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FDI in retail to force developers into mall management: experts

Many international brands eyeing India after govt decided to allow FDI in multi-brand retail last year

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Mall will now be compelled to hire mall management services, especially when global brands are looking at India after the government cleared in retail, experts say.

"There is already an increasing competition from the existing and new generation shopping centres. But today, with the new FDI policy, there will be an increase in demand from the global players for malls that will meet international standards and norms," Jones Lang LaSalle Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said.

After the government decided to allow FDI in last year, many international brands are eyeing India. According to a recent report by CBRE, as many as 13 international players entered the New Delhi market last year.

"Till recently, mall management was limited to facility management. However, mall owners are now realising that their core competence is in building assets and not operations," Pioneer Property Zone Director Ian Watt said.

"When foreign brands are looking at partnering with mall developers, they will look out for those who will meet their standards. Therefore, developers will have to adopt speciality services like mall management to attract the international retailers. The FDI policy will actually be a in the coming years."

Besides, the evolving preference of brands, including domestic as well as international, to partner with the malls having a good management platform will also compel developers to consider mall management.

"Mall management has become an essential part of business because malls are no longer shopping destinations but are also evolving as hangout places. So they will force the developers to create an atmosphere that will not only be a place to buy things but would also be a hangout destination," L&T Realty Head- Retail Leasing and Marketing JP Biswas said.

However, the concept of mall management in India at present is at a very nascent stage, Watt said.

Mall management includes positioning, zoning, tenant mix, facility and finance management, promotions and marketing.

Jones Lang LaSalle, CBRE, Beyond Squarefeet and Pinoneer Property Zone are some of the companies, which are in the business of mall management.

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