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Ansal sets up new company for mall management 

Kumarkaushalam  
New Delhi, Oct 12: Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd's--whose Rs 250-crore shopping mall-cum-office project in Delhi, Ansal Plaza is opening on November 1, 1999--has incorporated a new company called Mall Management Company Ltd (MMCL) to create pull for the Plaza on an on-going basis.

With over 85 per cent of the one-lakh square foot shopping mall space sold or leased out, Ansal is using an innovative approach to ensuring that promotions are not sporadic but continuous affair at the Plaza. The mall management group will consist of a core team of six, who will be backed up by a full-fledged project division. MMCL will specialise in creating consumer-friendly schemes in conjunction with mall partners like Shoppers' Stop, McDonald, Music World, Meena Bazaar, Colorplus, Pizza-Pizza Express, Geoffrey's Pub, Lacoste, Gautier, and Disar.

``The Mall Management Company will come out with programmes like cross promotions, credit cards, and magazines for the Plaza,'' says Pradeep Seth, executive president, Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd. ``It will interact with mall operators and actual consumers.'' Ansal expects a traffic of over 10,000 high net-worth consumers a day, for starters.

The Mall Management Company is also expected to extend event management-related expertise to other malls, which will be developed by Ansals. Adds Seth, ``We can also offer such services to other malls which are coming up in the country.''

Beginning first week of November 1999, Ansal is launching a high-blitz print, electronic and outdoor campaign to promote the new Plaza. Again, under the novel mall-management scheme, all expenses would be shared by mall promoters and Ansal.

The focus of the campaign would be on the profile of its internationally renowned mall partners and Plaza's core promise: eateries, aesthetics and entertainment as an integral experience of shopping.

The Plaza's core promise will be delivered by a wide spectrum of services like: Kid's Play Zone, occupying a floor height of 35 feet and designed to keep children between 2 to 16 involved for at least 45 minutes while their parents shop around; a unique Internet-ready connectivity which allows the mall partners and also corporate offices to bypass VSNL to have a bandwidth of their choice; a cybercafe; a parking provision for 700 cars in the basement and 300 cars on the surface; a non-smoking mall zone (smokers will have open galleries and segregated smoking zones at four of the fast food joints); an amphitheatre, where musical nites and minicarnivals can be organised; a pollution elimination scrubber in the mall, covering even the parking basement; a hi-tech centralised security system maintained by UK's Knight Frank; and total air-conditioning with complete power backup support.

Retail rentals rise at Ansal Plaza

Rentals at Ansal Plaza have registered a significant appreciation in the last six months. The rentals, which started with Rs 105 a square foot--when Shopper's Stop snapped up nearly half of the Plaza's shopping space in January 1999--is now believed to have touched Rs 175 a square foot. ``We've succeeded in getting the best names here,'' says Pradeep Seth, executive president, Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd. ``The real estate scene is changing after a long gap and now we're hoping to lease the remaining space at around Rs 175-Rs 200 a square foot.''

That's rewarding for a company that started with the spectre of looming losses. ``How we mix up our sales and renting will determine our quicker breakeven,'' says Seth. Ansal plans to have a mix of 50 per cent rentals and 50 per cent sales to breakeven in four years. Ansal plans to hold onto a part of the remaining 15,000 square foot of shopping area so that it can start a chain of restaurants at the mall. Ansals is already maintaining eateries at its Chanellor Clubs. ``In the next mall we're also planning to get into merchandising,'' says Seth.

Now Ansal is setting eyes on the suburbs and adjoining districts of Delhi. ``The difference in the rentals between main Delhi and the suburbs is around four to five times,'' says Seth. ``Our new mall in the suburbs would allow corporates to operate at lower rate of renting and at the same time avail themselves of an extended metro market.''

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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