CHANGING FACE OF SHOPPING CENTRES IN THE EAST
How are malls changing the retail landscape of the east?
Pururaj Dutt: Malls are the latest trends in the east and are emerging as hubs for community gatherings, shopping together and have a plethora of dining out options. We are confident that our mall Genexx Square will become a melting pot for all communities, because of its catchment.
What according to you are the main challenges mall developers face when penetrating smaller towns?
Pururaj Dutt: The major challenge in a small town is determining the right mix of brands which will cater to its population, many of whom are aspiring for a metro city life.
Sunil Agrawal: As the small town market is quite unexplored, I feel that international brands are not very keen to enter them. Secondly, even the response of the consumers in these Tier II & III cities is highly unpredictable for any new or upcoming mall. The majority of the consumers are not ready to explore and change their taste of shopping all of a sudden.
Major challenges of doing business in East India and government intervention that could ease these difficulties?
Pururaj Dutt: One major challenge is to get sanctions early. Multiple sanctions are required to set up a mall, and we feel that it would be more fruitful for us if the government could set up a single window which would coordinate between statutory bodies to ease the sanction procedure.
Sunil Agrawal: Surely government intervention can ease the task to a greater extent. State governments have been doing a lot for the retail sector in this region. Speedy approvals and clearances from the government are very essential in
completing the projects on time.
How best can the challenge of retail real estate be won? The strategy adopted by you to expand ensuring that it does not pinch your finance.
Pururaj Dutt: Besides proper planning and execution, we are also thinking to bring in a strategic investor with a long-term commitment to the mall.
Sunil Agrawal: We believe in USP of P&M Mall and are totally focused in working in that direction. We are not competing with anyone and our aim is to give better service to our customers.
How will your mall be different from the rest? What kind of entertainment and food zones do you have planned?
Pururaj Dutt: Genexx Square is an open courtyard mall.
It has four inter-connected blocks with a huge kund-like
(small reservoir-like) area which is on its way to becoming an extremely happening spot. We are launching a multiplex and a children’s entertainment section apart from an entire range of fast food counters, QSR and fine-dining areas, catering to tastes from all corners of India.
Sunil Agrawal: Our upcoming project City Centre Mall, Jamshedpur has an attractive façade. The mall has a good collection of food chains, both national and international. We aim to give Jamshedpur people a feel of a premium mall and we are quite successful in our approach. Having Prakash Jha, one of the most reputed film Director in Bollywood, behind the developing unit, we will also have frequent visits of film stars in the mall. By this move we will be able to differentiate ourselves from others which will eventually increase the popularity and footfalls.