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From seafood exports to hospitality and finally to the real estate, the ABAD Group has come a long way.
When and how was the ABAD Group founded?
We started with seafood exports in 1894, which is the flagship division of the group, while ABAD Fisheries was established in 1931 in Cochin with exports across the globe. Abad Hotels and Resorts division, established in 1982, is a leading hospitality player for the tourist and business traveller alike. Abad Builders, which commenced its operations in 1995, has till date handled over 20 lakh sq.ft area in over 20 projects in Cochin. Apart from being the first CRISIL-rated developer from Kerala, it was awarded the CNBC Awaaz CRISIL Real Estate Award 2009 for Best Residential Project in South Region.
What kind of services does ABAD provides?
ABAD Property Management Services (APMS) was set up in year 2007 to provide rentals, statutory liasoning, housekeeping and maintenance services to our existing customers and resident associations across our projects. We then increased the services to interior designing and contracting, general maintenance, landscaping, concierge and security services. Finally, we extended to commercial and other establishments across the state.
Can you elaborate on the Nucleus Mall status at Cochin? What are its unique features?
Nucleus Mall and Office Arcade is a ready-to-occupy LEED Gold Pre-Certified Green Building located on NH 49, Cochin. The most striking feature of the mall spread over G + three floors is the floor plan with an anchor on each floor. Besides, there is a central atrium with skylight, maximum visibility for all stores and effective circulation space for customers, staff and goods movement. Apart from this, we provide 100 per cent power back-up and water and energy efficient systems, which save on the operating costs of retailers by at least 20 per cent.
What kind of tenant mix have you planned for your upcoming mall?
The planned tenant mix is aimed at ensuring effective and maximum circulation and providing diverse choices to customers comfortably within the mall. In keeping with this, the four anchor stores would be in supermarket, apparels, leisure and food court segment from the ground floor upwards. At present, Big Bazaar Express and Lifestyle Max have taken the ground and first floor anchor spaces and ABAD Food Court is on the top floor. The entertainment for family and kids is on the third floor, while premium brands and impulse category segment is on the ground floor. Apparels are on the first floor, while home furnishing, books, electronics, women and children category are on the second floor.
What kind of research did you undertake before starting the mall project?
This project began in August 2007 and is expected to be commissioned by August 2010. A detailed survey of the existing and the proposed residential and commercial establishments was conducted, including the travel times from the project site.
What type of feasible models do retailers prefer for opening their stores in a mall?
Though most of the retailers prefer to go with the minimum guarantee (MG) and revenue sharing model, there still are some others who are very comfortable with the pure lease model.
What according to you are the shortcomings that mall developers in India are yet to overcome?
In India, the costs of putting up a mall are still high. In this regard, ensuring high efficiency of space apart from reducing the operating costs without cutting corners would be vital in helping the new retail stores achieve break even sooner. Most importantly, the rentals and CAM charges should be sustainable for the retailer and mall developer.