Showing posts with label MG Road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MG Road. Show all posts

08 June, 2012

Franchising–The first step towards Entrepreneurship



Franchising has been around for long. Many global brands such as Adidas, Benetton, Levis, Subway and a lot more have grown globally due to their extensive franchisee network. Even in India, Madura Garments (which owns brands such as Peter England, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen), Arvind Mills (Lee, Wrangler and Arrow), Nilgiris (a chain of Supermarkets), Gitanjali Limited (which retails brands such as Asmi, Gili, D’Damas, Lucera, etc.) Crossword Book stores, Barista (CafĂ© chain) and many other Retailers have grown their businesses through successful Franchisee Partnerships. Franchising offers a quick scope of expansion for the Retailer while the investment is incurred by the Franchisee. Many first timers and wannabe Entrepreneurs choose the path of Franchising because it is an easier model to crack – the brand (is usually) established and has equity in the market, which pulls footfalls in to the stores. In case the brand is relatively new, then the Franchise fee (usually a one-time fee paid by the Franchisor to the Franchisee) is low, keeping his / her investments within reach. Kaatizone, an Indian QSR chain with a presence largely in South India is on an expansion spree through Franchising. Mr. Kiran Nadkarni, CEO, Kaatizone told in an interview recently. “Franchising has helped us in two major ways: We have been able to generate momentum in expansion quickly. Secondly, the local entrepreneurial talent has helped manage the store operations and brand experience better. Since we are planning to set up a large number of stores, franchising is the best strategy for growth.” Kaatizone has 19 franchises in six cities now and is planning to expand across the country.

The gestation period for recovery of investment can vary from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the location of the store (Malls, High Streets, Corporate locations,etc.) product category, and Brand identity and recognition. Investments could vary from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 2 Crores, depending on the Brand. Some Retailers charge a one-time Franchise Fee and others charge monthly/annual commission on Sales in addition.

Nilgiris - Franchising Opportunity

Advantages of Franchising

Scalability of Business

The Franchisor would be able to scale up instantly by going through the Franchise model. The prospective Franchisees could be spread across the country and hence the business could be expanded quite fast. This is one of the most important reasons that Retailers choose to go the Franchising way.

Immediate availability of capital

The Franchisee brings in the additional capital that is required to invest and operate the business which is a very important factor for the Franchisor.

Day to-day Operations

Usually, the set-up costs, which are substantial are borne by the Franchisee. He also bears running costs such as daily operational expenses (manpower, electricity, housekeeping, interest on capital, depreciation, etc.)

Drawbacks of Franchising

Customer Touch-points

One of the biggest drawbacks in Franchising is that the Retailer usually loses touch with the customers. The front-end is managed by the Franchisee and hence the Brand doesn’t have much role to play in the Customer Engagement as such.

Loss of Operational Control

The daily operations are managed by the Franchisee. Although there are parameters which need to be followed, there are occasions when the Franchisee takes things under his control which could be potential threats in terms of running the business.

Loss of Focus

Once a Franchisee believes in the model, he / she expand their business across various brands and categories. Therefore, the required focus on the business may dwindle over a period of time. It is quite unlikely that the Franchisee would spend the same amount of time and effort on businesses that don’t yield similar returns.

FDI in Retail has already opened up for Single Brand Retail and the country is eagerly watching the Government’s steps towards their decision on allowing FDI in Multi-Brand Retailing. This is indeed a good time for individuals and entrepreneurs in the making to take their first steps towards Organized Retail through a Franchise Opportunity.

Best of Luck.

30 May, 2010

Savings! In the heart of the city...

I was quite intrigued when I first heard of this, but then came to terms. It was about a month back when I first heard that the erstwhile Lido Mall would be reconverted into a Big Bazaar. While Lido Cinema, one of the oldest landmarks in Bangalore was brought down to give way for two new unique landmarks, Ista hotel and Lido Mall four years ago, it was quite a shock that the Mall was getting dismantled. But that’s better than running a Mall without footfalls. The Mall, among the many that are being managed by an arm of The Future Group housed International Fashion Labels such as Next, Guess and Etam apart from a spacious Pantaloons Fashion store, Body Shop, Lee Cooper, Marks and Spencer, etc. Cafe Coffee Day, which occupies the ground floor corner was a saving grace to the mall which has only seen footfalls dropping over the years, thanks to the ongoing construction work of Bangalore Metro Rail project. The block on the opposite side has a McDonalds on the Ground Floor along with the Box Office of Fame Cinemas, which partnered with Lido to manage the multiplex spread over the top floors. The Mall was actually very convenient, the only one so to say in the “MG Road” vicinity. In fact the Cinema runs to full capacity during the first weekend of new movies and apparently, night shows have higher occupancy than day shows, thanks to its prime location which is accessible quite easily within 8-10 km radius as well as for office-goers in the CBD area.

I did see the signage of Big Bazaar coming up a few days ago outside the Mall and the Newspaper Advert recently pulled me into the store, for my love of Retailing. I never imagined that an operational Mall could be put to good use; better use rather by converting it into a Hyperstore (or whatever one may want to call BB as). While Cafe Coffee Day still retains its location and I would believe would perform better with a stronger anchor in BB, all other tenants have been dismantled. The main structure remains as is; the escalators and elevators that were used earlier by the countable walk-ins now transport busy shoppers and their families up and down, albeit both transporting-equipments are not best suited for the shopping trolley – wielding consumers at a Hyper. The main signage outside has indeed changed, or rather elongated as “Lido Big Bazaar” - Honestly, looks nice. The tiles that were used earlier for International fashion concepts are now being used to sell private label grocery and electronics, Chinese-imported furniture and clothes! Well.

The Ground floor, which was reserved for parking remains so, while the First floor houses Food Bazaar, Furniture Bazaar and Electronics Bazaar. So, it’s a no-shocker to see Plasma and LCD Tvs next to household items and Deodorants. The planners have indeed done their best although a bit more adjacency planning would have helped. The second floor houses Fashion Bazaar – a street fashion concept that is being popularised using youth icons – Cricketer MS Dhoni and Actor Asin. Apparently, they are among the two icons who relate the most to the trendy youth today, almost a boy/girl next door positioning created deftly by agencies and their brands. F123, a gaming zone that is gaining popularity quietly across the various formats in the group sits in a corner while Musicworld with two gondolas serves the latest as well as evergreen hits. No eating joints as such, which would have certainly done very well, just a counter that sells street snacks. Call it coincidence; the guy behind the counter was conversing comfortably with two different couples in Bengali. Strange, yet true. Just when I realised that the music that was being played in the background was in Hindi, not in Kannada (the vernacular in the city). Does it matter so much? Well, yes to some extent. Retail is all about regionalising – as I always love to say, Think Global, Act Local, and Retail Regional.

While Big Bazaar has been communicating and advertising within and outside the store in the vernacular languages across the country, it is indeed important to maintain the connect while the shopper steps into the store. Not just the music or communication, but some local QSR would have complemented the shopping experience too. There are enough and many who are awaiting a chance to serve within the store and that’s probably the opportunity for all the three, the Hyper, the local caterer and the customer. After all, the shopper has just walked off from her favourite neighbourhood grocer to the swanky a/c shop! Overall, it was great to see the giant in the middle of the city. The promise, of Savings in the Heart of the City seems to be a big one though. Time will tell and I will live that day to see it firsthand and write about it again. Long Live the Indian Consumer. Long Live Indian Retailing. 

A Firefly finally takes off

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