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Where is India’s warehousing sector heading to?

June 2019
Interestingly, while on one hand there are international developers and funds who are entering the Indian markets, on the other there are national and regional domestic players in the country who are now evaluating the market potential.

As per JLL estimates, some key developers, including Allcargo Logistics, Ascendas, Embassy, ESR, IndoSpace and Logos India, are likely to command nearly 100 million sq ft of Grade-A space in the next four to five years. “A number of private Indian developers, having either a strong presence in other asset classes in multiple cities or a strong local or regional presence, are also into investable-grade real estate,” says Chandranath Dey, Senior Director and Head - Industrial Consulting and Supply Chain Consulting, JLL India. “These include Apeejay, ASV Mindspace, Goyal & Co, Hiranandani, Lodha Group, K Raheja, Musaddilal, Panchshil and Purvankara, among others.” In addition, there are traditional local or regional warehousing players, such as FWS, Global Group, GWC, KSH, Mascot, Prakhyat, Renaissance and RKV, among others.

Apart from being conventional storing services, warehousing now provides many value-added services. “The sector is estimated to grow at 13-15 per cent in the medium term driven by growth in manufacturing, ecommerce, FMCG and retail,” says Aditya Virwani, COO, Embassy Group. What’s more, the India’s warehousing and logistics sector is predicted to attract nearly $ 10 billion worth of investments over four to five years, with an addition of about 200 million sq ft of warehousing space across major ports, airports, and Tier-II cities.

With warehousing evidently turning to be India’s sunrise sector in real estate, several developers are making big plans. For instance, Embassy Group plans to invest $ 1 billion to address the challenges of companies grappling with inefficient industrial and warehousing spaces in a large, diverse and geographically distributed market like India. “We aim to build 35 million sq ft of industrial and warehousing space over the next five years across India,” says Virwani. The group has already signed MoUs with the governments of Haryana and Kolkata for over Rs 1 billion. Its plan is to keep acquiring land, developing it and leasing it ahead to meet the ever-growing demands of customers.

“If only 10 per cent of this space is currently serviced by organised players, we have lots to do before we sleep!” exclaims Virwani. Indeed!

Key emerging trends in warehousing

  • Shift in industry structure from fragmented and unorganized players to large organised players
  • Increasing institutional investor participation in the sector
  • Consolidation of warehouses from large number of multiple facilities to a few larger centres
  • Reduction in inventory carrying costs for major companies
  • Implementation of automation and smart warehousing solutions in warehouse operations
  • Transformation of warehouse from just storage to one providing value-added services

Source: Knight Frank Research
- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA