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Ansal Plaza Mall in Gurgaon's Palam Vihar: A convenient shopping and entertainment destination
Two years back Ansal Plaza in Palam Vihar almost felt like a half hearted effort by the builders, who made a mall but did nothing much to promote it. Most of the shops were vacant and shoppers were a bare minimum. Residents of Palam Vihar still preferred to go all the way to MG Road and shop. However, this has changed completely almost overnight for the mall.

Not only brands such as CCD, Pizza Hut, Dominoes Pizza and Reliance Digital came in but also local entrepreneurs made their presence felt. This automatically led to increase in the footfalls in the mall as shoppers found good retail outlets. In a bid to understand how this scenario changed all of a sudden, we spoke to Monika Gautam, the General Manager (leasing) of Ansal API.

Question (Q)- Since the mall is not in the prime location, how difficult was it garnering the people's attention and how did you manage to turn around the fortunes of the mall?

Monika Gautam (MG)- It was only after the complete assessment of the market demand that we came up with Ansal Plaza at Palam Vihar. It was a planned neighbourhood mall with a ready residential catchment. Rather than to garnish people’s attention it turned out to be the destination and we got the significant advantage of being the first-mover. Further to keep it rolling, various promotional activities were organized from time to time.

Q - The crowd is economically different than the other malls in Gurgaon. How difficult this makes it for you to run the mall?

MG- A well planned and executed tenant mix helped us sustain mall’s “destination” status. Considering the segment that the mall would cater to, along with the national players we preferred to target the local merchants with good business records and proven understanding of the market.

Q - Since there is no other mall in the area, is the lack of competition an advantage or a disadvantage because people normally likes to visit a place where there are more than one mall, so that they have adequate options?

MG - Mall with a proper tenant mix caters to all the needs. We are sure, to be the only player to cater to an approx population of 4 lakh is an advantage.

Q - When one walks into the Ansal Plaza, they see a lot of local shops. Would you say that the mall is promoting local entrepreneurship? If yes, how do you go about it?

MG - Yes, as has been said earlier too, we targeted the local merchants with good business records to promote local entrepreneurship and to generate footfalls. For local entrepreneurs with limited capital, we offered short-term leases and even proposed carts and kiosks in place of shops. More recently, however, these small-footprint retailers have come to be seen as possessing surprising potential.

Q - What innovative steps led to mall becoming popular?Any other innovative steps for the future to give competition to other malls in Gurgaon?

MG - The design, mall positioning, balanced tenant mix, adequate parking along with the timely promotional activities keeps this mall rocking.

Q - In five years time where do you see the mall heading?

MG - Mall to retain the tag of “convenient shopping and entertainment destination” and to be the one stop solution for all the needs.

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