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Property, portfolio management affects future value, say experts at Shopping Centre Next 2023

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The first day of the marquee event Shopping Centres Next 2023 by IMAGES Group featured a series of masterclasses for shopping centre professionals on critical topics such as property and property management strategies, employee incentivisation and processes and procedures

Bengaluru: The first day of the marquee event Shopping Centres Next 2023 by IMAGES Group at the Conrad Hotel, Bengaluru featured a series of masterclasses for shopping centre professionals.

The session was conducted by Jonathan Yach, the chief asset officer of TexValley, a comprehensive textile wholesale and retail marketplace situated in Tamil Nadu.

The first of the masterclass series was titled ‘‘Mastering the Future: A Masterclass for Shopping Centre Professionals” which aimed to empower shopping professionals with the expertise, abilities, and perspectives essential for thriving in the ever-changing retail environment.

The masterclass commenced with an inspiring opening address by Yach who shared invaluable insights into property and asset management strategies.

Yach initiated the session by sharing a quote by Donny Gordon of Liberty International: “Retailers will always adapt to changing circumstances. Our job as center owners and managers is to ensure that the optimum environment exists for them to do so.”

“Management of retail real estate is a continuum and hence must involve teamwork,” Yach said. “A well-managed mall is a complex ecosystem where tenants, property owners, facility managers, security personnel, marketing teams, and maintenance staff must work harmoniously to create a thriving retail environment. The teamwork among various stakeholders involved in the day-to-day operations of a shopping center positively affects its success,” he added.

“How you manage your property and portfolio today affects its value tomorrow, Shopping centres unlike shopping bags are immovable. Thus, retailers need to make sure they are relevant to date,” he added.

Yach also emphasized the importance of customer centricity in the realm of retail. According to him, in today’s highly competitive market, understanding and prioritizing the needs, preferences, and expectations of customers is a foundational element for success. Customer centricity entails tailoring every aspect of the shopping center experience to create a seamless and enjoyable journey for shoppers.

In the second masterclass, Gopal Machani, joint managing director of MG Brothers (MG Felicity Mall in Nellore), delved into the crucial topic of employee incentivization and motivation. Machani shed light on the significance of creating an environment in which employees feel valued and motivated, which is essential for the overall success and growth of any business, including the management of shopping malls.

“Compensation is an important element to motivate, retain and improve the performance of the employee. The challenge is to understand how the incentives motivate the employees for better performance and how to measure it, what is the right compensation plan and what is the right ratio between fixed and variable income,” said Machani.

“85% of the malls pay some sort of incentive,” he said. “Monitoring and motivating the employee is a key challenge which is overcome by structuring the employee compensation in such a way that performance outcome is achieved along with a level of desired behavioral outcome,” he added.

Machani proceeded to outline the key rules of a good incentive system that are, defining the objective, setting the measurable targets, determining incentives, clear and specific rewards, transparency and well defined considering all scenarios.

He also provided insights into price delegation. “One of the most important aspects of price delegation is the firm moves out of pricing related activities like discounts, customer sales schemes, agent commissions, etc. Most of us know the time and effort taken by top management for these activities on a day-to-day basis. With price delegation, the efforts of top management can be dedicated for important activities, which is an ideal situation for any firm.”

The third masterclass was led by Jayen Naik, chief operating officer of Nexus Malls, the retail portfolio arm of the investment firm, The Blackstone Group. He emphasized the importance of achieving mall success by implementing efficient procedures and processes.

Naik elaborated on the attributes of a successful retail space, which include the ability to adapt continuously in response to macro and micro environmental changes, alignment with the core vision, mission, and values of the organization, and a flexibility to capture the essence rather than rigidly adhering to predefined rules.

“Malls should prioritize three key elements to elevate the customer experience: engagement, excitement, and exhilaration, rather than focusing on enticing, extracting, and expelling customers. Today our operations span 17 malls nationwide showcasing the effectiveness of this customer-centric approach in the retail industry,” added Naik.

Shopping Centres Next 2023 is powered by CRC, Forum Mall, and PVR INOX, with support from Inorbit, Medallion 68, Urban Square, Infinity, Lulu Mall, DLF Malls, Vegas, Ambience Mall, Unity One, Pacific, VR, Garuda, Trehan Iris, Orion, Brookefield Properties, Amanora Mall, Felix Plaza, The Phoenix Mills Limited, Bhumi World Factory Outlet, Forum, Nexus Select Trust, Skidata, CBRE, and Envision Xperience.

R City is the Mall Partner, while Being Human joins as the Conscious Fashion Partner, and Parko takes on the role of Parking Solution Partner.

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