Aug 29, 2016

Metro stations to welcome startups



Symbolic of the startup culture in the city, the fledgling metro system aims to house incubation centres. As investors and retailers queue up for their slice of the metro station, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) says that nearly a third of the lots on offer will go to startups and e-commerce companies.

“Though most metros have commercial activities, Namma Metro stations are perhaps the first in the world to have startups and e-commerce,” said Vasanth Rao, General Manager (Finance), BMRCL. BMRCL had opened nearly 34,000 square feet – comparable to a playground – encompassing 31 outlets at five stations for bidding by companies and entrepreneurs. Nearly half of the spaces are at the vast Baiyappanahalli metro station.
The other options include Indiranagar, Swamy Vivekananda Road, Trinity and Halasuru stations.

The company received 98 bids for 30 spaces, with one being ignored by entrepreneurs.

Eventually, in a few months, stations will see the opening of day care centres, incubation centres, shopping malls, coffee shops and mobile stores, among others.

Though in most places, the bid amounts were close to the market rate, the bid was above the expected rates at S.V. Road station. “We thought in the long-run, metro can generate 15 per cent of its revenues through these commercial outlets. Now, we believe we can exceed that figure,” said Mr. Rao, adding that the metro is aiming to offer more space for lease in stations in the Purple Line in the coming months.

The lease terms are six years for small kiosks and 10 years for larger spaces where hypermarkets are expected to come up. Though most retailers can apply, there are a few strict restrictions: no advertisements, no cooking (only heating up of pre-cooked items allowed) and no liquor shops.

Reporting by Mohit M. Rao
Source  - The hindu