Since 1999, KW Group has built a distinctive reputation for itself as a committed brand. Under the leadership of Pankaj Jain (Director), and Savita Kesarwani, (Director of the Group) KW Group is surging forward and touching new heights. Led by a team of highly motivated and committed individuals, KW Group has set many a benchmark in the Indian real estate industry within a short span of time.
Located in Rajnagar Extension, KW Delhi 6 is an ongoing commercial project with most advanced and latest gaming options in the world, best of local and international cuisines, as well as optimised blend of renowned Indian and international brands under one roof.
In a freewheeling chat with Shopping Centre News Bureau, Pankaj Jain, Director, KW Group, talked about the current state of the retail real estate industry in India and the position of upcoming malls in the country post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Excerpts from the interview…
How has COVID impacted the progress of upcoming malls?
The pandemic took us completely by surprise. Such was the unexpectedness of COVID-19 that the retail real estate industry is still recovering as are retailers and consumers. Now that we are slowly limping back to normalcy, the industry has started rolling out new developments as well as mall enhancements.
Based on new consumer behavior, we implemented new strategies for better footfalls in our malls. To support the brands in our malls, we gave them multiple options on their brand positioning and their business models, while keeping their business interest at the top of the priority list. Aside from this, revenue share with some capex support had been injected initially in some cases for long term sustainability and mutual growth. Our retailers have also been assured of getting the best possible sales numbers through different marketing campaigns out of the normal marketing calendar. I am confident that these joint efforts will help attain 100 percent mall success in upcoming months.
How are you dealing with construction, leasing, revenue, and manpower wrt the current crisis situation?
With the help of experienced and seasoned professionals, as well as by good relationships and synchronization in obtaining construction materials and manpower, we finished all the projects on time. Our project currently holds an approximately 50 percent leasing graph with 59+ brands signed. We are ready to gain another 25 percent occupancy through brands which are under negotiation and 15 percent from our local retailers. Hence, we are confident of gaining more occupancy gradually after our soft launch which is to happen by June 2021.
We retained all our employees at all levels as well as skilled workers for construction work. Proper safety and sanitization, food, shelter and medicine were provided to all of them and so, we didn’t face any problem due to migration of workers.
Will you consider shifting to a revenue-sharing model with your tenants after the launch?
As developers, we have always stood with our retailers and tried and fulfilled everyone’s interest for long term growth and sustainability. We have given revenue share support to every retailer in the initial phase to sustain and understand consumer buying behavior and achieve sustainable revenues.
What SOPs are you following in as far as mall construction and maintenance is concerned?
- Only three people will be allowed in an elevator at one time.
- Retail stores to have restricted customer entry depending upon the store size.
- Mall air conditioning to be between a minimum of 24- 30 degrees centigrade. Fresh air intake to be maximized.
- Reduce seating in the food and beverage (F&B) segment by 50 percent.
- Family members can keep a distance of 0 to 18 inches, co-workers between 3 to 5 feet, and the general public more than 5 feet.
Is your mall in the final phase of completion now?
We have already received CC and have started giving possession to local retailers. Reliance Smart, the hypermart, is on the verge of taking its fitout, followed by other anchor stores, cinema and food court.
What are the brands that have confirmed their availability so far in your mall?
We have signed 59+ brands so far with the likes of Bata, Bikanerwala, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, ColorPlus, Park Avenue, Raymond, Dominos, Allen Solly, Reliance Smart and many more. We are on the verge of adding Max as an anchor store and have added Mufti as one of our vanilla stores.
Any new innovations related to technology and consumer convenience that you have decided to include in your malls after the COVID situation?
- High technology devices have been installed for tracking COVID infected walk-ins
- Adapted multi operative software to enhance the billing modules
- Supported retailers with multiple business campaign and schemes