Global brands Nov, 04 2016

Global Brands – Testing Indian Soil

India has always been an aspirational market for brands from all over the world.

By Utpala Ghosh
Global Brands – Testing Indian Soil

India has always been an aspirational market for brands from all over the world. And now after FDI being allowed for single brand in retail has opened the floodgates for these brands to enter India. Franchise India 2016 witnessed the enthusiasm and energy at the International pavilion and also at the conference hall which showcased 75 global brands that are contemplating partnerships in India.

The International Summit came alive with new global business concepts as well as franchise knowledge shared by the eminent panelists. The panel discussion revolved around three agendas - what kind of potential does Indian market hold for the global brands, what the global brands look for in a master franchisee and also what an aspiring master franchisee in India should look for in a global brand before investing.

The India Promise

Sharing their insight in the first session – ‘The India market promise for global brands’ were three international speakers - Stephine Sherlock, CEO, Avention Global, Australia, Troy Franklin, COO, World Franchise Associates – Southeast Asia and Gary Coley, Vended manager, Asia/Australia – Pacific, Alloance laundry Systems.

Stephine Sherlock from Architects of Skin - a health, wellness and anti-ageing brand presented opportunity in the franchise as well as distributorship space. She explained, “We need a distributor to sell the technology for three different franchise models that we’re working on.” The fresh and young approach of the model which blends medical procedure with fun and youthfulness is the uniqueness of the brand that according to them will prove to be its winning edge.”

Another uber fresh concept that came up was that of vended laundry business. Coley took the centre stage to speak about the opportunities that Alliance Laundry System present for Indian investors. He said, “Laundry is one of the basic necessities in life of every human being. Hence this business does not get impacted by the ups and downs of the economy. Self-serve laundries are one of the safest businesses with a global success rate of 94.5 percent.”

Global Trends in Franchising

At the end of the first session of the International Summit, Franklin took us through some of the major global trends in franchising. He stated, “Franchising started in the US, but has now become a global phenomenon. As per the US market statistics, franchise business has grown faster than any other business in US economy in the 2015-16 fiscal with an exceptional record in GDP and employment generation.”

He also spoke about how micro franchising has been instrumental in growth of small businesses globally. US, UK and Australia have become saturated in terms of franchising and brands are looking to expand in new markets like India. Technology is playing a major role in business operations and growth. Another trend in franchising is that the franchising brands are trying to do their part in supporting people who are in need from different parts of the world. Health and wellness is the highest growing segment in franchising globally followed by early learning kid’s oriented programs. Fast Casual is the fastest growing sector within the food industry globally. Direct selling and hotel franchising are some of the other emerging trends.

Opportunities for Indian Investors

After analyzing the global trends in franchising and their scopes in India, the two following sessions targeted at the potential investors who are aspiring to take up master franchisee of global brands. The session – ‘Selecting and Negotiating on Master Franchisee,’ focused on what are the parameters and selection criteria that global brands look for in a master franchisee. Eminent panelists, Terry Watts, International Director, Active Learning, City of Oxford College, UK and Wilson Lim, ED, Intl Business & China, Patamania, Singapore opined on how their business concepts are relevant to the Indian market. Watts stated, “It is our first international foray in a structured way and I think what we offer is relevant to the Indian market.” He pointed out that skill training or vocational education is going to be reinvented in India as there is nothing worse than getting a degree without a purpose.

The next session was a showcase of exciting global master franchise opportunities. It featured some of the new and vibrant business concepts presented by Chan Huang Yee, Executive Director, I Can Read, Kenneth Wong, CEO & Founder, Mycropore Corporation Ltd & CTO & Founder, H2O Life Source Group and Ivan Teo, CEO, Ateastiq, Singapore.

The session proved to be full of energy as the visitors learnt a lot about the global franchise scenario and the possible trends and franchise concepts that we can expect to see in the Indian soil in the near future.

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