Shopping Centre News
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As we were travelling across the country in preparation for the India Retail Forum, we had a half day pre-event curtain-raiser meet at Veda, Palladium, Mumbai. It was an exceptionally insightful little chat session with some industry friends whose opinion I respect a lot, and senior members of the national and international media. In retrospect, the first thing that remained with me from the meet was the reaffirmation of the fact that we Indians do tend to indulge in a lot of hyper-bole. If things are good we say they are exceptional, and when things are down a bit its either mayday or doomsday. This was then, in context to the health of the Indian retail sector as it has changed, or seemingly, not changed so much in the recent few years as we make it out to have. The second thing that I took back was a strong reminder of the old saying, “When the times get tough the tough get going.” The discussion also focused on how downturns are also full of opportunity, and the wealth of historical examples of successful businesses being created off downturns was truly inspiring. I do have a slightly broader take on the next subject that cropped up, which was the need for Indian retailers and shopping center developers to focus on the potential in tier 2 and tier 3 towns. I think that an organization needs to focus on every area it commits to. Excellence and success are habits and it is highly unlikely that organizations facing tough days in metros will find sustainable long term success in tier2 or tier3 cities. Availability of relatively cheaper land in the new towns is only or perhaps, as on date, was only a very short term phenomenon, especially in a speculation driven land-market, where a single land transaction drives up land prices in whole territories overnight. For long term success, every business model will need to be based on the consumer and on consumption. As a part of a recent vision series we had conducted a series of interviews with some leading names in the shopping centre industry. The cover story of this issue of Shopping Center News identifies the core take of these stalwarts on the State of Indian Retail Real Estate, in terms of key issues and challenges, and tries to find the fundamental strengths that will stand the industry in good stead in the long run. Finally, coming back to the Veda meet and the India Retail Forum. If we go by the excitement and quality of insights generated at that curtain raiser, the IRF itself that opens on 24th September, and is packed day-on-day with such sessions, with speakers that are the finest minds in their subjects, and with a huge array of subjects that span the entire spectrum of retail, promises to be a real humdinger. I look forward to welcoming the ones that can make it there. For the ones who can’t, we promise an exciting next issue of Shopping Centre News, that will fill you in with all that transpired.
Shopping Centre News magazine – launched at the India Shopping Centre Forum on March 18, 2008 – is currently in its 11th year of publication. In its decade+ journey, the publication continues to thrive as a knowledge resource center that collects, analyses and disseminates information on the rich Indian shopping centre industry. The mission of the magazine is to encourage the development and spread of sophisticated management paradigms and maintenance methods, keeping in context global benchmarks of the mall industry. The monthly magazine also provides a body of focused research into the architecture, aesthetic and design aspects of shopping centres. The magazine – which is the foremost, most authoritative publication for the shopping centre industry in India – is now available every month and in an all new format. It will continue to act as a bridge between the shopping centre developers and the retail community to help forge a mutually profitable relationship. Shopping Centre News’ subscribers include everyone from CEOs, to marketing, leasing and fund managers to retailers, architects and retail designers. For those who want to keep up-to-date across the latest developments and events in the world of shopping centres, the magazine is a must-subscribe.