Food and Beverage Nov, 25 2010

Coffee is in their genes

By Abha Garyali
Coffee is in their genes

Citymax Hospitality Pvt. Ltd is the Master Franchisee for Gloria Jean’s Coffees in India. Australian coffee brand entered India with the vision to serve the highest quality coffee and personalised services to the Indians. In an interview, Manish Tandon, President, Citymax Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Master Franchise of Gloria Jean’s Coffees shares the journey of the brand so far.

Abha Garyali (AG): When and how did Gloria Jean’s Coffees enter India?

Manish Tandon (MT): Gloria Jean’s Coffees entered India in February 2008 via Master Franchise agreement with Citymax Hospitality, the Food and Beverage arm of Dubai based Landmark Group.

AG: How would you define the growth of Gloria Jean’s Coffees as an international brand in India?

MT: Gloria Jean’s Coffees in India has grown successfully over the last two years. The opened its four outlets in the first quarter of 2008 to test the Indian consumer’s response to its offering. With a deep understanding of the market and the company targeted consumers, the company fine-tuned its business model to suit the nuances of the market. Since then Gloria Jean’s Coffees has achieved great success in the Indian market, under the Master Franchise business model. The brand has established itself in the Indian market as a unique coffee house concept, with a strong brand positioning offering highest quality coffee and great guest service in a vibrant atmosphere.

AG: What motivated Citymax to bring the brand to the Indian market?

MT: Domestic coffee consumption in India has increased significantly over the past 10 years, but there is still ample scope for growth, especially in terms of franchised operations. Gloria Jean’s Coffees world class franchise model has proved very successful, with more than 1,000 coffee houses across 39 countries today. We saw an opportunity to translate this success to the Indian market under the Master Franchise business model. We have adopted a very cautious and measured approach for our growth. The company as a brand has a very clear focus on establishing a solid foundation in every market it enters before it scales the brand through its franchise system.

AG: What kind of training and support do you plan to provide to the sub-franchisees? What would be the role and responsibilities of the sub-franchisees?

MT: We plan to launch sub-franchising in the latter part of the next year. Citymax plans to have a hands-on approach towards the business and will provide in-depth training for franchisees in business development, store operations and marketing. The role of the franchisee will be to run the coffee house as their own business, as an entrepreneur. They will be responsible for maintaining high and stringent standards that have been established by Gloria Jean’s Coffees International.

AG: What is the duration of the training schedule?

MT: The key personnel within our company (Citymax) travel to Australia to attend the Gloria Jean’s Coffees International ‘Coffee University’. Here they participate in a Master Franchise Partner Induction Programme.

This state-of-the-art training consists of a minimum of three weeks classroom and practical training, including in-store training programme. The training covers everything from the brand’s history, values and beliefs to making the perfect cup of coffee, guest service and in-store operations.

AG: How many outlets do you presently have in India? Kindly share your expansion plans.

MT: We have 16 outlets in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai. We are planning to have a solid growth based on the suitable retail locations in our target demographic catchments.

AG: Gloria Jean’s Coffees has been in India since the last few years. What kind of challenges did the brand have to overcome in India?

MT: The two biggest challenges for the brand were adjusting the business model to ensure profitability and creating brand awareness. The unique name of our business is memorable, but also led to the confusion during the initial period as because of the nature of the business we were in. We now have established a brand presence pan-India, with a reputation for serving great coffee and outstanding guest service.

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