Interview By: CLYDE MONTEIRO

Nilesh Kumar an Electrical Engineer with 7 years of experience into the aviation sector, he started his own business an advisory firm in 2013 and has efficiently completed leasing of more than 20 Lacs Sq. ft. of area in different part of India. He is working closely with a Business development team of India’s leading multiplex operator and retail brands for their property search and creating a business development plan for entering in new territory. Excerpts:

You have closed approximately 70 screens in last five years for one of India’s leading multiplex operator.

After serving into aviation sector for 7 years, I realised that I wanted to have something of my own that can be a business which can help me to live the way I want to. Post the resignation in the aviation field, I decided to enter business advisory, but it was all new field to me and I had no contacts in the industry and there I met Mr. Amit Sharma (MD of Miraj Cinema) and Mr. Santosh Kumar (Carnival Cinema). They helped me to overcome initial obstacles. They taught me each and everything about cinema and retail. They were the guides to my sprints and the best part is they are still there to help me in any way I ask them. I truly admire, adore and respect these 2 personalities as they have played the major role in my career.

Being an Electrical Engineer, how come you choose the Business advisory and leasing Consultancy as your career?
My business allows me to have a life I love. My mentor taught me that nothing great can be accomplished without passion. Passion has been in my DNA for generations. Trailhead Solution Private Limited was established in 2013. Since then I have been seeing it growing like crazy. You know what is the best feeling in the world? Wait.. Let me tell you. It is getting paid for what you love to do.

What traits make you the best Business Advisor and Leasing Consultant in the market?
Either it is a Developer or a Brand, I consider it an opportunity to grow with them and give value to their assets and dreams.I always try to value and understand project necessities. With my expertise and experience, I try to value the location, the infrastructure and offer them the ideal mix of Hospitality, Multiplex, and Retail project to get them the best ROI. Brands need to be understood according to its needs and specifications. I try to understand their business model and day to day operations and offer them the location for their expansion according to their configurations.

On what parameters you look out for a property/location as an executive of a company?
Being passionate about my field, I love exploring states and cities. Once I reach a location, I pull out it feasibility according to the geographical presence. Post this I understand the religion and the culture of people residing there. Then giving value to the location, I pull out the information like spending power of the people residing there. On a later stage, I search for the existing brands and the local markets to understand what the particular location required to have in. It helps me to give understand the need and value of the location.

Which anchor tenant is very important to drive footfalls in a mall and why?
Every mall has its own value and charm, according to the location. A mall is a typical market which should have a mix of unparalleled retail mix combined with the entertainment and leisure attractions that can change the concept of a shopping experience. A perfect mall should cater to all age groups keeping in mind the culture of the surroundings. But cinema and grocery store has always been the major footfall creator in the mall and will always be.

Is it the movies or the technology that attracts the crowd to cinemas in small towns?   
Of course, it is the movie that attracts the crowd in the cinemas as entertainment is what the audience looks for. But with the same, technology has played a major role in giving worth to the cinemas. It has given the crowd the pleasure to enjoy the movies.Small towns were capable of spending high on entertainment yet were unable to do the same. After the launching of top cinema brands in the small town people have been crazily spending the money on entertainment as they are getting the best of the entertainment technology in their hometown itself. With the same, cinema operators are also making a good EBITDA because of low rental and low operating expenses while having a good occupancy rate and ticket price.

How important are brands? Do you think Local brands can add greater value?
Just as people are more likely to purchase from a brand that appears polished and legitimate. Either its National brand or Local brand, they not only need to serve quality products to retain their customer base but also need to value their customers by providing the best of hospitality and service to the customer which also help them to gain major footfall, repeated customer, good financial gains which also add greater value to brand image and malls to.

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