FOR THE ‘MALL HEAD’, IT’S ALL ABOUT DE­TAILS IN RE­TAIL

Shopping Center News - - COVER STORY -

One ses­sion at the In­dia Shop­ping Cen­tre Fo­rum 2017 was all about man­ag­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of staff, shop­pers, re­tailer ten­ants and man­age­ment. The ses­sion was ded­i­cated to the chal­lenges that come with the role of ‘Mall Head’, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties this role brings in mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to the re­tail and re­tail spa­ces in­dus­try.

The ses­sion was mod­er­ated by San­jeev Khanna, Vice Pres­i­dent – Op­er­a­tions, Inor­bit Malls and the pan­elists in­cluded Ajay Mal­ho­tra, GM - Mall, Sea­sons Mall; Ashish Bhan­dari, AVP, In­finiti Mall; Robert Boomi­yar, Cen­tre Head, Orion Mall, Pan­vel; Vikas Shetty, CSM, Mall Head, Grauer & Weil - Growel`s 101; and Su­nil Mun­shi, Se­nior GM - Mall Op­er­a­tions, Orion Mall.

The emi­nent pan­elists dis­cussed what a day in the life of a hands-on shop­ping cen­tre leader is typ­i­cally like.

San­jeev Khanna kick­started the ses­sion say­ing, “The mall head works 24*7. He is a fig­u­ra­tive stake­holder in the shop­ping cen­tre – ev­ery sin­gle piece of work that falls upon a mall, comes di­rectly to the mall head. Mall heads are re­spon­si­ble for ven­dors, re­tail­ers and they work with thou­sands of staff mem­bers. They are also re­spon­si­ble for safety, hy­giene, brand po­si­tion­ing of the mall.”

Vikas Shetty talked about the turn-around story for Growel’s 101 mall, he said, “Back in the year 2010, when we started the mall, there were just three re­tail­ers, out of which one was the an­chor. Years passed and the main foot­falls com­ing to us were for the an­chor store. We did not even have good vanilla re­tail­ers in our mall. We in­tro­spected and re­al­ized that if we need to come out from un­der the shadow be­ing just a neigh­bor­hood mall, then we need to un­dergo strate­gic changes. As a part of this change we re­lo­cated 60 per­cent of the mall. This it­self was a daunt­ing task, but with the help of a great team, we man­aged to ac­com­plish this smoothly.”

Robert Boomi­yar, talked about how his mall man­aged to not just sur­vive but also thrive in a de­vel­op­ing mar­ket like Pan­vel. He said: “When we started leas­ing the mall, we had a tough time be­cause Pan­vel’s mar­ket was not that evolved at that time. We talked to many re­tail­ers, but a lot of them re­fused. De­spite that, we man­aged to get through with big names such as PVR, Hyper­city, Land­mark Group and Shop­pers Stop in the mall. We are thank­ful that th­ese re­tail­ers showed con­fi­dence in us in the ini­tial years of the mall. Now the mall is do­ing well, Pan­vel as a mar­ket has de­vel­oped and the mall is 90 per­cent op­er­a­tional at this time.”

Talk­ing about what makes a mall suc­cess­ful, Ajay Mal­ho­tra, ex­plained, “A lot of plan­ning goes in to set­ting up a mall. We need to keep each stake­holder of the mall in mind be­fore ex­e­cut­ing any­thing. We need to take care of our mall pa­trons, be­cause foot­falls are im­per­a­tive for a mall. Then come the re­tail ten­ants, for good re­tail brands are the main­stay of at­trac­tion in a mall. Then there is the staff to think about – peo­ple who will main­tain op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies of the shop­ping cen­tre. When we started Sea­sons Mall, we just had 17 stores. To­day, the mall is 96 per­cent oc­cu­pa­tional. Be­ing in a mar­ket like Pune, which is not as big as Delhi or Mum­bai and al­ready has 15 malls, it’s im­por­tant for us to stay ahead of the curve by con­stantly evolv­ing and in­no­vat­ing our­selves.”

Ashish Bhan­dari, said, “Our cus­tomer is an evolved cus­tomer. He has deep pock­ets and we need to respect his dis­cern­ing ways. Our cus­tomers need ex­clu­siv­ity and that’s the ba­sic re­quire­ment of catch­ment of And­heri. And I con­stantly strive to give my mall pa­trons that ex­clu­siv­ity, which they are seek­ing.”

Talk­ing about their re­cent ef­forts, Su­nil Mun­shi, said, “We have done one thing re­cently, which has been quite daunt­ing and re­quired me to be hands-on. Twenty per­cent of our mall was un­der fit-out and mon­i­tor­ing the fit-outs in an op­er­a­tional mall is pretty tough. I had to en­sure that the mo­men­tum of the mall – the foot­falls – doesn’t break. This re­quired us to come up with great mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives. With the help of my team and the sup­port of de­vel­op­ers as well as re­tail ten­ants and mall vis­i­tors, we’ve been able to ex­e­cute such a mam­moth task in the given dead­lines.”

They all con­verged on one thought – that their post is de­signed to en­sure that the mall re­mains hot with brand­ing, that they main­tain ex­ten­sive growth of the busi­ness and that they en­sure op­er­a­tions and sup­port func­tions run smoothly while grow­ing the sales in their malls.

The mall head works 24*7. He is a gu­ra­tive stake­holder in the shop­ping cen­tre – ev­ery sin­gle piece of work that falls upon a mall, comes di­rectly to the mall head.

– San­jeev Khanna Vice Pres­i­dent, Op­er­a­tions Inor­bit Malls

L to R: San­jeev Khanna, Vice Pres­i­dent – Op­er­a­tions, Inor­bit Malls; Ajay Mal­ho­tra, GM - Mall, Sea­sons Mall; Ashish Bhan­dari, AVP, In­finiti Mall; Robert Boomi­yar, Cen­tre Head, Orion Mall, Pan­vel; Vikas Shetty, CSM, Mall Head, Grauer & Weil - Growel`s 101; Su­nil Mun­shi, Sr. GM - Mall Op­er­a­tions, Orion Mall

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.