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Retail 2015-09-10

A policy that can do wonders to Retail

The proposed draft of the new Retail Trade Policy introduced by the Maharashtra government. Will allow malls to operate from 5am- 11pm, consumers will now be able to relax and unwind after a hard day of work on a weekday. This draft policy will definitely

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We at Inorbit are very excited about the proposed draft of the Retail Trade Policy introduced by the Maharashtra government. It is a step in the right direction towards the growth of the industry.  It is a well drafted policy which intends to streamline various processes & problems faced by the retail industry and will overall benefit the economy not only in terms of increasing the overall consumption and employment opportunities but also as a tool for socio-economic development of the State.

The single window clearance for licenses is definitely going to help streamline the process of setting up retail businesses thereby encouraging entrepreneurship and flourishing of SMEs. The current absence of any policy creates repetition of processes in acquiring multiple sanctions which can be quite daunting for aspiring first-time entrepreneurs thereby being quite detrimental to new startups.  The single window clearance is one change that will allow for more transparency and will definitely speed up the process, making it a much simpler. Another big relief the policy would bring along, especially for the mall industry at large is the rationalising of power for them instead of charging them commercial rates as is done now.

This coupled with the provision of hiring part time employees on hourly basis will lead to more employment opportunities and retail companies would be able to hire talent strictly on a need basis when extra help is required.It would give people the opportunity to work part time at minimum wage levels per hour while the retail players would be able to hire people without straining resources. This would create a pool of skilled retail talent which is also the need of the hour. It talks about introducing an HR development and training program in association with RAI to equip the influx of new employees with the requisite know-how, knowledge and soft skills to deliver top-notch services.

Draft policy also contains a provision of working towards providing earmarked Retail Entertainment Zones (REZs) with direct access to public transport with all necessary facilities like power will definitely help boost the industry by a large margin. It would mean prime land parcels, which would traditionally be made available for alternate or financial use will be made available for retail developments. These land parcels have a developed social infrastructure which would help the retail developments. Exempting the parking space in the Floor Space Index (FSI), increasing overall FSI by 50% and increasing the permissible height of a mall by 30 meters will definitely help boost the overall shopping experience for the consumer.

It is apparent that malls today have become more of a destination as they are the only source entertainment for all age groups offering food, shopping, movies and play zone for kids, all under one roof. As the policy allows malls to operate from 5am- 11pm, consumers will now be able to relax and unwind after a hard day of work on a weekday. This draft policy will definitely iron out these problems, specially during the festive and holiday seasons.

This move is a well thought out one by the government and will be well appreciated by all sections of the society. It will play a considerable role in boosting businesses, both big and small, will create more direct and indirect jobs and will further accelerate the flow of investment in the retail industry. The draft policy will bring the much required boost to the sector as it will witness a rise in the overall economic activity. New products and services will be available and consumed due to increased contact with the consumer. Overall, it will bring out a win-win situation for the Government, retail trade and end consumer.

Rajneesh Mahajan, Executive Director, Inorbit Malls India Pvt. Ltd. is associated with the group since the last six years. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Inorbit Malls and during his tenure as COO, he guided the overall performance and growth of the organization in a dynamic retail and real estate industry. He is responsible for business expansion, overlook the operations, ensure that the services offered by the organization contribute to the organization's mission and reflect the priorities of the Board and improving customer experience. He was previously associated with Cushman and Wakefield and Barista and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Punjab University and also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing & Finance. His distinguished personality and optimistic approach has provoked young entrepreneurs through his encouraging articles written for varied publications.

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