Telecom Mar, 07 2011

'Rent a Phone' Franchise Benefits

Invention of telephones had already reduced the distances long time back, however, the emergence of mobile rental services has further accelerated the pace of connecting people. The article gauges at the importance of mobile rental services and its vast u

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
'Rent a Phone' Franchise Benefits

Till a decade back, the innumerable benefits of mobile services were unknown to the common man but the last few years have witnessed the popularity of mobile services. Having understood the need of cellular phones, the western nations had started mobile rental services long back. Many entrepreneurs have generated a lot of profits by initiating or taking a phone rental franchise in foreign nations. However, it is still a unique and novel business idea among Indian entrepreneurs. It is time that this lucrative business opportunity catches pace in the franchising arena also.

Owning a mobile set is a necessity, rather than a luxury. Keeping this in mind a Delhi based company, Vincegrass Creative Solutions Private Limited, started a phone rental franchise company better known as ‘Rent a phone’. It is the first company of its kind in India, offering variety of cell phones on rent at reasonable prices so that all people can enjoy the benefits of owning a cell phone. In the words of Ravi K. Bhalla, CEO and Director, Operations, Vincegrass Rent A Phone Private Limited, “Phone renting services are not new, as hundreds of companies are providing these services in 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. At Vincegrass, we develop ideas which could help the entire business model of phone renting with superior compatibility with the Indian market tradition.”

Factors Contributing for Growth in Opportunity

As mentioned above mobile phones have become a necessity with time. Running a phone rental franchise can be profitable due to its many advantages. Few of them are mentioned below:

High aspiration to own a better cell: With the mobile industry gaining so much popularity, the variety of hand phones in this arena have increased tremendously. But with this variety, the aspiration of customers has also increased. Everyone wants to own a cell phone endowed with all features, which may not be possible due to lack of finance. Therefore taking a good phone on rent can be the best option for customers wanting to own a better cell.

Variety for customers: There are many people who keep trying new and latest mobiles. They replace their old cells at reduced rates and incur losses. However rental phones can save the customers from experiencing loss of money. A customer can take mobile on rent, use it for six months and get it changed when he requires a new phone.

Experiencing new cell: Phone rental franchise is useful for those who want to change their mobile set and want to experience a new phone before buying it. In such a situation the person can take a phone on rent and try its features before purchasing it.

Best deal for tourist: A rental phone franchise is very useful for tourists. The rate of tourists visiting the country has really increased during the last few years. Instead of them carrying their own mobile sets and connections, they can easily rent a phone for their stay in the city or country.

Good option for students: It is generally seen that it is the youth who prefer using expensive hi-tech mobile phones. A phone rental franchise can be useful for such students who want to have expensive sets but do not have the budget for it. In words of Bhalla, “We are having all international quality mobile sets like Nokia, Blackberry, SonyEricsson, Motorola, Samsung etc. Customers can take them on rent at reasonable rates.”

Viability of Franchising

Taking a phone rental franchise can be a lucrative opportunity for aspirants. There is no dearth of mobile phone users in any city or town. Therefore a franchise can work profitably in any location with a good population. According to Bhalla, “At Vincegrass, we thought of making services more flexible and available to everyone. To cater to common man the company produced an action plan via franchise route. At present we plan to do pilot launches in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.” With 290 pilot franchisees, the company is expanding at a rapid rate. This displays the quantum of success the franchise is experiencing.”

Franchise Requirements

Aspirants of ‘Rent a phone’ franchise do not require a long list of degrees and qualification. The investment varies starting from Rs 45,000 depending on the model of franchise. Therefore, anyone with the zeal to get into telecom services can take a franchise. Regarding support and training Bhalla informed, “We train our franchisee through live physical trainings, one-on-one sessions, online training, backend and internal procedures training, and self training modules which can be downloaded to computer systems and any time useful in assistance.”

Word of Caution

There is not doubt about the uniqueness of the concept and the lucrative opportunity attached to it, still there are few challenges that needs to be taken care of before investing in the franchise. As the services are new to Indian market, therefore, in the beginning; the curiosity of customers can give some extra heat to the franchisee counter. Apart from this mock queries may disrupt the existing business in the starting days at the counter. The customers have to be made aware of the concept first, to maximise its benefits.

Related: Telecom gains via franchising

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