Retailer: Kindly share your views on the retail sector in India, especially with regard to the organised sector?
Dr Prodipta Sen: The retail industry in India contributes about 10 per cent to our GDP, and the share of organised retail is set to grow from $7 billion currently to $17 billion over the next 4-5 years. And, it would be fair to say that retail is on the threshold of being a major growth driver for the economy, akin to the IT sector. This would be partly due to the government’s five-year tax relief for opening shopping malls and multiplexes, and it would help the industry grow in tier-II and III cities.
Retailer: The proliferation of malls has resulted in very strong competition. What are the challenges in setting up and management of a mall?
DPS: The design and strategy for managing a mall should go hand in hand right from the inception, and architects should work
together with retail specialists in that regard. I believe that mixed-use developments are more sustainable, as the risks are evenly distributed amongst the various stakeholders including the multiplex, retail tenants, serviced apartments and commercial space,
Retailer: And given the emerging opportunities, kindly share your growth plans?
DPS: Tier-II towns are in the midst of a retail revolution helped by maturing consumer taste and lower rentals for retailers. We are ready for this growth opportunity with upcoming developments worth Rs 5,000 crore especially, in Tier- II and Tier-III towns.
DEVELOPERS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF THEIR CATCHMENT FIRST AND THEN ENSURE AN APPROPRIATE TENANT MIX. ALSO, MALLS NEED TO COMBINE RETAIL AND ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS EFFECTIVELY, AND THIS REQUIRES EFFECTIVE PLANNING.”