Advisory Apr, 23 2012

Exceptional results with unique franchises

Franchising has touched almost every possible industry and sector that exists or one can think of. This business model has been flourishing with new and unique concepts, joining in its bandwagon. Read on to explore some unique franchise business concepts.

By Neha Gohil
Feature Writer
Exceptional results with unique franchises

Acknowledging the growing popularity of franchising as a business model almost every business owner plans to expand his business via franchise route. Franchise has proved to be the most successful business expansion model. Few years ago only traditional businesses like food, education, beauty etc were franchised. However, today one can think of franchising any business concept. This growing popularity of franchising has led to the emergence of various unique franchise concepts. Taking up a franchise of a unique business concept is beneficial for business aspirants to enjoy early mover advantage in the industry. The article discusses some unique business concepts in franchising.

Out of the box opportunities

Some out of the box business opportunities that have marked their presence felt via franchising during the past few years are discussed below.

Shoe Laundry: The concept of shoe laundry is new. This unique concept has emerged with the need for hygiene in shoes and apparent need of a specialised footwear laundry, repair and refurbishing service. People have become more aware of wearing good and branded shoes, which are quite highly priced. Therefore they wish a long life for their expensive shoes. To fill out this gap in the market ‘The Shoe Laundry’ has been envisioned by a firework engineer Sandeep Gajakas, Founder and Owner of The Shoe Laundry. Realising the need and gap of shoe service in the market the brand was established in 2003. On the brands’ emergence Sandeep Gajakas says: “The need for such a service was born out of my obsession about hygiene and an obvious lack of a specialised footwear laundry, repair and refurbishing service when I needed it up to my standards of perfection. The concept was born, as I always wanted to do something different.” This unique business idea is the first of its kind in the Indian market and has a huge franchise demand. Explaining the concept Gajakas says: “The concept was altogether new and unique at the time of its inception but gained attention from the masses very quickly. People also realised the need and significance of the concept.” The brand offers a low cost franchise opportunity which requires an investment of around Rs 5.5–7 lakh along with an area of 350 to 600 sq. ft.

3D entertainment: It is a new format of entertainment in India which provides an experience in the realms of virtual reality.  With 3D, 4D and 5D providing a new and an exciting experience to viewers, this concept is sure to bring a boom in franchising as well. The first brand to enter the field is Funz Infinitum Technologies, which has made 3D concept a homely affair. Before inception of Funz Infinitum, the cost of 4D/5D theatres was exorbitantly high. Due to this reason, the growth was very slow in the industry. Rather the sector could not be called an industry at that time, with few odd imported theatres across India. Deepak Sharma, Managing Director, Funz Infinitum Technologies (P) Ltd shares: “The experience is unique as it is multisensory. About couple of years back people in India were not even aware of this format. The company saw an opportunity here and just moved on to take it.”

This unique business can prove to be a lucrative opportunity for many aspirants. To take up the franchise of this promising venture requires an approximately area of 650 sq. ft along with an investment of around Rs 40 lakh. On the business opportunity Sharma says: “The industry has just opened up. It is witnessing tremendous growth and it is the right time to get into it. The revenues are excellent and the future seems quite bright.”

Personalised and corporate gifts: Concept of personalised and corporate gifts is an emerging business trend in Indian these days. Corporate gifting is a promising sector for many aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to start up with a unique business venture. There are few players who have entered the organised sector in recent time with this exclusive business opportunity. Some of them are: Sparket, Presto, Red Moments, MAPP, etc.

Sharing the inception of Presto Anurag Poddar, Director Presto says: “Presto has been known for its world class Personalised Gifts and Premiums in the Retail market. We today stand at 78 stores, most of which are Franchise operated. Presto started as a retail format in 2005 with our first store in City Centre, Kolkata. We opened another four in a couple of years. This growth was less than satisfactory for our long term game plan and we realised at this stage that quantum jump can only take place through franchising the business. Having read various magazines and journals on the subject and when you see real world examples like McDonald’s, KFC's etc, you know the way forward.”

As per franchise data, investment in the corporate gifting segment ranges from Rs six lakh and can go up to a Rs 50 lakh, depending on the location and size of the store.

Though in a nascent stage, these business sectors are expected to touch the pinnacle in times ahead. Franchise opportunity offered by the organised brands, sector will certainly prove to be money-spinning for aspirants.

Related: To be or not to be in franchising

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