Pandemic-hit Phoenix Mills faces its biggest battle yet

The mall operator has been a proxy for India’s consumption story over two decades. COVID-19 has hit hard at a time deep-pocketed rivals are gunning for it.

On 25 February, the country’s biggest mall owner, The Phoenix Mills Ltd, was busting the charts. The stock touched a lifetime high and market valuation topped $2 billion. Earlier in February, the company had reported revenue growth of 23% for the first nine months of 2019-20, while net profit was up 50%. Despite the slowdown that gripped the Indian economy, there seemed to be no dearth of high-end retailers keen to open shops in over half a dozen Phoenix malls across the country.

Its owner, Atul Ruia, 49, who inherited a bankrupt crumbling mill in the late 1990s, seemed to …


T Surendar

Surendar helps lead the newsroom at The Morning Context as executive editor. Over the years, Surendar has worked in industries from pharmaceuticals to diamonds, as well as a stint as an equity analyst. In his long career as a business journalist, he has led teams at The Times of India, India Today and Fortune India. He was part of the founding team at Forbes India and interned at and published in The Times, London.

Executive Editor