Services Mar, 30 2011

Surety of Franchise Purity

Water purifying products have occupied a space in almost every urban home today. The companies dealing in such products are capitalising on the increased health awareness among people and are opting franchise route to expand their water purification busin

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Surety of Franchise Purity

With the rising level of contamination in the surface water, it has become of utmost importance to utilise a wide range of innovative technologies to make water fit and life healthier. Scarcity of fit water and increasing water borne diseases has lead many foreign companies to enter India and offer technical consultancy services to the Indian firms through the contractual or joint venture route to design water treatment equipments. The Rs 1,500 crore water purifier market is growing at an annual rate of 15-20 per cent and is speculated to grow manifold as many parts of the nation are still grappling with the dearth of drinkable water and rising consumer awareness about clean drinking water. Despite this, the water purification segment in India is highly fragmented and unorganised with very limited companies taking the franchise route to expand the brands nationally. Thus, the domain has immense potentials for the aspiring entrepreneurs as it offers fertile grounds that need to be tapped.

Key players of the sectors

Depending on the market share and volume, the key players of the water purification industry in India includes: 

  • KENT RO 
  • Zero B
  • Eureka Forbes
  • Maharaja Whiteline
  • Kenstar
  • Philips
  • Kenstar
  • Usha Brita
  • Orpat

Out of these, only Kent RO and Eureka Forbes have taken up the franchise route to reach out to the widely scattered consumers. Recently, Kent RO has announced its franchise expansion plans of opening around 200 franchise outlets in addition to its 50 existing franchised stores As Mahesh Gupta, Chairman, KENT RO Systems Ltd says, “We hold around 40 per cent of the market share and we were optimistic about taking up the franchise route as we knew that it will enhance our brand and the market share in all categories.” Eureka Forbes is considered as the leader in this category and the pioneer who have built and developed this water purification market. With its expertise and experience in this field, Eureka Forbes is a sure shot bet for young budding entrepreneurs who want to make it big as it has a stabilised and strengthened franchise network for more than 15 years. Besides these, companies like Okaya Power Group have also diversified into water purifiers under the Nasaka brand name.

Franchise opportunity

If you are looking at becoming a part of this emerging industry, then franchising is the most lucrative way to get set started with, as it offers you a sense of security to own and run a business of your own. All you need to do is to bear the entire cost of interior designing; the cost is expected to be Rs 1200 per sq.ft amounting to around Rs five lakh along with an area of 200 to 500 sq.ft in a high footfall location to open the franchise outlet. Franchisee is required to invest an amount ranging between Rs 5 – 10 lakh to maintain the adequate stock. These investments and area requirement may vary from company to company.

For such franchise businesses, the outlet should be located in the main known market with high footfall and that it should have sufficient stocks of all the products at affordable rates. Besides this, a franchisee also needs to ensure a godown adjoining the store to stock the goods.

Franchise benefits

A franchisee is always benefited by joining hands with an established brand in terms of leverages that are not feasible when starting an independent business. Majority of the brands provide their franchisees with all the advertising and marketing support like display board, products for display on concessions and so on. According to Gupta, “Kent also provides in-shop promoter to give demonstrations in the shop and two to three sales executives who can do direct marketing and visit customers as well.” There are companies who also divert the incoming enquiries from various parts of the nation to the franchisees as per their area of franchise operations.

In short, a franchise business of water purification is not just for selling products rather it requires its franchisees to have sufficient knowledge of the products and the technologies used in the purification of the water. This is the only key to get succeeded in this emerging sector.

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