The retail segment was witnessing a surge after May 2021, when second wave restrictions were eased; the festival season also acted as catalyst for the jump in sales and footfall at various malls. As per CBRE’s ‘India Retail Reboot 2021‘ report, the recovery gained momentum in early 2021, especially across southern and northern cities as Pan-India retail sales in February 2021 touched almost 93% of February 2020 (pre-COVID) levels.
An Imagine Apple store in Gurugram
With the opening up of the economy post-lockdowns, the recovery has been strong. “Retail sentiments seem to be getting back on track in a strong fashion ahead of the festivities, riding on the back of strong pent up demands, managed and better COVID scenario & vaccinations being done at a rapid pace. Consumers are poised to shop heavy this season, and we are already seeing positive indicators with our iPhone 13 launch across our Tresor Imagine Apple stores. Omnichannel and e-comm traffic is on ever highest peaks already,” said Kumar Nishant, COO & VP – Group Business Operations, Tresor Systems and Tresor Healthcare.
After the second wave began in April 2021, the re-imposition of the lockdown restrictions affected consumer confidence and purchasing activity once more. However, unlike the 2020 national lockdown, the impact on retail was less severe because most limitations were regional or localised.
“Since early June, when limitations were gradually lifted, footfalls have been steadily increasing. We have seen a significantly greater rebound from the second wave, with largely recreation-driven footfalls improving in the mall. This recovery was seen from July 2021 onwards, and retail sales achieved more than 70% of July 2019 levels,” said Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Group.
The festival season also erased the negative impact of the March 2020 lockdown, which had a detrimental influence on the selling of products that fell under ‘non-essential category‘. “The receding pandemic, successful vaccination drive and the easing of limitations towards the end of 2020 led to an upsurge in foot traffic across the mall. The vaccination programme has given consumers the confidence to go shopping, which has aided the retail sector; safety measures taken by the malls should also be credited for the recovery,” added Bansal.
According to the CBRE report, “Despite easing of lockdown restrictions in Q1 2021 and only a phased presence of regional lockdown restrictions during Q3 2021, mobility index for retail and recreation improved significantly during Q3 2021 compared to the first quarter, owing to strengthening of the vaccination drive.“
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a realignment of consumption patterns and a shift in the economic growth direction. As consumer priorities shifted, the preference for “conscious spending” grew, and major modifications in consumer buying behaviour were seen. “Department stores, apparel and footwear, and electronics and appliance retailers were the hardest hit during the pandemic. However, following the relaxation of lockdown regulations, most of these categories saw an increase in sales; the festival season further provided the much-needed boost,” said Nayan Raheja of Raheja Developers.
Echoing the positive sentiment, Uddhav Poddar, Managing Director, Bhumika Group, said, “We signed up many brands and leased over 1 lakh sq. ft. of retail space at our mall in Udaipur after the second wave of COVID-19. The sentiment echoed by the well-known brands is an indication of the way market is moving. With restrictions over, people have started to move out that opened up avenues for the retail segment. The outlook looks promising as India has been able to control the spread of the pandemic through successfully administering vaccinations to a significant number of people.“
Eco-friendly Housing Essentials that a Homebuyer Needs to Focus on
As the world reels from the damaging effects of climate change, every bit done to minimise environmental degradation will go a long way in saving the planet. With consumers becoming more environmentally conscious, one’s home is the best place to begin making a difference.
Among the top requirements for a clean and green living space are green buildings, larger and well-ventilated living areas, efficient ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, renewable energy technologies, and provision for sewage disposal. Don’t forget to check if your developer has these features in the project with the home you’ve set your heart on.
“There’s a growing demand for housing in major cities across India. Homebuyers are increasingly preferring homes in projects with a lot of green spaces within them. Communities built with a focus on energy savings, waste reduction, along with a abundant green landscaping, can address concerns of climate change, global warming, and the lack of green spaces in cities,” says Vikram Chari – CEO of SmartOwner and Prime One Corp, as he takes us through these five eco-friendly housing essentials that a homebuyer can focus on while deciding on his or her next home.
Green buildings – Globally, every sector is trying to incorporate more environment friendly methods and business practices and real estate players are not far behind. By designing projects that adhere to the highest carbon emission norms and providing more green spaces across the property, some new-age developers are setting a high benchmark for others to follow. As per some estimates, green projects have better indoor air quality with a low concentration of pollutants. The project you are considering ideally needs to create a positive environmental impact and include sustainable practices at every stage of development – from ideation, planning, and right through to the completion of construction.
Large windows – Large windows, especially floor to lintel height ones are the most under-rated essentials when it comes to eco-friendly living. They not only ventilate the home but also light up your home reducing dependence on lights thereby reducing the usage of non-renewable energy.
Reducing waste – With global warming becoming a harsh reality, most companies are making a conscious effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste of all types. As a homeowner, you can look for developers who incorporate dedicated spaces in the projects for collection and segregation of dry and wet waste. Developers must also dispose of all construction waste such as concrete, rubble, metal, wood, plastics responsibly.
Solar living – Renewable energy technology such as solar panels and usage of thermal windows in projects can make homes energy efficient. Thermal windows ensure insulation from extreme weather conditions, thereby reducing the dependency on artificial heating and cooling. Studies show that homes with solar panels and thermal windows could reduce energy consumption by almost a third of those of homes without these features.
Sewage disposal – Efficient sewage treatment and disposal is a feature that most developers of large-sized projects have already incorporated in their projects. You should look for projects that not only have Sewage Treatment Plants (STP), but also with sufficient capacity to handle the quantum of waste generated by the community when fully occupied. Prime One Corp is among the developers who have ensured all their projects have more than sufficient capacities in their sewage treatment plants, along with other eco-friendly features listed above.
These environment-friendly features by developers in the ever-growing real estate sector will play a significant role in combating climate change.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited Announces Appointment of Five Independent Directors on Board
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has announced the appointment of Shri Pradeep Vishambhar Agrawal, Shri Ghanshyam Sher, Dr. (Smt) Aiswarya Biswal, Prof. Bhagwati Prasad Saraswat and Shri Gopal Krishna Agarwal, as Independent Directors on the Board for a period of three years from the date of notification of their appointment or until further orders. Accordingly, they are appointed as Directors on the Board w.e.f. 12.11.2021.
Newly Appointed Independent Directors on the Board of BPCL
Shri Pradeep Vishambhar Agrawal is a Chartered Accountant and a Company Secretary. His fields of specialization are Finance, Business and Administration. He is a Managing Director in a pharmaceutical company and is in the Board of various other companies. He is also engaged in social activities and is a Director of two Section 8 (not for profit) companies. He also acts as a Trustee of the various Trusts.
Shri Ghanshyam Sher is M.Com, M.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Economics and L.L.B. He is an Advocate. He specializes in Legal advice and Social Service. He has gained administrative experience through various public associations. He has been honored with various awards by renowned personalities.
Dr. (Smt.) Aiswarya Biswal did her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Utkal University and masters in Management from University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. She received honours in Strategic Management, which encouraged her to pursue her research in extraordinary leadership in University of Liverpool. As a Dentist, she took keen interest in organising various dental camps for the underprivileged and marginalised community both in urban and rural sector. She is a pioneer in awareness and prevention of Oral cancer and preventable dental diseases. Her special interest lies in eradicating of malnutrition and her articles on malnutrition were well received, simultaneously she has organised various awareness programs and seminars to curbs the debilitating effects of malnutrition. She is a well-known columnist and has been contributing her articles in various journals and newspapers internationally, nationally and regionally like Daily Pioneer, Outlook, & Sambad etc. She is a bilingual poet (English and Hindi) and has written two books. She was the Former Editor of Odisha Society of United Kingdom journal as well. She has been actively involved in many philanthropic work especially in Indian diaspora of U.K. and in India as well. She is also associated with various cultural, social and literary organisations worldwide.
Prof. (Dr.) Bhagwati Prasad Saraswat is M.Com, (Gold Medalist). He has done his Ph.D in Financial Evolution of Drugs & Pharmaceutical Companies in India. He was a Dean and Head of Faculty of Commerce/Department of Commerce, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer and has teaching experience of more than 38 years. He has held various academic and administrative responsibilities during his academic career such as Director of Center for Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, Joint Conference Secretary, Controller of Examination organized by Indian Commerce Association, Coordinator of various exams, Registrar of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, and Member of Board of management and selection committees of various Universities He has published various books and papers, and has presented his papers in various prestigious conferences/seminars and attended various national/international conferences. He has also been editor of academic bodies of journals.
Shri Gopal Krishna Agarwal is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI). He has done his post graduate in MA economics and graduation in BCom (Hons). He is an Economic thinker and writes extensively for newspaper, financial journals and delivers lectures in seminars & conferences. He has co-authored a book ‘Water an Element of Life: Price Sensitivity and Consumption by the Marginalisedpublished by Bloomsbury India. He was a Member of Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), a think tank of GoI. He was a member of the Task Force on MSME of the Ministry of Finance and Former Director on the Board of Bank of Baroda (BOB) & North Eastern Electric Power Co. (NEEPCO). He was government nominee on the Central Council of The Institute of company secretaries of India (ICSI). He is an independent director on the board of ICSI (IIP). He is a trustee of India Policy Foundation and Dr. Mookherjee Smriti Nyas, (think tanks). He has initiated various public welfare projects like Jaladhikar Foundation, Nagrik Manch, Shree Jee Gausadan, Milk Cooperative Movement etc.
About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL)
A Fortune Global 500 Company, Bharat Petroleum is the second largest Indian Oil Marketing Company and one of the premier integrated energy companies in India, engaged in refining of crude oil and marketing of petroleum products, with a significant presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The company attained the coveted Maharatna status, joining the elite club of companies having greater operational & financial autonomy.
Bharat Petroleum’s Refineries at Mumbai & Kochi and subsidiary Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd., at Bina, Madhya Pradesh have a combined refining capacity of around 35.3 MMTPA. Its marketing infrastructure includes a network of installations, depots, retail outlets, aviation service stations and LPG distributors. Its distribution network comprises over 19,000 Retail Outlets, over 6,100 LPG distributorships, 733 Lubes distributorships, 123 POL storage locations, 53 LPG Bottling Plants, 60 Aviation Service Stations, 3 Lube blending plants and 4 cross-country pipelines.
With a focus on sustainable solutions, the company is developing a vibrant ecosystem. Bharat Petroleum has been partnering communities by supporting innumerable initiatives connected primarily in the areas of education, water conservation, skill development, health, community development, capacity building and employee volunteering. With ‘Energising Lives‘ as its core purpose, Bharat Petroleum’s vision is to be the most admired global energy company leveraging talent, innovation & technology.
Top Five Upcoming Developers Changing the Skyline of Delhi NCR
MRG World (Gurugram), Whiteland Corporation (Gurugram), Maasters Infra (Noida), SKA Group (Noida), and Axon Developers emerged as the ‘Top Five Emerging Developers of NCR‘ in the list announced by a Delhi-based research firm.
Real estate survey declares top five developers
The survey was conducted by International Brand & Research Forum (IBRF) across the region with a special focus on projects launched, projects delivered, and progress of the projects as per RERA; IBRF researched the quality & feedback index on various parameters to come up with the result. The prime focus was on the developers operating in Noida and Gurugram market.
Maasters Infra Group, instituted by seasoned professionals and under the patronage of five-decade-old infra company K. R. A. Engineers & Contractors, announced their first commercial project Maasters Capitol Avenue spread over 5 acres in Sector 63, Noida. The project will have office space and retail; the projects total area would be 10,00,000 sq. ft. to be completed in 42 to 45 months. The company says that the total sales realization from the project is between Rs. 800 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore. The Group is also coming up with a residential project and one IT project.
Whiteland Corporation, a real estate development company founded by industry stalwart, Mr. Navdeep JP Sardana unveiled the first look of their maiden commercial project Urban Cubes 71 recently in Gurugram. Some of the brands signed, include Striker, Beer Cafe, Nostalgia, Houz cafe & bar. The project on Golf Course Road extension, Sector 71, Gurugram, is on a land parcel of about 3 acres acquired from DLF. Urban Cubes 71 is an approved SCO (Shop-cum-Office) development with a total of 34 state-of-art buildings with maximum development facing the main road making it highly attractive. The project is slated to be delivered by October 2022 with a total salable area of 4.5 lac sq. ft. and projected sales value of Rs. 500 crore.
Realty firm Axon Developers, which has been newly set up by promoters of brokerage firm 360 Realtors, has recently taken over two stressed real estate projects in Delhi-NCR and will invest over Rs. 300 crore to complete them. The company has entered into a development agreement to complete Keltech Kumar Imperial Green project, comprising 350 flats at Noida extension in Uttar Pradesh. It has fully acquired a retail project Manish Gallexie 91, having 3.5 lakh square feet saleable area, in Gurugram from Manish Buildwell. The company expects a sales realisation of around Rs. 650 crore from these two projects, of which Rs. 500 crore will come from retail project. Axon Developers is looking at acquiring more projects in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Lucknow, both through greenfield and brownfield routes.
SKA GROUP was formed with a view to construct group housing society in Greater Noida-West. SKA Group was started in the year 2012. Recently, the Group announced its luxury residential project, SKA Orion in Sector-143, Noida. Spread over 3.5 acres, the cost of the project is Rs. 400 crore out of which Rs. 300 crore is the cost of construction and Rs. 100 crore is the land cost. The Group is looking at total sales realisation of approximately Rs. 450 crore. To be developed in single phase, the project has 508 units of 3 BHK configuration; the company has launched 380 units of the total stock and will complete the project by 2026. The company has completed four projects in Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad. All projects are completed before time. Presently, five projects are in progress and all projects are ahead of their schedule.
Catering to the affordable housing segment, MRG World has ensured that they live up to the expectations of the middle class to move into their abodes as soon as possible. The directors – Rajat Goel & Vikas Garg – set up the company with a motive to cater to the segment that has the maximum demand. From the initial days, MRG World ensured that they deliver projects before the promised deadline. The company at the onset decided to stick to the policy of delivering the projects before time. MRG world has sold out three projects in Gurugram – Meridien (755), Ultimus (720), and Balcony (730). The company will deliver these projects ahead of the scheduled deadline in 2022 – Balcony by March 2022, Meridien and Ultimus by December 2022. The company has plans to come up with a project in 30-40 acre with around 6,000 flats in the affordable segment.
- Eco-friendly Housing Essentials that a Homebuyer Needs to Focus on
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited Announces Appointment of Five Independent Directors on Board
- Top Five Upcoming Developers Changing the Skyline of Delhi NCR
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