DC Strategy is a renowned Australian company involved in consulting, research and legal work for building networks and brands of many international companies. Rod Young, Executive Director, DC Strategy talks about his company’s inception and expansion plans…
Abha Garyali (AG): Tell us something about the origin and growth of ‘DC Strategy’.
Rod Young (RY): DC strategy came into being after I saw the franchise system in Australia needed more development. I was approached by someone who offered to pay me for some advice on how to grow his franchise. I realised the importance of being an expert in franchising. That was my first project. It was an embryo of my business that we have today. DC Strategy is a consulting, legal and research firm which focuses on building networks and brands.
AG: Tell us something about your career.
RY: I bought my first franchise in 1978 in Sydney. It’s a US based franchise system in the exercise equipment business and was designed by an American company. It taught me all about business and franchising. I was quite a successful franchisee and opened my second franchise soon. Then I was offered the opportunity to go to America and work in a US company. That is where I learnt about franchising.
AG: What made you decide on being a part of DC Strategy, a company that develops a franchise network?
RY: Our company develops designs, business systems and processes. I saw a lot of franchise companies that did not have value in their businesses. It became the foundation of my thoughts of how a franchise company should be built. I started developing some philosophies regarding strategies, structure, economic models, commercial policies, legal issues, recruiting franchisees, selling franchises, problems handling franchisees etc. I had learnt when I was a franchisee and after that I worked in many international franchising companies to gain experience. There were many companies which were just superficially involved with selling franchises without caring for their franchisees success. Therefore DC Strategy evolved to assist the franchising companies to build their networks and brands.
AG: What is the USP of DC Strategy?
RY: The most notable thing about DC strategy is that we have a lot of experience in developing networks and brands. I am on the board of number of franchise companies like the Boost Juice, the Cartridge World and two Australian companies as well as the shareholder of number of franchise systems. Therefore I have a plenty of experience in handling and building the franchise system. Our uniqueness is that we have worked in developing networks and making billions of dollars assets. The second most valuable point is that we are a fully integrated specialist consulting, research and legal firm. It’s a global firm that has developed networks and brands for many successful businesses.
AG: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees of the various brands?
RD: We have two sets of training. Firstly, we provide the conduction training as we understand that the franchisees are without any prior experience in the field. We train them and help them to develop into confident franchisees from where they can operate their own business. The initial training is for two to 12 weeks. We also provide them with the franchise business consultants who further assist them with the working of the company and provide practical training. This training is based on various attributes of business development like training on quality control, staffing, store operations, financial performances etc.
AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion in India?
RY: We have an aggressive strategy for expansion. We look forward to grow our business. We want to tie up with more companies in USA, India and China. We are interested in the Indian market as it has a lot of potential. We recently have tied up with the Cartridge World which is a very popular brand in India. We are keen on partnering with other Indian companies so that we can develop them with our expertise.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in taking up a franchise? How can they overcome these challenges?
RY: The first challenge for any company is making the business profitable. We assist the franchisees for selecting the right location and encourage them to gain experience to run the business. Most often franchisees stop learning when they acquire a business, which is wrong. We make the franchisees continuously learn to make them more experienced.