Interview with Rajneesh Mahajan

Face2Face
Rajneesh Mahajan
Rajneesh Mahajan
CEO
Inorbit Malls
Inorbit Malls

We focus on performance-oriented brands.

Mumbai-based Inorbit Malls, a subsidiary of the K Raheja Corporation, is committed to setting benchmarks in retailing in India. Providing an excellent walkthrough experience, it has emerged as a one-stop destination for fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. CEO,Rajneesh Mahajan talks to Fibre2Fashion about the expansion plans to tier 3 and tier 4 cities.

How has 2017 been for Inorbit Malls across India?

This year has been quite encouraging as we witnessed a steady growth in footfall and consumption. However, an early commencement of sale this year impacted consumption in the latter half of the second quarter. In addition to this, as the logistics and processes post implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) are clearer, brands are bringing in entire ranges of merchandise and are also planning a series of exciting promotions and offers on special occasions during the year.
How has 2017 been for Inorbit Malls across India?

Have you implemented any new technology in your malls lately?

We have leveraged digital technology with new features on our website and mobile app. We have made Inorbit Malad and Vashi malls in Mumbai e-commerce-enabled, which offers consumers the benefit to reserve the product online and either pick it up from our partner stores at the mall or receive same day delivery of the product at their door step. This feature helps our retailers to stay connected with consumers. Soon, this feature will be extended to our other malls.

What is the usual footfall at Inorbit Malls in the fashion and lifestyle segment? What increase did you observe during this festive season?

In our annual cycle, the October-December period witnesses maximum footfall. The whole quarter has a festive feel with enticing décor, and the best products and attractive offers are lined up by retailers. Spending happens majorly on high-value products like jewellery, fashion accessories, home products and electronics during this period.

How does Inorbit retain footfalls with its marketing initiatives and consumer connect?

Shopping is all about a great ambience and a good experience. Apart from the best brands in fashion, the mall also hosts several consumer connect events and activities throughout the year. Overall, we host more than 250 events in a year. Community connect initiatives like Pink Power, family- and kid-centric events like Gifting Christmas and Hot Wheels Epic Race have evolved as the most popular initiatives. We celebrate special occasions and festivals in grandeur by creating larger than life décor and installations to increase customer delight. It is imperative that we give consumers a WOW feeling when they come to shop, be it for a special occasion or on a regular weekday.

Tell us about the latest buying trends in fashion?

At malls, we see a shift in the buying trend. Along with traditional ethnic wear, fusion wear, dresses and gowns are picking up. Apart from fashion, customers are seen spending on jewellery and watches, perfumes and cosmetics and footwear.

How do you deal with re-leasing and shuffling of brands in your malls? How do you decide on the right brand mix?

Our team evaluates the monthly sales performance of brands. We also take into consideration regular customer feedback and plan churn accordingly.

How do you stay relevant in time of the crazy online boom?

In the last 14 years of operations, Inorbit has enhanced and upgraded its tenant mix to stay abreast of the latest trends and consumer buying behaviour. Other factors that differentiate us are the way we maintain the upkeep of our property and keep introducing different innovations and adopting the latest trends of social media marketing and e-commerce.

Which new brands are you planning to bring to Inorbit malls? Is the focus more on home-grown brands or international brands?

We at Inorbit, look at giving space to performance-oriented brands and in principle all retailers want more space. We look at consumer behaviour and changing preference to identify the right brands which will add to the memorable shopping experience.

Given the rapid rise of e-commerce, what is the future of shopping malls in India? How omnichannel is Inorbit gearing up to be?

We believe in learning from everyone and identifying growth drivers and there is a lot of learning we can pick from the e-commerce model to elevate the shopping experience of our customers. 

We have introduced convenience services like the ability to reserve the product online on our app and pick it up from the mall or the mall can deliver the product at your door step. Our additional services like dropping customer's shopping bags to their home gives them a hassle free shopping experience. We have tied up with prominent cab operators to offer comfortable rides back home with exclusive offers. 

What are your expansion plans?

The Indian retail story is gathering pace amidst a favourable regulatory environment and conducive business conditions. Inorbit is well positioned to be an integral part of that story and we are constantly evaluating opportunities for expansion. Tier 3 and tier 4 cities are an exciting opportunity, but we believe there is an upside in retail penetration in the metros as well. (RR)
Published on: 15/03/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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