The city of Kollam in the southern part of Kerala isn’t famous only for its historical contribution to Kerala, and to India as a whole, but also for its abundant natural beauty. It’s equally famous for the great Ashtamudi Lake on which’s banks it is located and to its surrounding serene backwaters. These are a hot destination for thousands of travellers every year from all over the world. Tourism makes up for a large chunk of its local economy aside from cashew processing, the fishing industry as well as its coir production.
With all this development, the population of Kollam was more than ready to be the first city in southern Kerala to welcome the shopping mall culture. Earlier, Kochi and Kozhikode were the main cities to beget this honour. The RP Mall, earlier known as the K-Mall (or Kollam Mall) with an area of 210,000square feet, is located in the heart of the city on Kollam’s high street to ensure maximum footfall. It’s set close to residential areas and houses nine floors of commercial space with a spacious atrium, business centres, provision for wi-fi, and a number of escalators and elevators to make the shopping experience more pleasant.
Thoughtful planning has ensured that all the floors have easy access for its customers. The retail space given over for various brand retailing is about a 100,000 square feet and is fully centrally air-conditioned across four floors. The ground floor houses the Malabar Gold and Diamond showroom, Reliance trend for ladies, Lee 4 life, Sky Cell mobiles, Meriiboy Ice creams and the Red Bubble Cafe’.
The first floor has been given over for Reliance Trends for men and kids, Reliance Footprint, Mega Mobile Zone, Bata, Basics Life, Malabar Watches and Fab India.
The Second floor of goodies includes the Super Bazaar, Pink Lotus, First Steps, Gizmo, Elegance, and Canopus Men’s and Ladies.
The third floor embraces Eham Home Solutions, Gabriels Rose Bedazzle and the Red Carpet showrooms.
The fourth floor is the place to go to after tiring hours spent shopping or just a place to take a break from home food and relax on the multi-cuisine floor. You can indulge yourself at the Floret Food Court, My Dosa Kada, FrankStreet, Chaats & More or simply get taken care of in Jajis’s Innovation Unisex Clinic.
The fifth floor is where the fun is. The hugely popular Carnival Cinemas show the latest movies and are a common hangout area during the weekends. Kids also get a chance to burn off their energy at the Max Play Zone.
RP Mall has set away about 60,000 square feet as office space. With ample parking space and a futuristic work set-up, it’s a much sought-after destination for corporate and multinational companies. It’s perfect for Banks, IT companies, corporate offices, conference halls and boardrooms. With two basement floors set apart for parking, it becomes a hassle-free experience for the shoppers and business owners alike.
The RP mall is owned by one of India’s top business tycoons, Dr B. Ravi Pillai, and a receiver of the prestigious ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ award given to NRIs (non-resident Indians) for their remarkable service to the society.
Pillai expanded his business empire to other countries like Qatar and UAE and his client roster included global players like Chevron, Shell, Phillips, Conoco, Chiyoda, Daelim and RasGas. Things weren’t always easy and Pillai initially had to wade through the impression of that time that Indians were only good enough to become cooks, drivers or domestic help. But with every project that he delivered, he proved that Indians were better in both quality and cost, and today, the RP Group of Companies employs around 70,000 workers, out of which about 45,000 are Indians. He is the largest employer of Indians in the gulf and is a large-hearted philanthropist too.
Pillai hasn’t stopped there and in the last 35 years, he has branched out from construction into the hospitality, education and retail businesses as well. There are also hospitals, tours-and-travels agencies as well as trading companies in his kitty. With all this progress, he hasn’t forgotten his home state of Kerala and has set up the Upasana Nursing School, the Raviz Hotels & Resorts, a five-star global standard chain and the RP Mall in Kollam and Kozhikode.
At the age of 60, he knows there is only so much he can do and is now waiting for his son and daughter to join him in his endeavours to make the company even bigger.
Over the years, Kollam still retains its natural beauty that is a visual treat for the residents as well as the tourists. With the highly educated population, RP mall has done a great service to the indigenes by exposing them to a greater global lifestyle. No wonder it’s a renowned shopping destination in the future. So be there!