvellous tradition, which has always been essential to life in the great city of Raipur.
City Centre Raipur’s lower ground floor is the malls focal point with aesthetically designed, Wish Pool, Street atmosphere, Diner’s Street, Kund, Fountain Plaza and dedicated space for promotional events. Thus making the mall not just a ‘strictly business’ location but as a preferred ‘hangout’ for people of all ages.
“All our malls has been designed with a Kund area or entertainment & celebration zone at the centre of the mall where regular events like food festivals, musical programmes, movie promotions are organized. These regular events has helped in making our shopping mall most sought after by visitors intending to have fun and rejuvenate. The gaming zones has become criteria for several visitors to visit mall. We generally place them on upper floors in order to direct the footfall across all the locations in the mall. We are in constant touch with the brands and exchange ideas on improving the gaming options and other facilities to attract more and more visitors on regular basis,” says Pramod Ranjan Dwivedi, Head- Group Real Estate Marketing & Customer Care, Ambuja Realty Development Limited.