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Business services 2011-06-15

Express distribution services at its best

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

Initiated in 1990, DTDC today has the private sector franchise network in courier and cargo services. Suresh Bansal, Director, Head - Supply Chain Solutions and International Business DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd shares expansion plans of the company.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Brief us about the inception and concept of DTDC. How has been its journey so far?

Suresh Bansal (SB): DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd was born on 26th July1990.  What started as a concept in 1990, soon gained momentum and today DTDC has the largest network in the country in the private sector with over 5,345 franchisees spread across the country. This innovative concept has been effectively carried overseas, with DTDC franchisees appointed at USA, UK, UAE and Singapore. This model has been so successful, that now it has crossed the Indian shores and has also been the case study at various business schools at India and abroad.

NB:  What according to you is the USP of the brand and what factors have contributed in its rapid worldwide growth?

SB: The USP of the brand DTDC and the factors for its rapid worldwide growth are:

largest network, biggest domestic Indian brand in express courier industry, state of the art, best IT infrastructure, largest product range – Air / Rail / Road mode, special premium products like time Bound delivery / Sunday/Holiday Delivery and money back guarantee products, information in real time basis for all national and international deliveries, largest infrastructure, 22,000 people handling over ten million parcels a month, zero debt company, only Indian courier company having implemented SAP ERP, full range service from documents to truck loads, domestic and international, separate dedicated Supply Chain Solutions Divisions dealing in warehousing,  logistics and transportation.

NB: DTDC is a pioneer in rolling out the franchisee concept for the courier industry in India. What inspired the company to take up franchise model for its expansion?

SB: During 1990 our Founder Director, Mr Subhasish Chakraborty realised that there was a major gap in express distribution services to the consumers in India and latent need for providing express services.  Very soon he availed this opportunity into creating an express courier company and DTDC Courier and Cargo was born on 26th July 1990.  Being short of seed capital (since he came from the middle class family), he conceived a unique business model of appointing franchisees, who would not only provide the strength of network  at minimal capital investment, but also generate business for themselves as well as for DTDC. This was a win-win arrangement and became the cornerstone for DTDC’s success story.  We pioneered the ‘Franchisee Business Model’ in the express industry in India. The ‘Franchisee Business Model’ gave the first mover advantage in terms of reach, which is a key requirement and also the USP for DTDC. This model has been so successful, that it has crossed the Indian shores and has also become the case study at various business schools in India and abroad.

NB: How many franchise locations do you have at present in India and how many are expected in coming years?

SB:  As of now 5,345 franchisees are present throughout India.  We are aiming to expand the network to 10,000 franchisees in next few years.

NB: What are the eligibility criteria for the selection of the franchisees in India? What amount of investment is required from the franchisee at the initial stage and later on?

SB: Any individual aspiring to become an entrepreneur and having capacity to invest for minimum infrastructure will be eligible for getting appointed as franchisee.  

  • Total Investment: Category A: Rs 1,50,000, Category B: Rs.1,00,000, Category C: Rs75,000
  • Area Required: Category A: 300 sq.ft, Category B: 200 sq.ft, Category C: 75 sq.ft
  • Preferred Location: Ground Floor preferably facing main road
  • Return on Investment: 30 per cent
  • Expected break-even time: four months for A category, six months for B category and nine months for C category  

NB: What kind of support and training is provided to the franchisees by the franchisor for starting a franchise business?

SB: Basic training on operations and delivery, IT systems and marketing guidance is provided to the franchisees for starting a franchise business.

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