With the objective of providing the facility to experience 5D theatre entertainment at home, FunZ Infinitum Technologies Pvt. Ltd launched Buzzyy. In an interview Deepak Sharma, Managing Director, Funz Infinitum Technologies (P) Ltd shares about the brand’s debut in franchising and its future aspirations as well.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the conception, growth and success of Buzzyy.
Deepak Sharma (DS): Before inception of Funz Infinitum, the cost of 4D/5D theatres was exorbitantly high. Due to this reason, the growth was very slow in the industry. Rather the sector could not be called an industry at that time, with few odd imported theatres across India. Therefore, we started with an aim of bringing down the entry costs, create new opportunities and take position in the market as true industry leaders. With the advent of company’s own technology, it has been able to achieve its initial objectives. The clients have faith in the brand and it has maintained their trust.
AG: What was the motivation behind starting an entertainment brand like Buzzyy? How is it different from other brands of its kind?
DS: It is a new format of entertainment in India which provides an experience in the realms of virtual reality. The experience is unique as it is multisensory. About couple of years back people in India were not even aware of this format and those who were, talked about watching these in US, Europe, Singapore or like. The company saw an opportunity here and just moved on to take it. With that came the adorable brand mascot Buzzyy - the hard working Bee who loves to have Funz (fun). Moreover, a product can be called a brand only if it ensures quality and has trust of buyers. The clients who visit us again and again have made Buzzyy a brand.
AG: When and why did you adopt the franchise route for expansion of Buzzyy? How has been the franchise experience so far?
DS: We had been into sales and installation of 4D/5D theatres on project basis. However, it began as a business when one of the clients needed the support in making his theatre successful. At this the company decided to take the franchise route. With this, the brand has further made it easy even for non-technical persons to move into this new business avenue and reap the rich dividends. The company provides complete technical, maintenance and operations support to its franchisee along with branding of the theatre. Local marketing remains the responsibility of the franchisee. There also, the company provides support to make the new business successful.
AG: What is the USP of Buzzyy? Where do you see the brand in next five years?
DS: The USP is QSP- Quality Service Providers. Buzzyy is service oriented because once theatre installation is made, technical support is very crucial as the people who move into this industry are not aware of this technology. This is show business and as they say, ‘the show must go on’ and we make it sure that we live up to this test. It is because of our commitment to our clients that we get repeated business from them, that too for a high value technical product. We have plans to make Buzzyy a very strong brand in next couple of years.
AG: Are you facing any competition from any organised and uorganised entertainment brands?
DS: We have faced competition from some importers from China. However, this is a high value technology product and those who installed imported theatres have learnt that technical support and locally available spares are very crucial to reduce the downtime of the theatres. We have seen imported theatres totally non-operational for months due to non-availability of some critical components. In fact we did change control system of one theatre imported from China to make it operational with our technology. Then there are a couple of companies who import core technology part and do rest of fabrication in India. But it is the core technology that matters here. We work on self-improvement- improvement of our products and services and we keep ourselves aware of environment around us.
AG: What strategies have you adopted for maintaining the brand’s supremacy in India?
DS: We work on just one strategy and we work on that sincerely and with dedication. That is ‘Being true to our customers and support them. We have never let our customers down and they have never let us down.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future of this industry bright in the years to come?
DS: The industry has just opened up. It is witnessing tremendous growth and it is the right time to get into it. The revenues are excellent and the future seems quite bright.
AG: How many franchisees do you have presently in India? What are your plans for the year 2012?
DS: We have just moved into franchise model. Earlier, we had been into sale and installation of 4D/5D theatres. But we saw that with franchise model, clients feel more confident due to our continuous association and support in the business. In the financial year 2012, we are targeting 50 units across India.
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
DS: We have identified some of the qualifications that a successful candidate should possess. First, we are seeking sophisticated business people. Experience with operating high-volume restaurants, retail operations is a plus. They should be knowledgeable in the areas of real estate, business costs, and operations. Naturally, a love for entertainment is an important quality, as are maturity, stability and high personal standards of honesty, integrity, and excellence. In addition, they will be required to meet minimum financial standards. Approximately 650 sq ft of space with clear height of at least 10-13ft at a prime location preferably near an amusement park, science Centre, multiplex, mall, tourist place, religious tourism place etc. Franchisee must be able to invest around Rs 40 lakh towards interior works of the theatre as per design, franchisee fee and refundable deposit.