Opening of bakeries are on an upswing in India. Riding on this wave, Birdys has carved a niche for itself. In a conversation, Subhash K Menon, Director, WAH Restaurants shares the brands journey.
Neha Prashar (NP): What is the current scenario of franchising in the Bakery Industry in India?
Subhash K Menon (SKM): Bakery business is slated for a quantum leap in the near future. This would largely be driven by the fact that retail bakery business can successfully operate out of a 200 sq.ft space with an investment in the range of Rs 7 to 10 lakh.
NP: How many outlets does Birdy’s currently have?
SKM: Birdy’s is currently at 54 locations (Mumbai: 51, Delhi: 3), we would be adding another 15 new stores by December’2011.
NP: Share with us the foundation, development and success of Birdy’s? When and what inspired the company to take up the franchise route for expansion?
SKM: Birdy’s is built on the foundation that our products must be superior in taste and incorporate the best ingredients. Our vast array of products include Croissants, Breads, Puffs, Pies, Danish, Tarts, Brownies, Sandwiches, Cookies, Loafs, Cakes, Pastries, etc that are baked at a ISO:22000 certified central production house and delivered across all retail outlets. We are across 51 locations in Mumbai and cater to corporate and residences alike. This gives us the cutting edge in terms of product availability and service, making Birdy’s a brand synonymous with very celebration. The franchise route has been in operation ever since we began.
NP: Birdy’s recently launched its 50th outlet in Mumbai. Discuss your future expansion plans?
SKM: Birdy’s would be pollinated in all those areas where there is an opportunity to serve corporate /institutional clients or retail customers. We propose to open another 15 stores by December 2011.
NP: What kind of investment is required to take up a Birdy’s franchise in terms of money, area and time?
SKM: The basic requirements include a 200 - 250 sq. ft shop , ground floor and road facing property, clear and distinct frontage, must have water connection (Inlet & Outlet), should be located in a high footfall area, must have residences and corporates in close vicinity and proximity to schools/colleges is a distinct advantage.
Franchisee would need to invest in shop interiors, equipments, cooling counters, etc. Typically, the set-up cost of an outlet would be in the range of Rs 7 to 8 Lakh.
NP: Your stores mainly caters to the areas in Mumbai. Are you planning for expansion in the rest of the Indian states?
SKM: We are evaluating strategic options to move into other cities with retail opportunities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, NCR, etc. As and when we firm up our plans, we would move in swiftly to replicate our position of leadership as in Mumbai to other cities.
NP: What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the right franchise partners? Is it necessary for the franchisee to have a similar background?
SKM: Franchisee is essentially the person who invests in the outlet, the entire operations is managed by the company.
NP: What is the USP, expected ROI and the break even period of your brand?
SKM: Our USP’s (if I may) – Rich and great tasting products, state of the product preparation techniques, highly trained production staff and location convenience.
ROI & break-even: Confidential
NP: What type of competition do you face from organised and unorganised players in the industry? What strategies do you have in place to handle this competition?
SKM: We prefer competition in our neighborhood as this gives our customers an opportunity to evaluate and make the correct choice, with Birdy’s as a choice – you can only be right.