Unique concepts Jun, 04 2011

Out of the box - opportunities

It is an established fact that the format of the Franchising Model is fairly flexible so that it takes varied type of businesses in its fold. The article discusses about some distinctive business systems that have launched unique franchise concepts. Read

By Namita Bhagat
Feature Writer
Out of the box - opportunities

Individuals and organisations often want to do different things differently towards their entrepreneurial endeavors. Launching a unique business concept is an interesting as well as challenging task at the hand of entrepreneurs and consideration of franchise model for growing that ‘out of box idea’ leads to a thought: Is this Business concept ‘Franchisable’?

Basic criteria for franchising
Most of the business concepts are ‘franchisable’ if they have some inherent qualities like:

  • Distinctiveness, salability and profitability
  • Proven concept that is reputed and credible
  • Replicable and attractive ROI
  • Sustainability over time

Unique franchise concepts

The later thinking entrepreneurs having a niche franchise concept can always look beyond the predictable business ideas of food and apparel. These entrepreneurs are able to gauge lucrative business opportunity in an unconventional concept, create a successful business system and also able to market that concept to attract investors and partners to form profitable alliances through franchising.

Some of the existing unique businesses which have or are opting franchising are:-

Rent a phone Scheme: This concept in India launched by Delhi based, Vincegrass Creative Solutions Private Limited is a phone rental franchise company that offers range of cell phones on rent to cater to large clientele. The business owners identified the gap in this market segment and launched the pioneering concept in India. Ravi K. Bhalla, CEO and Director, Operations, Vincegrass Rent A Phone Private Limited, reveals, “At Vincegrass, we develop ideas which could help the entire business model of phone renting with superior compatibility with the Indian market tradition. Phone renting services are being provided abroad from past two decades. But due to conditions like Network Operator Lock, expensive call and sms charges, Country Network Band Access etc, it took more time to release these services in India.”

Phone renting business has huge scope in India on account of increasing number of mobile users in the country. Currently, the company has plan to initiate pilot launches in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and has 290 pilot franchisees. The concept comprises several franchisee models such as Customer Service Centers (The Dealers), Authorized Service Points (The Processing Offices), Authorized Repair Centers, House for Urban Branches (The Stockiest & Domestic supplier) and State Business Associates. Also, the work duties differ from franchisee to franchisee along with required investments raging from Rs 45 thousand to Rs28 lakh.

Rent Toys: This is India’s first exclusive online toy library where branded toys are offered on rent for kids for varied membership plans starting from Rs 250 per month. About the origin of the business, Neeta Verma, Founder, Rentoys says, “The idea of setting up Rentoys.in originated from my own house. Being a mother of a toddler in a nuclear family I realised the need that the toys form a preparatory base for children until they enter the real world. For most parents finding toys that do not add to the household clutter, but are still safe, fun and easy on the pocket is very difficult. And that's where Rentoys.in as a business came into existence for parents.”

The company has presence in Mumbai, Hyderabad and has opted franchise model to extend its reach pan India. The novelty of this business concept lies in the fact that it has found balance between philanthropy and business. "Instead of throwing old toys away or leaving them in your storage to take up space and gather dust, consider donating them to underprivileged kids. We have also tied up with a Kid NGO 'Toy Bank' which is operational across major cities of India. The philanthropy aspect of Rentoys.in is integral part of Rentoys franchisee model. While selecting the franchisees, we ensure that their aspiration matches with Rentoys vision", informs Neeta. The initial cost for Rentoys franchisee is Rs 3.25 lakh with space requirement of 150-200 sq.ft. The company is also looking for house wives aspiring to become entrepreneur and love interacting with kids in addition to our other prospective franchisees.

Organising Exhibitions: The idea of franchising a business of organising trade fair and exhibitions is path breaking. Chennai based Zak Trade Fairs & Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd., a leading trade show and exhibition organiser in Asia catering to over 20 different industries across India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Dubai, USA and Bangladesh is now seeking franchise route for expansion. Syed Zakir Ahmed, CMD, Zak Group elaborates on opting this model, “Exhibition industry is a manpower industry and requires 50 to 500 people to organise an event. It was a sensitive decision for us to take franchising as it became practically difficult to execute all projects on our own especially in the in the tier 1 and 2 cities like Nagpur, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Mysore and Salem etc. where the projects are low (40 lakh to 2 crore). So we are seeking franchisees in smaller cities on pan India basis.” To partner with Zak, a franchisee would require paying 20 per cent of the project fee as security deposit (refundable) and profit sharing on 50:50 basis. Moreover, the company would extend complete know how, system support and training as per its standards.

NGO Consultancy: One such concept providing low cost services to existing and prospective Non Governmental rganisations (NGOs) such as New Society/ trust Registration, Foreign Grant Registration, Central / State Govt. Project Report and other project reports and also 12A / 80G / 35 AC certifications etc is Ashoka NGO Consultancy Company. Sandip Maiske Director, Ashoka briefs about the origin of the company, “We launched the company in 2002 discovering that no such consultancy was available at the local level. Most consultancies were Delhi based. Also, to provide such services at district level in the country, we decided to take franchise route. Challenging it was and we developed and documented our own franchise model.” The company has franchise presence in Maharashatra, Gujarat and Tripura and aiming 100 franchisees this year in across India. The capital requirement for its franchisee includes an office space of minimum 200-300 sq ft (Carpet) in a building with good frontage, located in a prime business district and a non-refundable franchisee fee ranging from Rs Two lakh for Category A (e.g. Mumbai & NCR) to Rs one lakh for category D cities (e.g. Aurangabad or Madural) depending on the city the franchises is located in valid for the period of 24 months from the date of awarding the contract.

Old age home: Compassion for senior citizens and business may seem opposing on surface. However, a pioneering concept of ‘2nd Innings Home’ to provide home away from home to aged people by has been launched by TEAM VENTURES PRIVATE LIMITED.

Anil Kumar Siddu, Founder of the company shares, “I started this unique but useful business venture keeping in mind the insecurities and problems being faced by retired people whose children are NRI’s. This was the major reason of starting such an establishment.”

Further Kumar comments on franchising his unique concept, “We are keener on taking the franchise route as a local franchisee can understand the market and local area well.” Also, Dun & Bradstreet would evaluate the concept through their Mumbai based market research division for first phase validation across 10 Indian Cities.


To know whether the business is franchisable do adequate research about the demand and supply related to the concept in the market. To create a successful franchise model for your unique business concept, the entrepreneurial spirit as well as clarity of objectives is required along with proper research. So, if you also have some ‘out of the box idea’ and ready to tread a different path, start your journey from ideation to franchising.

Related: Haven For Aged: Boon for Aspirants

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