BANGALORE: The Garuda mall is one of the biggest malls in Southern India. It is spread out over 75,000 square meters and includes 26,000 square meters of shopping and entertainment space on five floors and 120 stores. Uday Garudachar, Managing Director of Garuda Mall speaks to Vyas Sivanand of City Express about the mall culture in Bangalore, Retail in FDI and his future plans.
You were among the pioneers of mall culture in the Bangalore. What is your outlook on the culture now and its future?
Mall culture is always healthy for the simple fact that your retail is growing in an organised format. There is no haphazard growth. Today’s Genext is used to convenience in a hygienic way. For example, You get everything that you need in Chickpet, but where is the convenience? It is a disorganised format of retail in India even though it is working!
But if the country has to grow then we have to start inventing new forms of lifestyle. The mall culture is 50-60 years old across the world. It has just crept into India. There is a huge deficit. Every city needs shopping centers; a convenience center is definitely required, but you cannot put a Garuda Mall in a residential complex of Jayanagar.
What are your future plans? Are you planning to expand in other cities or states?
We have started an area centric shopping mall in Jayanagar called Garuda Swagat Mall, which is about 100,000 square feet where Dmart, Landmark and Westside are anchoring us. We are opening a mall in Mysore bang opposite the Mysore Palace.
We have also ventured into wellness and affordable housing. I want to expand but my expansion will be fairly conservative.
What are your views on FDI in retail?
FDI is a must for this country. If you do not have global brands, you will not be able to move into the next decade. The middle class population in India is about 40% which has the power of purchasing. So this is a market which cannot be out of anybody’s radar. I feel that nothing that is progressive should be curbed and FDI is definitely a progressive step.