One of the greatest masts of the Indian economy is the country’s retail industry that reports for 14 to 15 percent of GDP and 15 percent of employment. Compared to other countries, Indian retail is growing at a rapid rate with more than 2.25 billion people. Undoubtedly, shopping malls form an integral part of the retail industry where numerous Indian and foreign companies are exhibiting a significant interest. There are more than 6000 shopping malls functioning in India while more than 800 malls are under construction. (source: www.iraj.in/journal/journal_file/journal_pdf/)
However, in spite of such a visible growth in the economy, shopping malls presently require many improvements in order to become a thriving part of the Indian retail industry. Due to the presence of several challenges, malls still need to tread a few more miles in order to reach the same business stratum as their foreign counterparts. On the other hand, with the emergence of efficient mall management services, malls have become better managed today than what it was a few years ago.
Let us look at the various challenges that are being encountered by mall management services:
1. Lack of introducing new technology– One of the major challenges that are faced by Indian malls today is the availability and accepting new technology. Using technology is a vital part for regular mall activities like for making payments, preparing bills, keeping a track of stock, avoiding shrinkage and many more. Companies offering mall management services, are introducing software like RFID to determine customer preference and CRM for better customer relationship management.
2. Lack of infrastructure and strategy– Lack of proper infrastructure and strategy inevitably results in inefficient processes. This, in turn, acts as a huge obstacle for the retailers since incompetent distribution channel becomes difficult to manage and encounters great losses. Disrupted power supply, proper storage facilities and prompt distribution of goods are some of the areas of concern under the scope of mall management.
3. Shortage of qualified professionals– The retail sectors in India are heavily dependent on the skilled workforce so much so that the Indian retail industries (including malls) encounters 50% high depreciation rate when compared to the other industries. Furthermore, to retain trained professionals, the retail industry must pay more. Although there are very few training programs catering to the needs of the retail industries, mall management companies are hiring people from all streams and providing the necessary training to make them suitable for their job in the malls.
4. Incompetent supply chain management– Proper supply chain management comprises delivery of the right goods at the right place at the right time. Many malls all over India suffer from a lack of inadequate supply chain management that is hindering the growth of the economy. By hiring reputed mall management services, gradually there is now more use of technology, reduction in the inventory costs and more financial benefits are provided to customers to retain them.
5. Battling the problem of power supply– Malls in India are usually enormous with immense expanse and amenities. Hence there is a great demand for power supply for lighting, escalators, lifts, cold storage and so on. Unfortunately, malls in India faces frequent power cuts; also the cost of power consumption is very high that increases the overall expenditure of the retail outlets. Companies offering mall management services provide various alternatives in the form of energy-efficient devices, technology and solutions that are efficiently tackling the problem of the lack of power supply.
Conclusion– These are some of the major problems that the retail industry, particularly the shopping malls in India, are combatting today. But with the rising popularity of mall management marketing, it could be expected that these challenges will no longer impede the growth of the Indian retail industry in the coming years.