With computers and internet dominating the business scene, internet companies are making fortunes. One such networking and solution company that achieved a lot in less time is Inspire Networks. M Shankar Rao, Director, shares his inspiring journey from a humble beginning to great heights.
Abha Garyali (AG): What led to the inception of Inspire Networks.
Shankar Rao (SR): I started internet distribution with one ISP on a revenue-sharing module around seven years ago. I learnt a lot and got loyal clients from this business module. However, the ISP failed to support me in expansion and maintenance. Then I started distribution of my own. After a lot of hard work, the business was successfully established.
AG: What inspired you to start a company?
SR: There are many people who tell us what is wrong but I wanted to be a solution-finder and not a whiner. Initially, I had four workers to support me in the business. Being a head, I was the breadwinner for their families. I had only two options, one to shut down the company or do something of my own to support these four families. I chose the later and with God’s grace, the company started growing. Our main aim is to inspire next generation to become successful entrepreneurs.
AG: When did you start franchising and why?
SR: I started franchising in 2009. I wanted to use my seven years of expertise to grow all over India. However, funds’ shortage was the main problem, so franchising came as the perfect solution.
AG: What future do you see for Inspire Networks in India?
SR: In any industry, we should have enough market potential and ethical franchisors. As far as future is concerned, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the number of broadband users is going to increase. So, future seems bright. Regarding ethical franchisors, I have not found many during my journey so far,. Therefore, we pledge to be an ethical company and support our franchisees in every aspect to grow their businesses.
AG: Has franchising made a difference in the company’s performance?
SR: Yes, franchising has made an enormous difference. Now, our brand is well-known in the industry.
AG: How many franchisees do you have and in which cities?
SR: We have 10 franchisees so far and there are many more in the pipeline. We have franchisees across south-India.
AG: What qualities do you look for in your franchisees? What is your investment range?
SR: We do not select franchisees only on account of their investment. We want people with passion for business, hunger for success and some business experience. These qualities help us in the long run. The investment needed is Rs 1.5 lakh to 3 lakh. The franchisees also need a working capital of Rs 30,000 monthly for first six months.
AG: How do you support and train your franchisees?
SR: We share our expertise, support in licensing, training and after-sales and service support. We provide 24X7 helpline to our franchisees. Besides, we assist them in purchasing wireless equipments at low price and high quality.