As per FICCI-KPMG report 2009, the home video market in India is projected to be Rs113.10 crore in 2010. Targeting this growing segment, BIGFlix Movie Rentals is keen on taking forward its franchise plan to various cities. Pankaj Chandra, Chief Lead, Movie Rentals, BIGFlix.com shares the story of this franchise flick.
Punita Sabharwal (PS): Why has BIGFlix.com decided to foray into franchising?
Pankaj Chandra (PC): BIGFlix.com, currently, has 70 stores in 10 cities in the CoCo (Company owned company operated) module. We are looking at this option to extend our movie rental services to other potential customers in these 10 cities and also foray into new cities. We feel that our business has the potential to grow faster than most of the company-owned programmes and would like to use this option to supplement the existing distribution system.
PS: How do you think franchising will be helpful in the penetration of BIGFlix stores across the country?
PC: The franchising route will help us grow faster in existing cities with more stores and create a new market by venturing into newer cities. We will have franchise partners who will be experts in operations and management which will help us gain the right understanding of the needs of the local people. While the franchisees can focus on the operations bit, we will be able to focus more on the requirements and procurement of content, relevant to the general choice of the customers
PS: What kind of training and support will a franchisee receive when partnering with you?
PC: We will utilise our operational experience to help them set up stores and provide them systems and procedures to adapt to more customer friendly approach. Our knowledge bank on DVDs will help franchisees to get the right stocks to cater to the customers' demands. Besides, our experienced trainers will train the franchisee staff on various processes, like operations, logistics, software, local marketing and call centres.
PS: What are the investments required in terms of money and area?
PC: The area needed to run a BIGFlix outlet ranges from 250 to 400 sq ft. The perfect location for starting an outlet is the commercial area around residential area. While investment needed by aspirants is Rs 12-15 lakh.
PS: What are your expansion plans and which cities do you plan to target?
PC: We plan to have 150 stores by the end of the fiscal year 2010-11. Apart from the existing 10 cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, we have plans to spread our services to cities like Jaipur, Vadodara, Surat, Lucknow, Nashik, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Patna, Nagpur and Kanpur.
PS: What purpose do offline centres serve to BIGFlix.com?
PC: The offline centres have multiple roles, starting from acquiring members, providing services to members, and as a touch point for all their queries and inputs. Also, most importantly, offline stores help us understand the customers' tastes and preferences for movies and meet with their instant and impulse desire to watch movies anytime of the day through this medium.
PS: What will be the role and responsibilities of a BIGFlix franchisee?
PC: The BIGFlix franchisee will be fully and wholly responsible for the day-to-day operations, customer service and development and growth of business of the store. A city franchisee can expand by opening more stores or scout for sub-franchisees to increase the network.