Sharing with FIHL is Mathai Chackochen, CEO, Internetworkz about the company, its origin, growth, success and future aspirations.
Abha Garyali (AG): Tell us something about the origin, growth and success of 'Internetworkz'? How did it originate?
Mathai Chackochen (MC): Dr George Cherian the architect of the organization, and a dentist by profession, has a passion for technology. He wanted to connect his computers from one office to another. An engineer told him about wireless networking and he was fascinated by this technology. He learned how to operate and run a networking system. He studied the opportunity in the market in this field and discovered the market to be still niche and thus decided to set bench mark in Networking and e-security. Today, Internetworkz is a brand known for its highest quality of training and services to the customers who undergo Microsoft and CISCO training at our centres.
AG: Why did you opt for the franchising route? What difference have you noticed in the performance of the company after it opted for franchising?
MC: With more than 20 years of experience in the field of franchising and running computer training centres across different brands we were sure to expand the network. We wanted to provide quality education through franchise route to help the customers get the right kind of services at different locations and at an affordable cost. We launched our first franchise centre in Trivandrum in Kerala and currently have seven operational centres. We are in the process of opening five more centres which will be operational soon. We see a good demand for quality training in this field and we are able to fulfill that service requirements.
AG: What qualities do you look in prospective franchisees for your company?
MC: We look for graduate entrepreneurs, who are highly committed to run this business. They should have a passion to give high quality services to the customers, a desire to achieve certain bench marks in life and area of influence in the society. The aspiring franchisee should have enough financial resources to invest and a desire to work hard for himself and others around him.
AG: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
MC: We give complete technical, sales, marketing, administration and accounting training for all the recruited staff of the franchisees. Periodical audits are conducted to check and maintain the high quality of the centres. When ever there is a new product launch we train the staff and help them to reach their desired goals.
AG: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee?
MC: We have two different categories and the investment ranges from Rs 15 to 25 lakh depending upon the location and the catchment.
AG: What are the company's future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
MC: We are working to expand the network through the franchise route and we will be scaling up operations across the country very soon.
AG: What is the break even period for 'Internetworkz' franchise?
MC: It will take less than 24 months to break even if the partner puts his heart and soul on the business and runs the operations as directed by us.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee and how can they be overcome?
MC: There are not much of challenges apart from man power. We help the franchisees to identify the challenges and guide them to over come by giving them adequate training and support. We guide them towards the path of success. Their success is our success therefore we help them to do a great job in terms of running their business well and making it profitable.
AG: Share with us any new venture that your company has entered into?
MC: We have just launched a new product offering on CAD products and we will be expanding that network in the same lines. ICAD is the next brand that will be taken to the market to create more entrepreneurs in India.