kids retail Nov, 22 2013

Fun with Funko franchising

By Ekta Sharma Verma, TFW Bureau
Fun with Funko franchising

After bringing SIMBA toys to India through master franchisee route, Exelixi Management Company is now, all set to offer a wide array of pop culture toys to the Indian toy market with their brand Funko. Talking to Ekta Verma, Anumita Tripathi, Official Spokesperson, Exelixi Management Company shares the plans of her company to roll out Funko stores in India.  

Tell us about Funko.

Exelixi Management Company Pvt Ltd is the master licensee for Funko in India. Funko produces a wide selection of licensed pop culture toys ranging across categories and age groups. Funko is most known for producing over 1000 different licensed bobble heads. In addition Funko produces licensed plushes, vinyl figures, action figures, and licensed electronic items such as USB drives, lamps and headphones. The company has increased the scope of unique toy lines. Funko products now have worldwide distribution and the company has eclipsed bobble head sales in excess of 10 million units.

What is your franchise model in the country?

We are looking at rolling out our own retail brand stores in association with Mindstyle (the exclusive design house for Funko in Asia). While this is in the final stages of conceptualisation, we are already seeking early investors to come in. Our objective is to roll out 100 outlets featuring apparel, accessories, watches, bags, USBs, headsets, vinyl figurines, plushes and many more SKUs across 200-250 characters. A franchisee can expect to have a choice of over 5,000 SKUs and the opportunity to partner in the development of customised as well as localised articles.

Share the USP of Funko.

Funko brings pop culture collectibles within the reach of fans of various characters – TV characters, cartoons, movie icons, pop stars, sports stars and many more. Within a decade, Funko has grown to become one of the most recognised pop culture brands in the United States and many other countries in the world. With licenses ranging across properties, Funko is poised to provide the Indian consumer, now tuned into global entertainment, the opportunity to own a symbol of their favourite character. The main USP of Funko is to be able to mould any character into a collectible item and the Indian market is now poised to see us bring in many Indian superheroes to their countless fans.

Why did you opt for franchise route?

We are seeking franchise partners because everyone now understands the potential that the Indian market holds. With a population of 1.2 billion, any subsequent number and/or calculations are bound to be staggering. However, we go beyond just high-level numbers and identify where the real demand lies in this vast and diversified geography. The heart of the Indian Consumer demand is in the 70 million households that get classified as the middle class in the country. A brand conscious lot, consumers from this segment want to buy or consume iconic brands.

What kind of support does your brand offers to the franchisees?

The Exelixi team is comprised of individuals with the most exceptional, educational and professional pedigrees. Our experience and our background allows us to present the case for India in front of International brands in the most concise and easy-to-understand manner. As a result, our ability to attract iconic international brands to work with us is very high. Because the team has extensive on-the-ground experience, we understand the realities of Indian retail in significant detail. As a result, we are able to discuss and put-across a franchisees’ point of view in front of an interested brand in a much better manner. Since our success depends on the success of the franchisee, we carefully select opportunities that we feel will be rewarding for the franchisee.

Share your expansion plans. Which cities are you tapping for expansion?

There is widespread interest for these products across the globe and based on our study of the market in India, the products are going to do extremely well. Today’s youngsters are well versed with latest sitcoms and Hollywood movie characters right from an early age thus leading to a growing fan base for cult characters. We believe that with a mix of multi-brand, specialty and brand outlets across Tier-I & Tier-II cities we will be able to effectively tap the market. Our customisation and localisation on the creative front will provide the kind of products that the Indian market is yet to see and we believe they will be lapped up.

Franchise facts:





500 sq ft

Rs 15-20 lakh

15-18 %

6 months

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