Advisory May, 02 2011

A ‘Course’ for Becoming Industry - Ready

The Indian franchise industry has finally come of age and is now acknowledged for its socio-economic contribution in over all progress. Contrary to other industries where lay off stories were doing rounds during recent economic crisis, there was upsurge i

By Namita Bhagat
Feature Writer
A ‘Course’ for Becoming Industry - Ready

Franchising is the preferred expansion model for growing business in a new market opted by business owners worldwide. It holds especially true for a country like India where there is lot of diversity in geographical and demographical terms along with FDI regulations. Franchising is a key for rapid expansion and to achieve diversification not only for global but local companies as well. Traditionally, franchising has been seen as a part of retail industry but gradually it is gaining ground and is creating its own niche identity. In America and Europe, the franchising industry is quite matured and now the phenomenon is fast catching up with Asian countries, especially among its Indian peers.

Growing Indian franchising industry

Indian franchising industry is growing by leaps and bounds presently with annual growth rate pegged at 35 per cent. By statistics the market size of this thriving industry is of 7.2 billion US dollars and by experts projections; it is expected to be of US $20 billion by 2013. Franchising encompasses every industry and with right strategy the business owners can reap rich dividends without much risk and capital investment. In India, the leading sectors where franchise model is widely being employed are such as F&B, apparel, education, entertainment, health, beauty and fitness, courier services, travel and tourism, automotive and   hospitality etc. Apart from benefiting the franchisors and franchisees, a point worth noting is that it is also contributing to economic growth of the country by way of not only business but also offering innumerable employment opportunities.

Arising need for trained professionals

With franchise industry getting more and more organised and structured, the huge need gap between industry requirement and trained franchise professionals has become more evident. Realising this, Indian Franchise Association (IFA) has teamed up with Francorp India, a part of Franchise India and Jaipuria Institute of Management (JIM), Indore and has come up with a study course ‘Certified Franchise professional’ (CFP) to prepare franchise professionals who are capable and skillful to cater to the job requirements of franchising industry. Until now franchising is covered as a topic in Retail Management or Marketing courses and the ‘CFP’ program is a first is of its kind in India which has been specifically designed to cater to aspiring franchise professionals and even existing franchise executives already part of the franchise industry.

Dr Gautam Raj Jain, Director JIM Indore and Chair, Entrepreneurship and innovation shares an overview of this course says, “Keeping the current market scenario and the entrepreneurial criticality of franchising business in mind, this unique course is conceptualised with a mission to impart the highest standards of quality franchise training and education for the management students, professionals and entrepreneurs. It will also outline the socio - economic impact of franchising on the society.”

Reportedly, the booming Indian franchising industry will require more than two million franchise professionals and executives in various profiles such as expert advisors, consultants  offering services in legal, marketing, business management, branding, HR, training and development, strategies, and taxes etc. The short term (one week on campus) program is expected to cover all aspects of franchising right from its concept, business planning and execution, documentation procedures and business management. One requires skill(s) for developing business plan for a franchisor or franchisee, good grasp of franchise regulations, ability of making sound investment decisions; formulate strategies for brand expansion into various markets etc. Armed with such certification(s) one can find ample employment prospects with franchisors and franchisees as well as franchise consultant companies. Also, one has an option of kick starting own franchise consultancy venture. Also, individuals interested to own a franchise business would find such programs useful as they would get all the understanding about the nifty gritty of the ‘world of franchising’ and would be more confident to start own venture. An entrepreneur seeking to expand his existing business can also find a lot of information and learning by such study courses and achieve optimality and profitability in franchise growth. Moreover, the franchisors and the franchisees looking for professional improvement and excellence can attend this kind of program to benefit from it. Megha Jain Chairperson, Consultancy and Placements (JIM, Indore) says, “This course shall cater to everybody who has a passionate desire to make his career in franchising; be through entrepreneurship, be through strong positions in any franchise kind of organisation”.

Do we need such courses?

In franchising industry, till now the franchise professionals have adopted ‘learning by doing’ approach. Now they have an option to prepare themselves before joining the franchising industry. The course would well equip them to enter the franchise field with confidence and power. Franchising is an art as well science and a different ball game than entrepreneurship. Even the most successful entrepreneur has to learn the ropes of this trade to be a successful franchisor or franchisee. Venus Barak, Vice President, Francorp comments on the importance of such course saying, “The trend of franchising is pacing in a big way generating a huge demand for expert advice, skilled professionals, meticulous understanding of franchise procedures, to capitalise on this upcoming mega opportunity.”

In US and Europe where, franchising has long been a popular concept, such certifications and study courses are available and now there is an opportunity right here in India to get certified from reputed institution backed by well known and experienced organisations at very affordable fees and short duration. Such endeavor is aimed at bringing more professionalism and best business practices in the franchising industry. So, brace yourself with the knowledge of franchising and step into the ‘world of franchising’.

Related: Franchise Gateway to Global Success

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