Showing posts from October, 2009

I leave, but my soul remains...

I have always compared the making of our “Bengaluru International Airport” to the epic Ramayana – of how thousands of hands contributed towards the construction of each and every square inch of this place. I was particularly among the few lucky ones in the country, to play a pivotal role in this mammoth infrastructure project; one that has faced innumerous criticism and obstacles over the years, but today, the Runway, the Terminal and the other buildings stand edifice to show what has gone into its making – satisfying passenger needs to its best and growing higher – in ranking among its peers as well as its revenues, a sign that clearly proves how much our passengers like our Airport. I still remember the sunny morning in March 2006 when I came to the erstwhile corporate office of BIAL at Hebbal to meet the then Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Stephan Widrig. A visionary and a great leader, he was also among the few “perfect” gentlemen and kind-hearted human beings I have ever known. As

Ampa Skywalk – Newest in Chennai

I couldn’t resist visiting the newest Mall in Chennai – Ampa Skywalk last week. The first of its kind in North Chennai, this Mall has been in the making for over five years now. In my previous stint at Benetton, we managed to get two outlets for the Brand – one in the Ground floor and the other in the Second (exclusively for kids). While it took more than three years to finish the construction, it took as much time probably to get all the necessary approvals. And the final product is worth the wait as many would believe. Located along the ubiquitous Cooum River, this five storey structure has a colour combination on the exterior that’s almost impossible to miss. Lots of colourful alucobond and glass with very little concrete gives it a different look than its few counterparts in the city. Located on a corner plot, the Mall is expected to cater largely to the surrounding residential areas –parts of Anna Nagar, Nungambakkam, Aynavaram and Kilpauk. Maybe for the first few months, this wou

Madras Memoirs...

This column comes straight from the heart of Madras – T. Nagar, to be precise, where I have been camping over the past week ever since our daughter was born last Thursday. The past weekend was not just hectic but also exciting and fulfilling for our business. Retailers of all sizes, shapes and geographic spread have reported an upswing in Sales during the just concluded Diwali festival. Mambalam aka T. Nagar in Madras houses the highest penetration of Retail outlets per sq. Km in South India. The estimated size of the Organized Retail business – Apparel, Jewellery and Household items, is expected to be over INR 10 Crores every day! This, from the top 20 large format Retailers such as GRT Jewellery, Prince Jewellery, Joy Alukkas, Singapore Mustafa, Pothys, Kumaran Silks and most importantly Saravana Stores –famously known as India’s very own Wal-Mart. This Retailer who has more than two locations spread over 300,000 sqft., spends a couple of Crores every year on Advertising – on TVCs,

When skill set takes over everything else!

If there is one activity that many urban men dread every month among others, it’s the thought of visiting his “personal groomer”. From a nonchalant corner shop that could seat not more than three people at a time to the more recent air-conditioned (sometimes unisex) salons, this business has come a long way. The Barbers are today better known as “Hair-stylists” and the profession is gaining acceptance as a popular vocation too and many youngsters are getting their hands “on” in this business. The recycled newspapers have been replaced with Filmfare, Femina, Vogue and even India Today! From waiting outside the shops to fixing prior appointments, from standing under scorching sun to comfy sofas, a lot has changed over the years, right in front of us! While the beauty-care market in India is worth over Rs 5,000 Crores, growing at 25% pa, according to an L’Oreal study conducted in 2008, the services business accounts for 87% of this market. The estimated size of the men’s grooming mark