Advisory Dec, 07 2013

Personalised designs, customised profits

In this age of technology, gadgets have become a way of life. Daily routines are dependent upon number of devices, especially mobile phones, making them indispensible for a comfortable living. And given the reckless pace at which lives are being led, this

By Parina Sood, TFW Bureau
Senior Sub-Editor
Personalised designs, customised profits

Technology makes lives easier and here’s making that technology fun! In the era where ‘customisation’ and ‘personalisation’ are ruling customers’ minds, here’s a franchise opportunity that exactly fits the bill, helps customers design their gadgets their way and shows potential for speedy growth in the coming future.

Design your skin

Presenting one such franchise opportunity is Skintice; a brand that comes from the house of SSK Digital Fashion- a collaborative venture started by industry professionals with a vision to enhance the customers’ digital lifestyle by allowing them to personalise their mobile and digital devices through customized skins and covers.

The product concept is already very popular abroad and fast catching up in India as well. Skintice offers customers a unique platform for designing personalised mobile skins and covers, within their localities through a kiosk model, by leveraging the cloud server technology.

At present, Skintice has 15 outlets across the country. The brand promises comprehensive support to its franchisees for setting up, detailed hands-on training, raw materials supply and sourcing, technology support through cloud server, software updates and ongoing addition of new models and designs, as well as marketing support for brand building.

Its USP lies in providing innovative solution for design and production of gadget skins on-the-spot as well as option for online ordering with a kiosk pickup delivery option. Skintice offers a huge database covering over 700 devices and thousands of designs. “We started our franchisee rollout in the beginning of the year and are looking at scaling up with the launch of our website, where our customers can design and order their personalized skins from home and choose a nearby kiosk for delivery and payment,” says Sanjay Sachdeva, CEO, Skintice.

Get growth via Gizmos

Another such opportunity comes from Gizmobaba, an innovative gadgets/gizmos brand. Gizmobaba deals in unique products that are not available easily, and works on bringing the latest gadgets to the Indian market. The brand started out in late 2011 when a small pilot was done and product sourcing and backend work began.

Gizmobaba.com was formally launched in September 2012. It started franchising in October 2013.

It was during his several visits overseas, especially to the U.S., that Alok Chawla, CEO, Gizmobaba realised that there existed a huge latent demand for innovative gadgets and gizmos in India and nobody was trying to address it. Hence, Gizmobaba was born.

Innovation at affordable prices is the brand’s USP. Every month Gizmobaba launches 4-5 new products. Though they can all be globally categorised as gizmos, each product is unique, and addresses a different need.

“We have just started franchising. We are still in the process of signing up our first few franchisees. But there is lot of scope for franchisees. The online segment is growing fast. Electronic gadgets form the single largest category of online purchases after travel. Visibility in shelves will drive offline growth, as the conversion of window shoppers to impulse purchase is extremely high”, says Alok Chawla, CEO, Gizmobaba.

Tech-designs

Sonotech, a premium chain of android smart phones and unique accessories is also offering lucrative franchise opportunity. The brand came into being in the year 2004 and has started franchising this year itself.

After providing hi-tech medical equipments like colour-doppler, ultrasound machines, patient monitors, x-ray machines etc. for the last 10 years to hospitals/doctors, Sonotech ventured into the android phone and accessories market.

It has one company-owned outlet in Nagpur and more than 10 franchisee- owned units in Raipur, Bhopal, Indore, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Latur, Parbhani, Solapur, Nanded, Amravati, Akola, Chandrapur and Gwalior.

From smart phones to I-Care Senior phones to innovative music players to unique lap top bags and mobile gears; Sonotech offers a wide range of special products under one roof and at affordable prices.

The brand offers high RoI for entrepreneurs associated with it and has Geeta Basra as its brand ambassador.

The brand firmly believes in the franchise model as it sees a big opportunity in fast growing smart phone market. Given the size of Indian mobile market, which imported 1,64,00,000 (One Crore Sixty Four Lakh) mobile phones in 2012; Sonotech decided to go the franchise way.

The brand offers franchise opportunities in different formats for a franchisee fee ranging from Rs 4 lakh to 80 lakh and promises high RoI to its investors. Targeting retail malls and major commercial areas as their preferred locations, Sonotech envisions itself in the bracket of top three companies in the segment; five years from now.

Franchise Facts

Brands

Skintice

Gizmo Baba

Sonotech

Investment

Rs 3 lakh

Rs 1.5 - 5 lakh

Rs 6 lakh to 1 crore (based on the market size & franchise option)

Area

20 sq ft

80 sq ft (Shop in Shop or Kiosk)

200 - 400 sq ft

RoI

100% and above

100% and above

52% - 125%

Break-even

Less than 1 year

Less than 1 year

1 – 6 months

Expansion plan

100 franchise outlets in the next one year

20 franchise outlets in one year

20 franchisees by end of 2013

Related: Routing franchise success via web marketing

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