Retail Oct, 20 2011

Success a click away

Happiness in life has become a rarity and thus comes a need to capture such moments. The best way to relive memories is through pictures. Cameras have become a significant part of our lives since ages and cashing on this need are the retailers and the ser

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Success a click away

Imaging industry has undergone a drastic transformation over the years. Traditional cameras that need empty picture roles to be inserted every time you want to click the picture have given way to all new trendy digital cameras. The fast pace of life is also reflected by the cameras, that shows the results the very next second to clicking of the picture.  Digital cameras have thus made clicking pictures a more joyful and super fast experience. These cameras are not just fast but affordable too. You can make and break as many copies of the pictures as you can in CD’s, social networking sites, prints and so on. Pictures can be clicked and seen at the same time in computers and can be sent to anyone across the world via internet. Realising the growing popularity, demand and need for digital cameras and imaging processing units lot of retailers and manufactures have ventured into selling of cameras and accessories along with image processing services, printing and so on. To make all these services available to the people across the nation and internationally they have opted for franchise route thus, creating a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Factors for growth

Selling and buying of cameras have become more organised with players providing consultancy services for buying cameras. Traditional cameras were quite easy to use, which is not the case with digital cameras. Acknowledging this organised player is providing assistance to the consumers in buying and using the cameras. This was the biggest factor fuelling the need and success of branded showrooms in this sector. As informed by Parveen Sahni, Asst Director, Retail division, Canon India Pvt. Ltd, “In our stores the customers are not dependent only on their knowledge. We have consultants, not sales persons, who provide information regarding different products. These consultants guide customers in selecting products according to their needs.” Besides these services these image processing stores also provide services in maintaining the cameras and printing of pictures.

Entrants in the sector

The popularity of digital camera in India clearly marks the need for more organised players to satisfy the increasing demand of such cameras in the Indian market. Canon India Pvt. Ltd has started its retail venture by the name of Canon Image Square. It has been opened with the aim of providing a one stop destination for all imaging needs. Another major player that has taken the franchise way for successful expansion is Kodak India Private Ltd. Kodak digital cameras are acclaimed world over for their high quality in the digital field.

Online or offline image stores

Indian consumers have become internet savvy and prefer to do search on the latest electronic gadgets over the net. This has made all brands to go online and advertise about their latest equipments etc. However mostly all customers still believe to buy from offline stores where they can see and use the product prior to purchasing it. Sahni views, “Online presence is always useful for brands because it is the best way to make customers more educated about the products and their features. However, offline brand stores have their own advantages. All products are in front of the customers and they can use before buying them. The customers can get their doubts cleared by talking to the salesperson. The buying and selling atmosphere can only be present in offline store.”

Franchisability in the sector

Franchising actually helps in the expansion of the brand far and wide. Retailers thus have opted for franchise route for the expansion of their brands. Indian consumers are always aiming to achieve a better standard of living. Regarding this Sahni said, “Franchising can definitely help in multiple ways. Main aim of our brand is to have a successful presence in all cities in minimum time. Franchisees with their local knowledge and expertise can sell the products in that area more successfully than a person who is new to that area. Another factor that guarantees success is location of the outlet. A combination of good location and capable franchisees is the key to success.”

Running an Image retail store is not much different from other retail service stores. Even a novice entrepreneur who has knowledge about imaging needs can become a successful franchisee in the field. As Sahni informs, “We look for entrepreneurs from imaging background that has some prior knowledge about the business. We are not in search for investors but for capable franchisees that understand the business and have a passion for it. They should be aware of all the products in portfolio.”

Investment for taking a franchise is an important consideration. Running an Imaging franchise store needs a minimum of Rs 20 lakh. The franchisee requires investment for buying all the products and equipments that may be quite highly priced as well.

Annotation

Aspiring entrepreneurs who have a keen knowledge in digital cameras and other electronic goods with a passion for business can surely see a bright future for themselves in the field. The imaging needs can be easily predicted to increase in the years to come, therefore offering more of scope for aspirants.

Related: Scent of a rewarding opportunity via franchising

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