Transit One – Heralding Highway Mall Culture in Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Consumerism has fueled India’s economic growth to a great extent in the last few decades and malls have played a key role heralding this consumer culture. With this India’s mall space has hit new dimensions to suit the changing needs. Malls that come in different names like shopping malls, destination malls, pedestrian malls, transit malls, highways malls, theme based malls etc., are trying to connect to the community in a meaningful way going beyond the narrow confines of shopping.
P S Mohammed (Managing Director – Transit One)
……..seen interacting with his son – Salman Haroon, a Architect
Mangaluru is not far behind when it comes to keeping abreast of global trends in any field.This has been true with regard to the transformation we have been witnessing in this omnipresent mall culture which has pervaded the entire country. These days there is lot of hype about highway malls the world over and in Mangaluru too the highway mall is becoming a reality soon. Credit goes to Ecologic Habitat LLP, an established and reputed name in the realty sector, for being the pioneer in spearheading the highway mall culture in Mangaluru. With an experience spanning over three decades in the real estate field Ecologic Habitat, a relatively new entrant in the field of real estate in Mangaluru, has seized the initiative and has come up with theme -based series of highway malls.
The first highway mall in this series is titled “Transit One” coming up near the busy highway junction in Thokkottu on NH 66 and this mall is sure to make NH 66 an iconic highway on the lines of US 66. The foundation stone for this mall was laid in 2015 work is going on in full swing and the project will be ready for occupation by July 2018. Ecologic Habitat is planning a series of highway malls in the entire coastal belt of Karnataka and beyond. Transit One is the first in the series of transit malls which are planned along the highways in Surathkal, Udupi, B C Road and many such places.
Highway retailing – the growing network
Highway malls is the new buzzword in the country evolved after careful research and considerable thought process. These are basically smaller malls and cater to highway travelers. P S Mohammed, Managing Director, Ecologic Habitat says that highway mall culture is here to stay and it has given a new dimension to highway retailing and to the mall culture. “Not long ago it was a common sight to see local restaurants and dhabas on Indian highways that served hot and piping local and popular cuisine to the travelers. Today these restaurants and dhabas have made way for highway malls which are slowly emerging as the new retail outlets providing all facilities and services under one roof”, Mohammed asserts. Being a transit mall the promoters want to target both the local populace as well as the travelers passing through these busy and bustling highways.
Unlike earlier when highways were known for their desolate look these days highways buzz with lot of activity 24X7. Entertainment, fun, frolic, shopping, eating out, gaming etc., has replaced boredom and the otherwise unexciting travel routine. Highway malls have given an entirely new meaning to the concept of highway retailing. Many realtors like Ecologic Habitat, the promoters of Transit series of highway malls, have been sharp and quick to sense the changing trends and proclivity of travelers for more fun, entertainment, tasty food, leisure, amusement, shopping and anything that makes life easy and carefree. With most national and international brands vying to buy space in the retail format highway malls are going to get fillip and the trend is here to stay.
The retailers have found their perfect destination in Transit One Mall on NH 66 near Thokkottu and this is clearly evident from the fact that all the 42 boutique stores on offer in the mall are sold out in record time. It is the first mall in the city to come out with the concept of vanilla stores in an exclusive floor for these stores. Moreover, this is the first mall which caters to every section of the society and to their every need thus providing complete shopping experience to the customers.
What sets Transit One apart from the rest is that unlike most malls it offers smaller units and that too at an affordable price. It has come as a huge blessing for people especially many NRI’s because a vast majority of them want to come back and invest in something that assures them a good return. Buying a retail outlet is the best and prudent choice for most of them and Transit One offers retail outlets at affordable rates. “The affordability of these boutique shops has come as a breath of fresh air for many as these boutiques were within their budget limit”, P S Mohammed declares.
P S Mohammed is candid when he says “we want to capture the concept of highway retail marketing in Mangaluru because 40% of India’s population is always on the highways and that is quite a sizable number to concentrate our energies on. We want this to be a stopover destination for the travelers”. The promoters have chosen Thokkottu junction on NH 66 keeping in mind the footfalls in the form of an estimated 20,000 NRI crowd from the area. They are also banking on the sizable chunk of almost 15,000 student crowd from the various medical colleges and universities in Deralakatte, which is just a few kms from Thokkottu. “With 4 medical colleges and 3 universities in the vicinity of Thokkottu Junction we expect a large number of yuppie crowds to be our regular footfall. Transit One offers everything for everyone and that is what makes the difference. This will be the one stop destination for every genre of crowd”, says a confident Mohammed.
Transit One is the keenly awaited mall because it is going to herald a paradigm shift in mall culture, totally different from the existing set of malls. It has many firsts to its credit including an exclusive ladies zone and a drive-in-super market wherein customers can shop with the help of a portal. Another unique feature is the external LCD display at the entrance lobby and this is another first as far as Mangaluru is concerned. Being a transit mall its aim is to target both the local populace as well as the travelers passing through this busy highway and give them a pleasurable experience.
Highway malls are emerging as the one-stop-shop destination for most travelers and to the enterprises they provide enormous business opportunities. This is a big blessing for highway travelers and other customers as these malls promise fun-filled and hassle-free shopping experience. The burgeoning middle class and their increasing affluence have resulted in tremendous growth in road travel. A large number of Indians prefer to travel by road and the availability of shopping centres, food chains and refreshment zones is a welcome break for a weary traveler.
Tapping Medical Tourism
Ecologic Habitat aims at inclusive development of this coastal region and is all set to make a foray into the hospitality and health tourism sector as well. It is a known fact that the coastal region is blessed with nature’s bounty and unique beauty, which is not fully tapped. The Western Ghats which forms part of this region is a global biodiversity hot spot known for its unique topographical diversity, climate, vegetation, rare and exquisite flora and fauna. It insulates the region and its people by providing climate stability, clean water and fresh air, which are the drivers of economic growth and social stability.
Moreover Mangaluru is well-known as a healthcare hub and the promoters of Ecologic Habitat believe that both these factors can be exploited for promoting theme-based medical tourism. The promoters have already started working on this and have identified a property in the tranquil environs of Someshwar-Talapady stretch. “Tourism is a key driver of our economy, and we aim to make Mangaluru an attractive destination all round the year.We have identified about 2 acres of land near Someshwar and we plan to promote Indian healing system in a big way. Ayurveda treatment, yoga, meditation, organic food and diet, nature trekking and many other forms of wellness methods are known for Indians from time immemorial. We want to promote these time-tested methods of treatment and give a big push to health tourism”, the promoters point out.
Beautiful cottages and boutique hotel apartments will form part of promoting tourism to cater to budget travelers. As an extension of promoting health tourism Ecologic Habitat is planning to set up transit hostels for the benefit of student crowd. This is need of the hour in the city like Mangaluru which is known as a bustling educational and healthcare hub attracting students from different parts of India and also from other countries. With an array of economic activities which are in the various stages implementation Ecologic Habitat is sure to provide a fillip to the growth of the region and is all set to contribute in its own way for the overall growth and prosperity of this region.