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franchise aspects 2015-11-30

Curious case of digitization in franchising

Leveraging on new and old technology in today's franchise business, digitization has taken the front seat in all sorts of work. It is not only the most important tool but a vital part to run the business. Here are some of the instances where digitization

By Yamini S Verma, TFW Bureau Sr. Sub-editor

Be it retail, services or F&B sector, brands across sectors are now looking forward to digitize their business model to improvise their operations, competency, sales and marketing and to attract greater footfall. Digitization has lead to the enthralling business concepts and has helped the franchise brands in their expansion plans. Technology space offers growth opportunities to both the franchisees and the franchisors in terms of revenues.
 
Technology has enabled the franchisors in yielding massive returns. FirstCry.com, a kids retail brand works on a hybrid business model and incessantly aims at creating an ecosystem in the niche by providing a well-integrated offline as well as online option for parents to avail whatever product or brand they needed for their kids. Supam Maheshwari, CEO and Founder, FirstCry.com asserts: “To make shopping a delightful experience, we installed kiosks at our stores. The kiosk innovation has made it exceptionally easy for customers to browse through 90,000 products listed on FirstCry.com.” 
 
Tech step ahead

In recent times, several franchise brands have adopted digitization or many e commerce brands have roped in franchising brands to strengthen their network. Dunkin' Donuts, an American doughnut chain has forayed into packaged products to increase its consumption in India and has tied up with online grocery delivery platform Grofers to deliver its packaged and fresh products at consumers' doorsteps. Similarly, the US –based burger giant, Burger King has joined hands with Swiggy, an online food ordering application for a quick and seamless ordering experience. Swiggy will be its exclusive pan-India partner and will take care of their logistics for all 23 outlets in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi and Gurgaon.
 
Shivanandan Pare, Head, Trendin.com opines: “Trendin evolved from simple philosophy. We started e- retailing in March 2013 for all Madura brands and later for Pantaloons too. Citing the faster growing future segment of digital consumerism in retail industry, we came up with our online store. E-stores have great demand and potential among new generation buyers.”
 
He adds: “Trendin has three types of customers first, analogue- analogue, where the customer sees and buys products offline, second, where customer browses online and buys offline and third digital consumers, who browses as well as buys online. The third category is fast growing and most relevant and we cater to this section of buyers.”


 
Biz vice- versa

According to Anushree Srivastava, Deputy General Manger / IT/ New Ventures / IRCTC New Delhi, IRCTC has evolved in recent times creating avenues for one and all. Till date, the website has reached the count of Rs 13.45 lakh transactions and in future it might tie up with car ride companies too. “Apart from these, we have 1.5 lakh principle service providers on board and we are offering products like tourism and travel to the customers other than rail. I am happy to announce that big f&b giants like KFC and Mc Donald’s are soon to come on board to serve our passengers,” she says.

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