With a vision to spread the idea of eating and living healthier, Cocoberry is offering healthy and guilt-free dessert eating pleasures to its consumers. In an interview, G S Bhalla, CEO and Founder, Cocoberry shares the future plans of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you please shed some light on the inception of Cocoberry?
G S Bhalla (GSB): Cocoberry the name is a blend of two words "Coco" from Cocoa beans and ‘Berry’ from the assortment of fruits that the company serves along with freshly made non-fat frozen yogurt. It is India’s first premium frozen yogurt chain. We serve non-fat frozen yogurt along with hot and cold beverages such as coffees, teas and smoothies. We also serve a variety of freshly made sandwiches.
RK: When and why did the company opt for the franchise route to expand?
GSB: We have opted franchising to target the larger audience. It is the best mode to increase the brand equity, brand presence and brand acceptability. Moreover, it requires lower investments to reach out to a much larger target consumer base. Franchising is the only way to penetrate the new markets by partnering with local people who have good local knowledge. Our franchisees are becoming partners by sharing our vision and definitely we look forward to see the results in near future.
RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced at Cocoberry?
GSB: We have been giving healthy yet delectable eating options to the people. We would like people to indulge in eating healthy and have a healthy life ahead. We are going green and taking various steps to become a socially responsible organisation.
RK: What are the eligibility criteria to select the franchisees of your company?
GSB: We want our franchisees to have good educational and a sound financial background. The food and beverage industry knowledge can be an added advantage though it is not a necessity. We are looking for young, professional, intelligent entrepreneurs with a good knowledge of the market that will help them to operate the business.
RK: How many outlets do you presently have? What are your future target locations for expansion?
GSB: We are presently operating through more than 20 outlets across the nation in cities like Delhi/ NCR, Mumbai and Chandigarh. The company is targeting the untapped cities of the nation and is also looking at expanding in the international markets such as South East Asian countries and Middle East.
RK: What support and training does a franchisee get when partnering with your company?
GSB: We provide all kinds of support to our franchisee like identifying the location, negotiating the lease, diligence of the property, assisting in building the stores and hiring staff. We have all systems and processes in place that helps a franchisee to succeed.
RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?
GSB: They should be risk-takers and innovative.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
GSB: We have earmarked an investment close to Rs 120 crore for expansion in the next three years. Franchising will definitely be an option for our robust growth plans. We will partner with people to take forward our vision and mission to expand our presence across India. We have set a target to grow to about 100-150 outlets over the next two years. For this, we are targeting at all the metros and Tier I cities.