“Closure of Bad-Assets”, “shelving of Mall-Projects” pose “challenges for Domestic & Global Retailers” to expand business in India | ET Retail

International Retailers are finding it difficult to get Quality Retail-Spaces, in Top-Indian cities even as several Malls across major-markets are lying mostly vacant because of Poor Standards..!!

” Demand for Quality #MallSpace, is soaring with #InternationalBrands, posting a healthy jump in their year-on-year revenues. However, we are seeing many bad malls shutting down and mall projects in early stage of planning are being shelved,” said Limaye, head of research and real-estate intelligence service at JLL India..

According to a recent CBRE report, out of the more than 300 malls in the country, only a handful can be described as successful retail projects as 40% of the total available malls are bad assets and have over 50% vacancy. Most malls lag behind global standards with some of them spread across just 4-5 million sq ft, it said..

” Over 60% of global retailers already have a presence in India but the lack of quality retail space and legislative issues have been an impediment to the spread of organised retail in the country,” said Magazine, managing director of property consultant CBRE South Asia. This has posed challenges for global brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Topman Top Shop, Ralph Lauren Polo and Uniqlo that have lined up to enter the country…!!

While some brands are planning a greater presence in high streets and co-location, others are penetrating into tier II and III towns to keep their expansion intact till March 2015 when real estate analysts foresee a void in mall expansions…

” We still make good of shortage of quality malls through standalone high-street stores,” said Vasanth, Executive Director at Max Fashions….He said the retailer, which has seen 15%-18% growth in like to like sales this year, plans to open 30 stores annually..

A senior executive from an international brand that is yet to launch operation in India said besides malls there is lack of quality space on high streets as well. Some developers are expected to revamp existing malls to accommodate retailers looking for global ambiance, this person added..

According to JLL India, Average Absorption of #MallSpace, has halved from the peak of 10.7 million sq ft in 2011…The Total #MallSupply, also “dropped to 5.7 million sq ft in 2013 from 13.8 million sq ft in 2011..”

Industry experts say many brands are focusing on tier II and III towns. “In the next few years, modern retail is expected to grow 50% to 60% per annually in tier II and tier III cities, compared to only around 30% in the metros,” said Joshi, AVP marketing at Pioneer Property Zone. Marks & Spencer has entered secondary cities such as Kochi, Kanpur and Surat..

” With new retail sites opening, we plan to enter new cities like Guwahati and Mohali, even as we expand in the cities where we are already present,” said Nair, managing director at Marks & Spencer Reliance Retail India….The firm has introduced Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty store format that trade from a smaller footprint…Nair said the retailer, which reported 42% jump in sales last year, targets a total of 100 stores by 2016 including M&S Lingerie & Beauty stores…!!

“National Physical Fitness & Sports Month”: a Model for all Nations,”to prevent spread of Chronic-Diseases” | by: Helen Durkin, IHRSA | Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is as relevant today as it was back in 1983 when “President Ronald Reagan” signed the very first proclamation making May the month to get moving…It matters ” even more Now “….!! 

Three decades and two generations since that initial signing, America has become entrenched in a state of technological advancement where movement has been largely engineered out of daily living…

#Sedentary-Activities, permeate our Work, Educational, and Social Lives…And as a nation, we’re feeling acutely the physical and fiscal consequences of Too-Little Exercise…!!  

Indeed, today’s #EpidemicRates of Obesity, Diabetes, and “Unbridled spending on Preventable #ChronicDiseases,” all link-back in some way to the simple fact that we just don’t move enough….!!

To fathom the “Benefits that #RegularExercise brings”, we don’t need to dig deep…After all, Regular #PhysicalActivity, is a well-established mainstay of #PrimaryPrevention….!! 


By primary prevention, I mean basic #LifestyleBehaviors that STOP Preventable ChronicDiseases before they Start…Specifically, the FOUR Key Pillars of Primary Prevention include :

(i) Regular Exercise

(ii) Sound Nutrition

(iii) The Avoidance of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other controlled-substances

(iv) #StressManagement – Primary prevention is so influential to health outcomes,

In-fact, that if everyone followed these Low-cost Behaviors….,at least 80 % of all #HeartDisease, #Stroke, and #Type2Diabetes—along with 40 % #Cancer — would be prevented…!!

Regular exercise, in and of itself, yields tremendous benefits….In fact, a new study just determined that #PhysicalActivity, is so important to a woman’s heart health that when a woman over 30 does not exercise, she increases her risk of heart disease even more than if she smoked, were obese, or had high blood pressure…When you consider that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and that #CoronaryHeartDisease Costs the United States $108.9 billion each year in #HealthcareServices, Medications, and Lost Productivity, you begin to realize just ” how much clout “ Exercise really carries…!!

But that’s not all…Other research suggests that exercise also may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease….This includes a new study that found that moderate physical activity reduces hippocampal atrophy in the brains of older adults who have a genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s…

According to the researchers, the hippocampus is critical for the formation of episodic memories—or more simply put, memories of past personal experiences. Now that’s important stuff, especially given the rate at which Americans are developing Alzheimer’s—one new case every 67 seconds; and that Alzheimer’s disease is now the most expensive condition in the nation…

In 2014 alone, says the Alzheimer’s Association, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid…!!

Let’s not forget the ” Preventive Power” that exercise holds over Type 2 Diabetes…That’s the type that accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases, and the type that is largely preventable….!!

In fact, research has shown that ” 30 minutes a day of moderate OR high-level physical activity is an effective and safe way to prevent Type 2 Diabetes in all populations…!! It’s worth noting, too, that the total annual costs of diagnosed diabetes is now up to an estimated $245 billion, and that we also know that exercise helps manage type 2 diabetes for the millions who already have it…

Yes. We still desperately need Physical Fitness and Sports Month as a focal-point for raising awareness of the preventive power of exercise. But we can’t stop there. We must encourage and support physically active lifestyles throughout the year..

” After all, Exercise truly is the most Cost-effective Medicine we have for Preserving Health and dodging “avoidable Chronic Diseases”…With chronic-conditions now costing $2 trillion or more in health spending each year, it really is worth breaking a sweat….!!

“Inside the Club” : The “Importance of Core-Competency” | by: Tyler Montgomery | Club Solutions

At Club Solutions, we’ve been reading the book titled “ Traction : Get a Grip on Your Business ”….!!

In the first four-chapters. it examines #CoreValues, #OperatingSystems and How you EvaluatePeople…What chapter FOUR, teaches is that not everyone is suited for every role in your club….!!

This brings me back to an article I read not too long ago that suggested that Everyone in the Club “should be able to sell” — from Front-desk Attendants to Group X directors..

I believe the Actual point of the article was to say that “everyone should Sell the Club in their Attitude & Position”, but it took more of a literal sales tone…Traction is quick to explain that people have skills, companies have needs and certain roles must be filled….!!

Not everyone will be suited to be a CFO. For example, if I was to be promoted to the CFO of Club Solutions, there is no telling what might happen to the company…Not that I’m extremely horrible at math, but it’s not in my core-competency…!!

Additionally, “we don’t utilize our editorial team to create sales”…..They haven’t been trained to sell, and they don’t spend hours perfecting the ability. Nor do we ask our salespeople to write articles for the magazine — it’s not their Core-competency either…!!

For your company to grow and thrive, it’s vital that you have the right people in the proper seats….Don’t expect your Group X director to sell memberships…

He or she is ” Great at designing Group-X programs” that “make members want to stay and enjoy the club”…Don’t waste time teaching them to #Sell-Memberships and take away from their #CoreCompetency…!!

Additionally, with #FrontDeskStaff, they typically possess an entry-level role in the company…However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have desires or skill-sets…. At the Front-desk they should present the club with the best Foot-forward… But, they shouldn’t be asked to literally sell the club…!!

If you want front-desk staff to grow and excel at your facility, discover what they may want out of the job…Do they want to sell ? That’s a possibility….But, do they want to be a #PersonalTrainer ??  That is also a possibility…In addition, if they transition to the role of personal training, then you can help walk them through the Steps of selling Personal Training, but not typical memberships — that’s a role all in itself…!!

By designing certain roles & expectations from people in those roles, you will build a core group that can help the company succeed…

Remember, you need a Team to Grow — not just a bunch of people scrambling to do a lot of different jobs…!! 

“TWO-Pathways to Success”: takes both “Hindsight & Foresight to operate a Good, Profitable Club-chain / Business” | Club Solutions

” It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day issues of  operating a club-chain / business”… Many Club-Owners and Managers that I speak with tell me the ” majority of their time” is “spent dealing with daily club / business issues and putting out fires “…

For example : the “Sauna” keeps breaking down, the “Paper-Towel Dispenser” is out of paper-towels, the club’s “staff opener” quit without notice, the “air-conditioning” is not working, members are “stealing” other members’ “spots” in their Group X class — the list goes on….!!

There are ” TWO Ways” you can Re-Focus to help get yourself out of this rut and start growing your business again, ” Hindsight & Foresight”…

Merriam-Webster.com defines hindsight as “the knowledge and understanding that you have about an event only after it has happened.” Foresight is “the ability to see what will or might happen in the future.” Hindsight is more reactive, while foresight is more proactive, and both are important.

An example, of hindsight might be when you look at your sales numbers at the end of the month and determine you didn’t hit your goal. There is no way you can influence what has already happened, but there is great value in determining what did happen and figuring out why it happened…??

Your Management – software (CMS) is your most important tool in looking at hindsight and foresight information. A few hindsight reports you should be able to get from your software are: cancelled members, usage statistics, product profit margins, sales analysis and top spenders. All of these reports give you great information on what’s happened in your club, what the trends are, if your revenue is up or down compared to last month or last year, and if there is a reason for the change. A good business operator learns from their mistakes and from their successes.

A good example, of Foresight would be staying proactive with your sales goals. You have a sales goal for the month and you worked backwards from the goal to find out how many tours, appointments, calls and leads you need to reach it. Halfway through the month you find that you’re behind pace with your number of leads. Foresight tells you that if things don’t change, you may not hit your goal. By using the contact manager in your software you can predict what may happen and make adjustments so it does not become reality..

Another example of Foresight could be running renewal and credit card expiration reports one to two months early, pulling a low usage report to identify members at risk of quitting, or a low series report to boost personal training sales proactively. Even most of the hindsight reports can be used proactively if used at different intervals during the month, and not just after the month has ended…

Being accessible to staff and members is important, but you also need to block off time when you can focus, be more productive and not experience interruptions…Studies show that when you are interrupted, it takes a few minutes to focus on the new issue, and it takes another few minutes to switch back to what you were originally working on. It takes foresight to see that wasting all this time becomes a problem.

It may detract from your productivity, so don’t let it happen…In order to make yourself available to the most members and staff possible, use your hourly usage report to gauge when the best time would be for you to schedule your uninterrupted block of time.

It takes both Hindsight & Foresight to operate a good, profitable business…Analyze past information for trends and insights. Learn from what has worked and what hasn’t…??

 Look to the ” future, be proactive and make the necessary adjustments” as your month unfolds to enjoy more success.

“Healthy-Aging Into Your 70’s and Beyond” : “5 keys to Long & Healthful Life” | Consumer Reports

” 60 years-ago an individual person..who made it to 65, could expect to live an additional 14 years. Today, it’s 19 years.. The most important question then : how to grow older healthfully so that we can actually enjoy those extra years? A ­Consumer Reports survey of  Age 50 and older, ­revealed that we’re eager to maintain our quality of life into retirement and far, far beyond “..

Whether you’re just starting to think about your golden years or are well into retirement, it turns out that most of us have pretty similar goals : ” Remaining Independent, Keeping Mentally Sharp, and Staying as Mobile as Possible,” said Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging.

“But that kind of successful aging requires savvy planning and decision-making…” Our survey found that multiple chronic illnesses, shelves full of medications, and numerous medical specialists are common for individuals older than 50, so lining up good health care and managing it smartly are important !!

We also discovered that ” Mobility decreases dramatically as you age” ; 1 ) 33 % of those older than 80 have difficulty walking, and 2 ) More than 25 % have a tough time simply getting out of chairs.

So a “Fitness – Plan” that maintains “Strength, Flexibility & Balance is vital…” Our survey group told us that their current home was the top choice of where to live as they aged and needed more care. But the ability to do so is highly dependent on the home’s location and physical features.

Also, maintaining an “Active Social Network for yourself & being a Life-long Learner” are the best ways to reduce the ” Risk of Cognitive Decline “, the situation that respondents feared most about Old-Age.

The good news – No matter whether you’ve just hit 50 OR are well on your way toward the century mark, there are Strategies that can help you stay Healthy, keep you Socially & Intellectually engaged in the world around you, and create a living situation that is comfortable and safe…!!

1. Managing your Health :

THREE out of Four of those we surveyed, had at least ONE Health Condition, such as High Blood-Pressure, Arthritis, OR Dia­betes—and 31 % had Three OR more..

“You’re likely to end up with multiple doctors, not all of whom are coordinated with each other,” said Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., a medical ethicist specializing in aging (who, at 83, says…“I’ve now got a chance to study myself ”). “The basic question is Who’s in charge here anyway? ”

It’s not easy to get your arms around the complexities of modern health care. But if you assemble a capable team and take ­advantage of some of the recent improvements in the way doctors are organizing their services, you can minimize confusion. What are the most important items on your medical To-Do List ??

  • A great Primary Care Doctor 
  • Well-managed medications  
  • Remain Health-Insurance savvy 

2. Keeping your Body Strong :

One of the ongoing effects of Aging is “Loss of Muscle – Mass”. If you don’t do anything to fight it“, you could find yourself unable to get out of an arm-chair  OR off the toilet, one day…”
Aging also brings “Declines in Aerobic Capacity & Flexibility”… And those factors together increase your risk of falls—at a time in life ” when Bones tend to be more brittle “. 18 % of our survey respondents said they had fallen in the last year, and of those, 71 % were injured, including 8 % who broke a Bone..
Here’s a Quick-Test to find out whether your Fitness has deteriorated to a point that puts you at risk :  ” Time how long it takes you to get out of an armchair”, ” Walk 10 feet “, ” Walk back “, and ” Sit-Down again”… A healthy adult older than 60 should be able to do it in 10 seconds OR less !!
Flunked the test ?? The Good News is : that it’s never too late to start working out to counter aging’s effects.
“There’s no medication, NO medical-device that has anywhere near the ” effectiveness of Physical Activity ..”
Here are some Concrete Steps you can take, based on recommendations from Experts at the “American Heart Association” & “American College of Sports Medicine” :
  • Get a Physical – Therapy Evaluation done
  • Do ” 150 minutes of Cardio” every-week
  • Add Strength  – Training (You should strength train on TWO or THREE non-consecutive days each week and do 8 to 10 exercises targeting the muscles of your Upper-Body, Lower-Body, and Core area)
  • Keep your Balance (one of the simplest exercise is to practice “standing on one-leg”. Also consider “Tai-Chi”, which numerous studies have shown improves balance and reduces the risk of falls)
  • Stay Flexible (” YOGA” is great for Flexibility. But Get a Clearance from your Doctor for participation in the activity. If you have any chronic problems, find a qualified-instructor, and make sure he OR she knows about any physical limitations you have)

3. Staying ” Mentally Sharp” :

The older Americans we surveyed said that “Losing their cognitive abilities was their No. 1 fear” about aging.  Nothing you do will protect you 100 % from developing Alzheimer’s disease OR other forms of dementia, but there are ways to reduce your risk :
  • Remain “Physically Fit”(follow the fitness advice in the previous section, because staying physically-active decreases the risk of cognitive decline)
  • Stay “Socially – Engaged”
  • Learn something  “New”(the key to Brain Fitness is to establish new neural connections by taking on fresh mental challenges)
4. Living Independently (Alone) :
55 % of our respondents wanted to stay in their own homes, with help as needed, as they got older and required more care. But a recent AARP survey revealed that only about half of older adults thought their homes could accommodate them “very well” as they age ; 12 % said “not well” or “not well at all.”
“ The time to think about your housing options is when you first retire and are relatively healthy and young”. “ You need to think realistically about the things that might happen over the next 20 years.”
If you want to “ Age-in-place”, here are some modifications to consider if your home doesn’t already have them:
  • Ground-floor sleeping space 
  • Ensure Bathroom “Safety features”
  • Lever-type Door-knobs and Faucet Handles (they’re easier to turn for people with stiff or weak hands and arms)

“UAE investors” seek “exposure in India real-estate” | by: Cleofe Maceda | Gulf News

” Property funds generate growing interest from affluent clients in a market with growth potential “…

Investors from the UAE are increasingly looking to put their money in India’s real estate in view of the country’s positive environment and long-term growth potential, a financial services company told Gulf News.

ASK Group, which earlier launched funds that are focused on residential real estate in India, has received encouraging response and is bullish to attract a large interest from investors, especially high networth clients, in the UAE.

The company focuses on institutional investments, such as fund of funds, sovereign funds, endowment funds and family offices, which are advisory firms that serve affluent households. It currently seeks to raise $200 million (Dh735 million) offshore fund to be able to invest in housing developments in India…

“Family offices currently are more proactive in participating in India growth story and we hope the process of institutional investors has begun. [We’ve] got encouraging response from family offices and could able to close more than 50 % of the fund from UAE currently,” said Managing Director and CEO of ASK Group.

Rohokale said both non-resident Indians and citizens in the UAE, including institutions and ultra high-net worth residents, are looking for diversification and are actively seeking India’s real estate as a “de-risking strategy”.

He said the introduction of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in India and regulations such as the Land Acquisition Bill and Real Estate Regulatory Bill, coupled with a stable currency and “ healthy macro-financial numbers”, have helped renewed investor confidence…!!

“ Of late, we have seen many [Indian] developers coming to Dubai, setting up their offices and doing road shows to which investors have reacted positively because of currency gains. The property prices in India have bottomed out and in the past, many investors have made money in Indian real estate and hence are more comfortable,” Rohokale added.

ASK Group is a diversified financial services company that has been operating in India for over 30 years. Its asset management business covers equity, private equity and real estate private equity. The company considers UAE as a “very strategic market”…

Investors from the UAE are not just focused on real estate funds. Private wealth is spread across a wide range of vehicles, including mutual funds, traditional savings and long-term investment plans, among others.

A new survey commissioned by Standard Life suggested that investment flows from the UAE are likely to increase, with two thirds of NRIs saying they are optimistic that India will be more investor-friendly after the general elections…

In its report on private equity (PE) investments in real estate, it said the healthy increase was due to increasing investments in leased office assets by both foreign and domestic funds, given the potential for stable yields and attractive capital values.

Residential assets also witnessed stable investments as developers are increasingly using private equity funds to raise capital. Despite stagnant sales, the high coupon rates offered by developers is attracting capital. Fund houses have tried to mitigate some of these risks by investing through structured mezzanine deals guaranteeing fixed returns.

Executive Managing Director South Asia, Cushman & Wakefield, in a statement said, “A number of funds have committed funds towards investment in Indian real estate. This is expected to translate into increasing transactions in the sector, especially in income-yielding assets. With expected growth in capital requirements, we see a number of fund houses raising additional capital to invest in the sector.”

He said, “Investments in real estate by domestic companies have witnessed a significant increase during the first quarter of the year. This was due to companies acquiring land and office assets required to execute growth strategies ahead of the anticipated recovery of the economy in the second half of the year.”

The office and residential segments recorded Rs1,435 crore and Rs1,065 crore investments respectively; contributing close to 51% and 38 % respectively to the total private equity investments in the real estate sector in India during the quarter.

One transaction in the retail segment in Bangalore was worth Rs300 crore. Investor interest in the commercial office sector has been steadily increasing, with investments doubling in Q1 2014 from the first quarter of 2013 (Rs700 crore).

Healthy valuation of commercial developments, stable yields and the potential for rising capital values has led to investors actively evaluating and investing in prime office assets across the top cities.

The total number of deals in the first quarter of 2014 was recorded at 18, one deal lower than the previous quarter, thus indicating an increase in average deal size by nearly 35 % to Rs.156 crore.

Bangalore topped with investments of Rs1,905 crore, an increase of 45 % compared to the previous quarter. The transaction volume in Mumbai was up 22 %  over the previous quarter at Rs470 crore. NCR and Pune registered investments of Rs345 crore and Rs80 crore respectively…

IHRSA launches, “Why Get Active Campaign” to “Promote Benefits of Physical Activity” Globally | IHRSA – Media Center

“WhyGetActive”, an inspirational movement spotlighting the benefits that regular exercise brings to our physical and mental health, productivity, economic stability, and quality-of-life, was officially launched this month by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)….The campaign—which revolves around everyday people sharing their answers on social media to the question, “Why do you get active ? ”—began with a soft launch in March at IHRSA’s annual convention (IHRSA 2014) in San Diego, where hundreds of attendees shared why they pursue an active, healthy lifestyle using “WhyGetActive”…!! 

Now IHRSA is ramping up its outreach to involve everyone. What begins with the global reach of over 10,000 IHRSA members has the power to expand to kids and their families, legislative and health-promotion organizations, and the business and medical communities all over the world.

Allison Flatley, COO of L&T Health and Fitness and Corporate Fitness Works and member of the IHRSA board of directors learned of ” WhyGetActive” during the March Convention and is thrilled to launch the campaign this month with their staff and members. “Our members have such compelling reasons why being physically active is important to them. This campaign provides them with a great platform to share not only their inspirations, but their successes with the whole world,” said Flatley.

The ‘because’ in response to ” WhyGetActive” is simple for those of us already engaged,” said IHRSA’s President and CEO. “We know the high toll that inactivity brings. It creates obesity, and it enables heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.”

“Yet, we also know that it isn’t easy for many people to make the choice to exercise,” Moore continued. “We hope the ” WhyGetActive” movement will help create a global culture of support for physically active lifestyles so choosing to exercise becomes an easier choice for everyone.”

IHRSA is eager for individuals and organizations to adopt and adapt ” WhyGetActive” with the common goal in mind : To affect a culture of wellness, where physically active lifestyles are the norm and easy for everyone to sustain.

The May launch of the ” WhyGetActive” campaign is meant to coincide with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in the United States.

“Let the world know why you get active,” Moore encouraged. “Post it to social media using the ” WhyGetActive”. Become part of the movement that moves the world to become a healthier, more prosperous place.”

Join the ” WhyGetActive” Campaign :

Visit whygetactive.org for more information, what others are doing with their ” WhyGetActive” posts, and to learn how you, your staff, your members and your communities can be involved in this campaign for a healthier, more active world.

About IHRSA :

IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide.  IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion…

“APG & Xander Launch $300 million India office fund” : buy “income-generating office-assets” in India’s office markets | The Economic Times

“Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management & PE firm Xander have launched a $300 million ( Rs 1,800 crore) fund that will buy high quality income-generating office assets in India’s main office markets..”

” Over time, if buying opportunities continue to emerge, the venture’s size may be increased to $500 million,” a statement from APG and Xander said.

The venture aims to benefit from the demand for office space coming in from companies across sectors such as IT and financial services and will solely focus on built, and significantly leased office assets in Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune.

” In spite of the recent slowdown, India’s top 6 cities have consistently witnessed the largest net absorption of office space in the Asia-Pacific region, and perhaps globally. This, combined with limited new development starts for office projects in India, creates a unique demand-supply gap for good quality office space that our venture aims to target,” said Head of non-listed real estate for Asia-Pacific at APG in Hong Kong.

APG had invested Rs 180 crore in Lemon Tree Hotels and another Rs 470 crore in a JV with the company in 2012 to build and manage hotels. It recently increased its stake in the company from 5.66% to 13% by investing an additional Rs 300 crore.

It also joined hands with Godrej Properties to set up a Rs 770 crore residential development platform which will focus primarily on development of mid-income residential projects in Mumbai, NCR, and Bangalore and may opportunistically invest in Pune and Chennai.

Rohan Sikri, partner at Xander Investment Management, Singapore said : ” While the Indian office market has been relatively resilient through the bad economic environment of the last few years, buyers of Indian office assets need to have the skill to identify and address complex title, construction and regulatory risks, and sweat the real estate after acquisition to preserve and create value…It requires patience, attention to detail and local real estate expertise.”

Corporate demand for office space has picked up pace in the last two months with office space leasing rising 58% in the January to March quarter, according to property advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Several large institutional investors including Blackstone, GIC, Indiareit, and others have been picking up income-producing assets across the country in the last few years.

In a recent transaction, Embassy Office Parks, which is a joint venture between Blackstone and Bangalore-based Embassy group, paid Rs 1,951 crore to acquire a controlling stake in Vrindavan Tech Village, which has a potential built-up-office area in excess of 15 million sq ft with 1.9 million sq ft already complete..

“How to Make Your Club a Fitness Landmark” | by: Tyler Montgomery | Club Solutions

Certainly there is something to say for the clubs that amass more than 100,000 square feet (a Big-Box Fitness/Health-club OR Multi-purpose facilities)…. However, what those clubs don’t always possess that a small club may is the ability to be quick, nimble and more creative with space.

The major problem for most small to mid-size clubs is they get trapped in the mindset of a small club. They spend more time thinking about why they can’t do something, as opposed to figuring out how they can accomplish the desired task.

Today is the day that you stop thinking about yourself as a small club. It’s time you forget the whole stigma of “we aren’t big enough” and discover how you can make your club a fitness landmark.

The first step in becoming a successful small gym is to adjust how you treat your members. In truth, most large athletic facilities have great customer service. They provide opportunities for their members outside of fitness and traditional amenities. However, most of those clubs have more members than they know what to do with.

While this may sound like a good problem to have, it really devalues the individual member — that is unless the club has spectacular customer service. The typical member really just wants to feel valued. They come to your club when they can — some more than others — and spend their hard-earned money.

At smaller facilities members feel that they should receive more of a personal interaction from your employees. Do employees strive to know each member by name ? Are they receptive when a person comes to the front desk with issues ? 

In all facilities customer service is numero uno…However, as a small facility, you will be judged even more closely. Each time you fail at an area of service to a member, you will allow them to see why they choose to pay more to go to the larger chains.

I’m not trying to use a scare tactic as to why you should have impeccable customer service, but in reality, should anyone have to remind you of the importance of your customers ?

In your company meetings, ensure that you press the issue of customer service. Have each employee describe a time since the last meeting that they interacted with a customer. If the story is positive it will be great for the rest of the team to see. If the example is negative, you have an opportunity to teach.

Not every employee you have will come hardwired for customer service.

It’s on you to take ownership of your staff’s education. Teach them how you want them to treat your members. If they can’t comply, you’ll know what you need to do….!!

“PE funds Redfort, Blackstone, others” “Gearing up for REITs” in India | The Economic Times

” Private equity (PE) funds in India are building up portfolios of income-producing real estate assets as the country prepares to allow listing of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)”…

Among the firms that are either building or planning to invest in such assets are Redfort Capital, Golden Estates, Kotak Realty Fund and Blackstone Group along with its developer partners, and Tata Realty and Infrastructure.

REIT is a type of security that is sold like a stock on an exchange and invests and owns real estate assets that produce a stable rental income for shareholders. The advent of REITs will give builders an opportunity to monetise their income-producing assets. It will help builders to raise money for their projects and provide an easy exit option to investors.

“Although India is not yet a significant player in the regional real estate investment market, going forward, we expect the entry of REITs to provide alternative funding channels to the realty sector,” said  managing director at CBRE South Asia, a property advisory firm. ” This might trigger strong growth in the sector’s investment volumes”.

Late last year, the capital market regulator circulated the draft guidelines for permitting REITs. These are now awaiting final clearance.

“A forward looking legislation on REITs will be a key enabler for capital markets in the country, and shall be the single most consequential reform witnessed in the sector in recent times,” says in a recent report of CBRE South Asia.

Red Fort Capital that controls investments in some of the top core and core-plus office developments in India is looking to set up an REIT structure in mature markets like the US, as well as in Singapore and India. The fund that has invested $1 billion with several successful exits, has added experienced senior executives that indicates its plan.

“The global appetite for yield hasn’t abated, and India is one of the few markets where you can still get high yield in major cities for great institutional quality developments with long, high quality leases…The REIT structure should provide significant value and liquidity in the markets for investors and we expect the core and core-plus office platform to be a significant strategic business for us,” said principal (capital markets) at Red Fort Capital.

Among the firms targeting for REIT listing include the US private equity giant Blackstone.

The fund, along with real estate firm Embassy Group, is buying commercial properties across cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai. They have also roped in Mike Holland as CEO of Embassy Office Park, an equal joint venture between Blackstone and Embassy Group before it goes for REIT. Embassy is looking to double its portfolio to 40 million sq ft over the next six months by acquiring assets across the country.

Domestic funds like Kotak Realty Fund, which invests in residential portfolio, is also firming up plans to build a portfolio of income producing assets through a separate vehicle.

” It is a big opportunity as the total market for income-producing assets in India is around 45 million sq ft. With an average price of Rs 6,000 per sq ft, assets value of this market will be Rs 270 billion,” said CEO at Kotak Realty Fund, which is yet to fix a timeline and other details of the fund.

Others like Golden State Capital is planning to set up an REIT in Singapore as India is yet to give its final clearance. The company is looking at office assets in places such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and the National Capital Region. “Given where India is poised to eventually grow to, the tangible asset stands to gain on long-term capital price appreciation as well as rental growth. There are lots of Grade A commercial office opportunities that India presents and this would only accentuate with increasing demand for quality space,” said  CEO at Golden State Capital.

Qatar Investment Authority, which has backed family-owned RMZ, is looking at a portfolio of 20 million sq ft of office space before it goes for listing. QIA will back RMZ to buy IT parks worthRs 3,000 crore. Jointly, both partners will look at acquiring commercial spaces across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune.