Bustling Edapally, from God’s Own Country, has been basking in the glory of being home to India’s largest shopping mall. The arrival of Lulu Shopping Mall is an eagerly awaited celebration begging to happen. With recognized metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru readily available, why choose Kerala and it commercial hub, Kochi for a gargantuan venture of 1.6 million square feet?
Kerala was first projected as a rapidly progressing metropolitan city by the Malayala Manorama, the largest circulating Malayalam daily globally. With convenient access and transport facilities, population density, purchasing capacity,international airports, international container terminals, historic highlights, state-of-the-art health centers, rocketing health indices, international mega projects such as the Smart City, educational facilities, entertainment and recreational options, potential investors can change the question from “Why Kerala?” to “Why not Kerala?”
Professionals from other parts of the country have often tried to implement business and marketing plans in Kerala without making an effort to understand the sensitivities of the Malayali psyche. While the obvious choices for a metro would be Delhi and Mumbai, closely followed by Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, one also ought to keep in mind the fact that these cities have reached saturation limits in progress and development and are stagnant in growth as time goes by. Kerala differs with its high literacy rates and employment statistics, signifying the greater audience available to the marketing tactics of any investor who wishes put down roots here. Kerala has matured into a self- sustaining metropolis; a city fit to join the pantheon, rather than remaining aloof as a state in the Republic.
Well, we couldn’t have asked for a more befitting retort. As Bang in the Middle’s Naresh Gupta told one of the senior ResPublicans, Jeevan Chandy, last day: “It’s our belief that real opportunity for India is with brands that have regional roots.” A major project such as the Lulu Shopping Mall is just the tip of the iceberg; a mere indication of how the underdog has arrived in style.