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Food Is New Fashion Statement In India, Says Pushpa Bector, DLF Premium Malls

Rohit George, Managing Director at Virtuous Retail South Asia Pte, Vivek Vishnu, Chief Digital Officer at Intex Technologies (India) and Rajesh Jain, Managing Director & CEO of Sports & Leisure Apparels were some of the other eminent panelists

Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta

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In the first panel discussion at CII India Retail Conclave 2017, Pushpa Bector, Executive Vice President and Head of DLF Premium Malls said, the food in India is the new fashion statement for the customers.

The subject of the panel discussion was ‘Future-Proofing Retail Spaces of Tomorrow: Real Estate and Technology’.

Other panelists included Rajneesh Mahajan, Executive Director of Inorbit Malls India, Seema Agrawal, VP- Retail Analytics of Manthan Software Services and Yogeshwar Sharma, Executive Director Of Select Infrastructure among others.

Rohit George, Managing Director at Virtuous Retail South Asia Pte, Vivek Vishnu, Chief Digital Officer at Intex Technologies (India) and Rajesh Jain, Managing Director & CEO of Sports & Leisure Apparels were some of the other eminent panelists.
 
Pankaj Renjhen, Managing Director- Retail Services JLL acted as the ‘Session Moderator’. He asked Bector about the methods she is undertaking to maintain the relevance of malls and whether the shopping centres will remain pertinent in 30 to 40 years. She replied, “Technology is not a magical wand, we need to know our consumers and understand the cultural mindset shift.”

She added, “We need to know what are the social communities that are being created and the challenge for the malls is to influence these communities.” Further, she said, offline and online has to work together.

When asked, is planning required to build a mall, she answered, “Absolutely. You need to be relevant. We have given more space to food and entertainment because the food is the new fashion statement in India.” Concluding it she told that consumer behaviour is always changing and thus we have to work accordingly.

“We need to stay connected to our consumers through technology. We lack infrastructure and newness and so need to work on it,” said Mahajan. Sharma spoke about the three things that are essential in this business, Will, Cost and Efforts and also cautioned that technology if not used properly, can prove to be detrimental.

George commenting on future-proofing said, “We do not know what kind of retail will work. IT is definitely an enabler for all kinds of retail but we only get to know the sale numbers from the retailers, whereas, what is selling the most and the least is important to be known.”

Jain primarily focused on the privacy of the customers. “There is no problem in sharing the data as long as it does not dry up our privacy,” he said. Agrawal shared about her first conversational agent ‘Maya’ which got launched in January 2017 and technological space.  

In the session, Vishnu said that convergence of e-com and offline is the answer and the future. The panel discussion ended with a question and answer round, followed by summing up of the session.


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