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Home and Lifestyle 2010-09-20

Explore flooring benefits via franchising

By Pallavi Majha Chief Sub Editor

Revolutionising the flooring industry with Euro Vitrified Tiles is Euro Ceramics an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. Sharing the success story of the company is Viral Nandu, Director-sanitary division, Euro Ceramics Limited in a telephonic interview.

Pallavi Majha: Elaborate on the inception, growth and success of Euro ceramics?

Viral Nandu: Euro Ceramics started a manufacturing unit in Gujarat with a motive to give employment to the local people in October 2003. Gradually, the corporates, banks, big business houses started patronising the company and thus a business plan evolved. Euro Vitrified Tiles, a tile manufacturing venture of the company revolutionised the flooring industry and become the preferred choice not just in India but globally as well. Euro Vitrified tiles are manufactured in a sprawling factory at Bhachau, Kutch in one of the most modern automated plants with ISO 9001:2008 accreditation. After the success of tiles manufacturing, the company also ventured into sanitary ware and composite marble.

To give first experience of the products the company started direct selling through franchised outlets two years back.

PM: How has franchising contributed to the growth of your company and when was the idea of taking up franchise route for expansion opted for by the company?

VN: The company started franchising two years back in 2008 and the exclusive outlets (EBOs) are called Euro Style Stations. Initially, the company had a chain of distributors and dealers but later it took the franchise route to expand its presence. Franchising has really helped in brand building, expansion and retaining the quality standards of the product. All our franchisees are doing well and have generated good businesses. Franchising is an excellent business model and has supported our company in a big way.

PM: What strategies do you follow to handle competition from your organised and unorganised counterparts?

VN: Euro Ceramics deals in a specialised market with very few organised players. Still the competition is growing and there is a continuous demand for new products in the market. In order to handle this rising competition, we have developed a strategy of innovating and adding on new product range to our already established product lines while maintaining the quality standards.

PM: Who is Euro Ceramics target consumer?

VN: Our target consumers range from big corporate houses to high-end upper middle and elite classes. We have clients like Larson and Tubro, Hiranandani Builders, and Rahejas. Our product quality caters to middle level, upper middle and high-end consumers.

PM: How many franchisees do you have at present and how many are expected in the near future?

VN: As for the current status, the company has a total of 40 Euro Style Stations pan-India and the company is planning to add 10 more by the end of the year 2010.

PM: What is the amount of investment required to take a franchise of Euro Ceramics in terms of money, space and time?

VN: The aspiring franchisees are expected to make a financial investment in the range Rs five to 10 lakh. The financial investment also depends upon the area, location and city where the franchisee is looking to open the outlet. The area required to open our EBOs ranges from 2,000 sq. ft to 3,000 sq. ft. The company also has a facility of providing some interest on the deposits made by the investors, so that they may not feel lost.

PM: What factors are considered by the company before appointing the franchisees?

VN: While selecting our franchisees, we mainly look for security, loyalty and local reputation and connections of the individual. All these things can be easily verified. So far, the company has been fortunate enough to have all successful franchisees.

PM: What is the ROI and break even period of Euro Ceramics franchise?

VN: The return on investment (ROI) is almost 10 per cent of the investment. The break even period can be reached in one to two years’ time, though it depend a lot on the franchisee’s efficiency, his local network and interest in the business.

PM: What kind of training and assistance do you provide to the franchisees?

VN: The company provide each and every kind of support required by the franchisees. Right from finding the location to setting-up the outlet, training, product availability, we help our franchisees in everything. In fact, the company prepares the entire interiors of the outlet free of cost for the franchisees.

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