Nexus Mall, a fully owned subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, currently has nine assets spread across Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. The company has witnessed around 18% yoy growth in sales volume and about 12% yoy increase in footfall across all assets and are equally optimistic for the upcoming quarters.
For Nexus Mall, inclusion of technology plays an important role for creating unique end user experience and their experiment with Augmented Reality and other digital technologies has garnered huge success for them.
Yash Ved of NewsBarons provides you the highlights of an interaction with Nishank Joshi, CMO of Nexus Mall, who believes “India is about 5 – 7 years away from shopping online for a majority of their needs.”
NB: What trend do you see for malls in the country?
Nishank: Malls are the future of social spaces and will become even more aligned to the future needs of the consumer. Online stores will see offline presence. And as they become entertainment and social hubs, dwell times in malls will increase substantially hereon.
NB: What is your rationale for using technology in your malls?
Nishank: Set up with transformation as our core agenda, we seek to implement best practices and state-of-the-art technology in India by bringing in professional and broader mall management in the country.
We hosted India’s first Augmented Reality show within the premises of our malls and also hosted India’s first Digital Dussehra, an eco-friendly way to celebrate the occasion across our entire portfolio. We garnered a reach of over 21 million people over two days. We also hosted Digital Pictionary across our portfolio on Children’s Day.
Since our inception, we have always resorted to high-end technology with an aim to present our customers with unique experiences every time they visit our mall.
NB: In this current scenario of online purchase, how do you think shopping malls would survive?
Nishank: Introduction of E-Commerce has been a great boon for customers. However, I still feel India is about 5 – 7 years away from shopping online for a majority of their needs. We predominantly are still a market that believes in ‘touch & feel’ before we make a purchase.
We have also seen a massive shift in customer behaviour over the last 3-5 years. Against common perception of the sole purpose of malls being shopping, malls have become community hubs where people come to eat, watch movies, hang out with family etc.
NB: Would you continue to invest more on such technologies in the future?
Nishank: We strongly believe that malls need event with a twist. Technology is the way forward when it comes to delivering superior experiential events. The Augmented Reality, Digital Dussehra and Pictionary are good examples of technological innovations working really well with the patrons.