The Phoenix Mills has been the pioneer in developing and operating city centric retail-led mixed-use consumption hubs comprising mega retail malls, entertainment complexes, office spaces and hotels. The company continues to expand its portfolio of mixed-use developments in top Indian cities. Shishir Shrivastava, Joint Managing Director, The Phoenix Mills, shares more...
Name one major challenge faced in FY2018-19. How did the company approach the same?
Sometime in FY18, an economic slowdown seemed to be imminent. Thus, in FY18-19 we increased our efforts to capture a sizeable share of the consumers’ potentially shrinking wallet size. Our focus remained on providing our mall visitors a memorable experience and consequently our efforts, time and money were well spent on anticipating consumer aspirations resulting in an improved product and brand mix, improvement amenities for our mall visitors, focussed marketing, experiential events, mall interior design upgrades, an extraordinarily curated art program, a very well thought out live act and performing arts calendar, unique seasonal décor etc. This strategy worked well and we have witnessed consumption growth and a reasonable increase in our share of the consumer wallet.
What is onedecision you consider the biggest contributor to the company’s growth in FY2018-19.
We attribute our growth in FY2018-19 to a combination of multiple factors, including several short term strategies implemented during the year, and a few longer term strategies that were implemented during the previous years, the outcome of which was witnessed in FY 18-19.
Aside from the performance of our malls themselves improving on account of increased consumption, we have seen growth in our income from the office portfolio, hotels and residential business in the said year. The impact of consolidating our stakes in various assets was also seen in the financial performance of the last two years.
Most importantly, this team comprising the Phoenix family is one of the most important contributors to our performance. We are one of the few professionally managed real estate companies in India. Our top management has been with us for several years and the wisdom and experience gained over the years stays in-house.
Name one single factor you avoided that could have otherwise impacted the company’s top-line and bottom-line?
Again I would say that it’s difficult to attribute to any single factor which may have resulted in avoiding any adverse impact to our performance. Our approach to our business evolved over many years and several prudent decisions taken over a period of time have insulated us from consequences of the current challenges that our economy may be faced with.
At the strategic level, these decisions include being conservative in our gearing and paying down debt, equity funding at the appropriate time, risk mitigation, creating a significant portfolio of cash flow generating assets.
At an operational level, these decisions have resulted in us creating dominant consumption hubs and best-in class social infrastructure.
Phoenix Market City, Mumbai is a classic example of an ecosystem with a mall and captive audience of thousands of office goers from our Grade A commercial developments. This approach of playing to our strengths allows us to add maximum incremental value for our stakeholders, which is evident from our unhindered FY19 financial performance – consumption growth of 9 per cent, retail rental income growth of 14 per cent and retail EBITDA growth of 22 per cent.
Going forward, what are your plans for the company’s growth in FY2019-20?
We currently have a 6 million sq ft operating retail portfolio, which continues to grow strong. At our existing operational malls we expect to see organic growth on account of increasing consumption and thus, improvement to our rental income. In addition, we have 4.9 million sq ft of under-development malls in Pune, Bengaluru, Indore, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. The first three are part of the alliance with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB); Lucknow is 100 per cent owned by PML while Palladium in Ahmedabad is a 50-50 JV with a leading Ahmedabad-based developer. Phoenix Market City Lucknow will be the first to become operational in FY20. Thereafter, we expect to operationalise about a million square feet of retail area in each year.
We are the gateway for top national and international brands. With ~11 million sq ft of operational retail by FY23, we would further our position as the ‘destination of choice’ for our retailers and consumers. Aside from the retail portfolio, we have ~1.3 million sq ft of commercial office annuity generating assets operational with another ~4 million sq ft under development/planning, which will also operationalise between FY20 and FY24.
|The Phoenix Mills
|FY19 (Rs Billion)
|Growth over FY18 (%)