KATHMANDU, June 6: When it commenced services one and half years ago, Civil Mall was just one of those shopping complexes that came into being during the era of realty boom. It boasted of movie theaters and other special outlets, but struggled to lure shoppers.
And the situation at one point turned so bad, people who had taken the space on rent launched a strike demanding the management to cut rental charges.
One and half years later, Civil Mall today boasts itself as one of the most successful shopping venue. It receives a footfall of at least 10,000 visitors every day. Shops there remain crowded almost every day, and on Saturday and other public holidays even the pedestrians passing in front of the Mall find it difficult to move along.
What resulted in such a dramatic turnaround in the situation at the Civil Mall? Those who are aware of the affairs there attribute its success to one person: Nishant Shrestha, head of marketing and communication.
But he refuses to take the credit. “The credit of success should go to overall mall management team. We (me, 25 other members and shopkeepers) have worked day and night to make it the customer´s first choice,” said Shrestha.
Besides, he added scientific researches and analysis adopted by his team, like study of buying behavior of the customers, helped them a lot in designing the products and amenities as per the demand of the market.
Since his appointment the Mall has undergone a metamorphosis. Apart from having movie theaters, the Mall today has food court, gaming zone for kids, groceries, electronics outlets, apparels and accessories dealers and host of other service providers.
Among different activities carried out by Shrestha and his team are free open concert of Lucky Ali and Sniti Mishra, providing grand prize such as Tata Vista, Dubai trip, Bajaj Avenger, free home appliances and free shopping worth Rs 20,000 every week. “As more than 500 people have won various prizes, the mall gets cramped with people whenever we announce any schemes and offers,” said Shrestha.
Shrestha also a director of Avid Investment Services (AIS) and Aviva Creation, has the experience of working with other malls in the valley as a consultant. His own organization AIS manages the investment of the people, teach them how to carry out business and once the business starts doing good, AIS hands it over to the investors.
Though Shrestha has just completed Bachelors in Business Administration from Apex College, he has learnt the art of managing mall by reading various book related to mall management.
Shrestha has worked with Kathmandu Mall as a consultant, looked after the events at United World Trade Center, revamped the food court at the City Center, managed the food court at People´s Plaza and headed several projects of UNILO, Nepal tourism Board, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Thamel Development Board, Yeti Airlines and Perodua.
Rajendra Aryal, managing director of City Center, who hired Shrestha to revamp the food court, said Shrestha worked very hard to increase the footfall at the food court. “People like Shrestha are in high demand but there are no other people in Nepal who can carry out mall management effectively so we are planning to hire manpower from India,” said Aryal.
“At a time when business is slackening and people have lowered their budget we came up with new ideas and schemes and that attracted the customers as they got extra value for what they were shopping,” said Shrestha.
The mall has allocated a huge budget for the promotional activities and carries out different promotional activities every month. Attractive schemes with offers to the customers in regular intervals are inherent part of the promotion.
“It is not that we have been successful in all aspect. There was a time when the tenants complained of low business at the mall and demanded reduction of rent,” recalls Shrestha.
It is after that the mall started carrying out the study of tenants before providing the space on rent and started conducting regular meetings with them to address their problems.
Currently, the mall is renovating its restrooms, modernizing its parking facility and upgrading the security by assigning professional security service providers.
Besides, the mall is soon planning to add stores for shirting and suiting, kurtha salwars and saris which the mall lacks.