12 Feb 2020 21:00 IST

IIM-K comes up with overhaul plan to turn around Mahila Mall

Kudumbasree’s biggest venture hopes IIM Kozhikode’s ideas will help it beat the slowdown

After an exhaustive and in-depth analysis of the issues faced by Kozhikode’s Mahila Mall, the expert team from IIM Kozhikode has devised an overhaul plan under its Social Outreach Programme. The pro bono study to revamp and restructure the marketing strategy for Mahila Mall was shared with the authorities of Mahila Mall and with the District Collector by IIM-K.

The Mall is the biggest venture of any Kudumbasree self-help group and provides jobs to 250 women directly and 500 women indirectly. The 36,000 sq ft mall of five stories boasts branded outlets, a supermarket, restaurants, boutiques, footwear shops, beauty parlours, banks, outlets for imported gadgets, handicrafts, babycare products, electronics and home appliances. Besides, it houses conference rooms, training centres and an underground parking facility.

However, the women entrepreneurs, whose ventures enjoy a sizeable footfall during the festival season and exhibitions, are currently experiencing dwindling customer numbers in the off-season, resulting in an unsteady source of income for the participating women entrepreneurs and outlet owners. This has resulted in a financial crunch and many face difficulty in paying rent, electricity bills and the salaries of those employed in these outlets.

Short-term and long-term measures

The proposed plan prepared by the expert team of IIM Kozhikode consists of both short-term and long-term measures. Team IIM Kozhikode has also suggested the measures that can help best execute the said plan. The short term measures include innovative steps like introducing bi-annual theme-based fests with the potential to grow into signature events, complete overhauling of the Mall’s website to make it more dynamic and interactive, along with attractive membership offerings driven through marketing campaigns suggested for conventional methods such as display signage as well as social media.

The long-term plans also offer valuable insights into the structural refurbishment of the Mall to maximise profits through space accessibility and strategic visibility. Several other initiatives, novel in nature, are also a part of the shared plan. The intended implementation of the proposed Plan is expected to increase footfalls in the mall, ultimately leading to increased sales and thereby solving the problems related to rent, electricity charges and other expenses faced by the establishments.

Top priority to social causes

Prof Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode, said that IIM-K has always stood for social causes and overhauling of the Mahila Mall is its topmost priority. “We, at IIM Kozhikode aim at providing logical and viable solutions. The makeover of Mahila Mall has to be sustainable and our plan is intended towards the same objective. We are hopeful that the facelift of the Mahila Mall at Kozhikode will open ways for several other cities in the country and the world to initiate such offerings.”

Prof Deepa Sethi, Chairperson, International Relations and Faculty in the area of Humanities & Liberal Arts said “The IIMK Team is confident that the well-researched overhaul plan submitted to the Kudumbasree and District Authorities will not only address the declining sales but will also empower women entrepreneurs to overcome crisis situations, scale new heights and make the Mall a brand name to reckon with.”

The plan will be discussed among all stakeholders and is expected to be implemented immediately.