HYDERABAD: K Raheja Corporation entity Inorbit Malls India has chalked out a plan to expand its operations significantly in Southern India region thanks to low cost realty in the region compared to other parts of the country, said a top official.
The company currently operates five cash positive hypermarkets - two in Mumbai and one each in Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore. Apart from expanding further in Hyderabad and Bangalore, the company has decided to enter cities of Chennai, Vizag and Coimbatore, managing director Kishore Bhatija told journalists.
"We have seen highest growth rate in Hyderabad at 24% compared to 7.5% to less than 20% in other operational malls across other cities of the country," said Bhatija. Southern cities proved to be inexpensive for acquiring realty assets and also as higher growth drivers with larger base of IT/ITES and financial services sectors.
Inorbit Malls will now develop and operate a mall every year. The sixth Indian mall at Vadodara in Gujarat will take off next month, he said. The company is actively looking at developing one more mall over 10 acres of land in Hyderabad's outskirts at Pocharam, where the IT behemoth Infosys is developing its largest campus with 25,000 seating capacity.
Bhatija said each mall would typically cost Rs 300-500 crore based on the location. The company would meet the funding requirement for expansion through parent company, internal accruals and partially from banks and financial institutions. "We don't have any plans to dilute our stake at this point of time," he said.
Inorbit would allocate more space for food and entertainment in its upcoming malls as the two segments were picking up more footfalls and malls are becoming like community centres than being only the shopping complexes.
"We are also promoting the local brands like Kalanjali, Mebaz, Chutneys and Srikrishna Pearls for their strong local brand image and let them grow into national players," said Bhatija.