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Food and Beverage 2013-09-01

Chocolicious profits

The market for chocolates is growing substantially and people are travelling globally to develop their taste palate and knowledge on quality chocolates and ingredients used. In a candid conversation with Ekta Verma, Darshit Shah, MD, Premium Pralines Pvt Ltd shares golden rules to succeed in the luxury chocolate business and how one can be a part of this money-spinning sector to make fast bucks.

Share your entrepreneurial journey. What motivated you to get into this industry?

I did graduation in Hospitality Management from RMIT University Melbourne, Australia and then started the company, Premium Pralines Pvt Ltd. This company is the authorised Leonidas Reseller for India and has the first-ever luxury chocolate Boutique in India since July 2008. I believe everything can be achieved with enthusiasm and hard work. Since we first opened our shop, Leonidas recipe for success has always been based on the virtue of impeccable freshness.

What is the USP of Leonidas?

Leonidas chocolates have been enjoyed by gourmands and gourmets since 1913 because they are made with 100% pure cocoa products, 100% taste, 100% quality, 100% freshness. Each ingredient is selected for the pleasure of the senses, the subtlety of its taste and the combination of the flavours. With Customer satisfaction a priority, Leonidas was the first Belgian company in this sector to obtain Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point certification (HACCP) in 1998. In 2001, it broke new ground again, by gaining the ISO 9001 quality.

Why did you take franchise route for Leonidas?

Leonidas is Belgium’s largest, one of the most renowned chocolatiers and has a rich history of product quality, traditional way of making chocolates and innovations. After a lot of research and evaluation, making sure of a successful collaboration of combining Premium Pralines strength and know-how along with Leonidas history, we decided to bring Leonidas to India.

What is the eligibility criterion for taking the franchisee of Leonidas?

We have a focused criterion for selection however we never limit ourselves to select a franchisee. We are a people centric organisation. We believe in people with passion for their work. Every person has different skills and attributes that he/she brings into the business to make it successful.

What kind of franchise opportunity are you offering?

We have two models available in India.

Chocolate Boutique / Store

  • Unit Area:350 - 500 sq. ft
  • Investment: Rs 47 Lakh

Kiosk / Shop-in-Shop

  • Unit Area: 100 - 175 Sq. ft
  • Investment: Rs 27 Lakh

What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?

We provide practical as well as theoretical training and knowledge on sight to the franchisee for one week. Training remains continuous from our end as well as whenever required by the franchisee and training is also customised as per changing customer needs and trends. The same training level is maintained across the globe to maintain the same level of customer experience and service.

Support is also provided for site selection, store design and equipment ordering. We also provide with in-depth operational manual that covers a full range of topics for running the business. We also provide marketing support, periodic evaluations and ongoing support.

Which all cities are you tapping for expansion?

Leonidas has over 1400 stores worldwide in 46 countries out of which over 1000 are franchise stores. This model has been successful for us and the franchisees and it has helped us to grow at a rapid pace. We have applied the same model in India and Asia to succeed and be a part of the growth story. We are looking at expanding to our priority markets and are currently focusing on New Delhi, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai via the franchise route.

Where do you see India's F&B industry growth five years down the line?

The Indian chocolate industry is registering a compound annual growth rate of 25 per cent. The demand for chocolates in India has clocked about 35 per cent rise against last year primarily in urban areas due to the rising shift to chocolates from traditional mithai around the festival season. High income levels in the urban sector are a good reason for the rapid growth of the chocolate industry in India. More than 65 per cent of the consumption occurs in the urban market. Today, the Indian confectionery industry is one of the fastest growing in the world.

Franchise facts:

Investment

Area

Breakeven

RoI

Existing franchisees

Rs 27-47 lakh

150-500 sq ft

6-8 months

40-45%

1

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