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Monday, September 27, 2010

Sustainability of MALLs in India

25th Sept 2010/Saturday////8:25 pm/Defence Colony, Gurgaon/

I am back to Ashutosh’s place after a visit to Metro Mall. We were five of us, me, ashutosh dash, and three of his old students from IIM Shillong. We had lunch together at MDI and thenafter came to his house, had tea etc,,, and then after walking for around 400 mtrs boarded an auto which dropped us at the Mall.

The mall looked good, crowded by people, being a Saturday, a weekend, may be the crowd is still bigger, and today is World Daughters Day, a day which I never was aware of. As we walked through the mall looking at different showrooms, looking at people, couples of different ages, kids, safaiwalas etc, we followed the escalators and behaved perfectly like young kids who play with escalators taking a ride up and down. All through we kept talking to each other and tried relating our knowledge of books and business with what we were looking at. We reached on the top and tried to see which are the movies on show at the PVR, Dabbang, Paa, 3 idiots, etc etc… and decided not to go for any of them. Following through the lobby, we crossed the food outlets of different prominent brands (McDonald, Subway…) as well as of the brands I never had heard of. We were in no mood to have anything at the time, so we decided to come down and now floor wise walking started. Good looking showrooms seated with good looking sales personnels but many of them without a single customer. We started talking amongst us why people don’t enter these showrooms, why only at PVR and at Food stalls and at some popular brands like Bata, Colorplus, some toys shops, etc there is rush whereas most of the shops are without any customer, mind it, it is a weekend. I start thinking and sharing that thinking with others in the company, that how these showrooms/shops are sustaining, why the number of malls keep increasing, people visiting malls also increasing, still much of the people visiting don’t buy anything.

I am given another education that the rush in the first week of the month is much larger as compared to the last week of the month. During the discount sales, which usually happens to be during Dec-Jan, many of these outlets sell huge volume to cover up the slump in the other months. Does it really happen that way, I wonder.

Some say, do you see that lady sitting at the counter, she has been awarded this shop by her husband, because she is giving tough time to her husband so he thought this is the best place for her to spend time. Some say, this is how the black money is becoming white, though they do not sell well, still they keep issuing fake cash memos etc etc to convert the black color with white. I find it interesting, what a way for color transformation. But a question comes to my mind, there are so many big brands being at display in the mall, they must be paying really through their nose to use this property for their display, but all these marketing efforts, are they able to get converted into sales.

Most of the sales people in the mall are looking at their prey, their eyes are so expecting that after experiencing this day in, day out they have become use to it. They are having wrinkles on their face; after all they have all been smilingly waiting for the prospective customers. They seem very courteous, I know they are not meaning it but their persistent waiting habit has made them so. I find many aged ladies at the cash counters… reason, I can not speculate. Many of the front line sales people are involved in cleaning the items or counters, some are enjoying the tones of instrumentals being played within the showroom.

There is good rush on the ground floor, of the kids, children, especially girls who are involved in dancing and celebrating Daughters Day, a relief to some parents, some companies are busy capitalizing this opportunity. We decide, now we can again go back to the food counter on the top floor as now the appetite for some drinks is made as we have already strolled more than 2000 metres, escalating up starts and ends at the destination where we take drinks as per our choice, I am provided with Ice Tea and now we chat on different issues, shillong, education, children, girls, relationship, work-life balance, life satisfaction, job satisfaction etc etc…. I preach one needs to enjoy every moment of life as it comes. Work is important but it is not only work which is important as we always say, money is important but it is not just money which is important. We do not need to get into work so much that we miss life but pat comes an argument, if work is life then what, I don’t have any answer to that, I lost all my wisdom, all my arguments fall short of justification. Yes I do believe strongly, work is worship but worship is not all that we need to do all through life.


After finishing tea and spending time on the square table, we agree to get back to the exit of the Mall and we make our way through, three of them take Metro train to their destination, me and ashutosh decide to take an auto back to Iffco chowk and then we walk through lanes to his house, talking different shades of relationship, giving and providing space to others, one does it for oneself, not for anybody else, one needs to live in this belief, otherwise relationships leave us with the feeling of sand just making its way through a close palm. What an idea sirji…


9:15 pm///
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