Retail Nov, 09 2012

Watch your business grow profitably

By Namita Bhagat
Watch your business grow profitably

Dutch watch-phone brand Burg, an innovative and unique concept developed by ex IKEA designer Hermen Van Den Burg, is all set to grow its pan India presence via franchising. In an Interview, Ashwini Kedia, CEO, Burg India shares brand’s expansion plans in India.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Brief us on the origin and development of ‘Burg? What is the USP of the brand?

Ashwini Kedia (AK): Burg is a unique and innovative watch-phone brand which has its origin in Netherlands. The concept was developed by ex IKEA designer Hermen Van Den Burg in 2011. The brand’s USP is that it produces multi-functional watches which have an in built mobile phone with all features. These watches can play songs, videos and users can also surf internet on these gadgets. The basic model comes with a Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system which enables the tracking of the location of the person wearing the Burg watch.

NB: Could you share the Burg’s current presence in Indian market? How do you plan to develop the brand’s retail presence in India?

AK:  In India, Burg was introduced by our company K G Retail Pvt. Ltd. We are based in Kolkata and have pan India master distribution rights for the brand. Currently, the brand has presence in cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bhubneshwar. Furthermore, we are planning to develop Burg's retail presence in India by opening exclusive Burg stores and make Burg watch-phones sold through shop-in-shop (SIS) models. We are associating ourselves with Helios, where in each Helios store across India, Burg watch-phones will also be exhibited and sold. Our expansion model includes appointing franchise partner or distributor for a city, who will take care of opening an exclusive Burg store in his city and cater brand’s products to another 15-20 already existing watches or mobile phone shops in his city.

NB: How do you think franchising will contribute in brand’s development?

AK: Franchising is an integral part of any retail project and Burg is no exception. Appointing a franchisee enhances the geographical reach and visibility of the brand. A local distributor knows his territory best, he can market it to optimum realisation for the brand.

NB: What all products does the brand offer? What are the price segments and clientele to which the brand caters to?

AK: Burg offers a wide range of products that includes watch-phones, Bluetooth devices and various other trendy accessories.

NB: Kindly share the brand’s further expansion plans via franchising in India? What are the target cities for expansion?

AK:  In 2012, we will target cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Mumbai. In the first half of 2013, we plan to expand into cities like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi. Once we have covered Tier I cities in India, we would also like to explore the Tier II cities for extending Burg’s presence.

NB: What is the capital and area needed to partner with Burg as a franchisee?

AK:  It depends on different cities, an area of 200-250 sq. ft is needed and required capital is in the range of Rs 40-45 lakh for opening a Burg store.

NB:  What are the qualities you are looking for in the potential franchisee? What kind of training and support will you offer to the franchise partners?

AK: We look for some basic qualities in our potential franchisee. As Burg is a lifestyle product, our partner should be well educated with a sense of fashion and style. Also it would help if he is already from the watch or mobile phone industry. Each franchise and his support staff will be given complete support in terms of product training/software training/explaining Burg protocols. In terms of marketing support we will be doing campaigns on leading national television channels and holding press conferences on launch.

NB: What are the challenges and competition for the brand in India? How would you overcome them?

AK: One of our main challenges is that Burg is a new brand, a very new concept and a product. Therefore, we need to educate our target consumers and connect with them. We will try to overcome them by using constant marketing tools like TV, on ground campaigns, contests, print etc. Through all these mediums we will try to explain the concept of Burg that it is a trendy looking multi-functional watch and can be easily used as your second phone.

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