Post retail FDI, mall developers gear up for opportunities

"It is a great opportunity for the malls to grow and expand as they will soon have an array of high street brands at the disposal of their discerning customers," DLF Promenade Mall Senior Vice-President Pushpa Bector said.

Echoing similar views, DLF Place Vice-President Arindam Kunar said: "The introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail will lead to increased demand, which in turn will catalyse more investment openings in the retail segment."

An inflow of new entrants in the sector will broaden the addressable market and pave the entry of many fashion and lifestyle brands into one of the world's largest untapped markets, he said.

As per a report by CII-Boston Consulting Group, the current size of organised retail in India is estimated close to USD 28 billion, about 6-7 per cent of total retail. It is expected to be around USD 260 billion by 2020.

According Jones Lang LaSalle India Managing Director (Retail Services) Pankaj Renjhen, the opportunities in real estate business following FDI in multi-brand retail in India is beyond dispute.

"The currently depressed economic scenario will not hinder but rather accelerate their (retailers) expansion, since they operate on a style of business which is eminently adaptable to recession-like situations," Renjhen said.

In fact, the retail space oversupply in many larger cities presents them with a huge opportunity, he said.

"Not surprisingly, business for property consultancies with expertise in retail services has begun booming already," he added.

With an eye on future, realty major DLF has said it will invest up to Rs 3,000 crore over the next five years to develop shopping malls (around 4 million square feet of retail space) as it expects heightened activity with the government approving 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand.

Even Unitech has said it will invest up to Rs 4,000 crore to develop 13 shopping malls over the next four years.

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