Amigo Sports, a sports and casual fashion brand, Indian licensee for FIFA official stores and FIFA merchandise, has recently opted the franchise route for expansion. In an interview, Vijay Madanu, VP Sales FIFA Amigo Sports, shares the expansion plans of the company.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the inception, growth and success of Amigo Sports as a sports brand outlet?
Vijay Madanu (VM): Amigo Sport is a leader in franchising iconic sports and casual fashion brands with unrivalled brand heritage. In a short span of time, Amigo Sports has been able to attract a wide range of talent from different industries and gained world-wide recognition by becoming the Indian licensee for FIFA official stores and FIFA merchandise. Amigo Sports has an ambition of becoming India’s premiere sports and Lifestyle Company and a leader in key sports – Football, Golf, Racquet sports and others.
AG: When was the brand Amigo Sports created?
VM: The company was incorporated in the year 2008 but the first brand through this company was launched in April this year.
AG: What is its USP?
VM: The USP of the brand is that it is unique in many ways. It is a fashion inspired by the heritage of foot ball, unlike any other fashion brand, which takes inspiration from several trends. However, FIFA Fashion line takes inspiration only from the century old football history and heritage. Moreover, the USP of Amigo Sports is that it has brought Marquee brands of various sport governing institutions in to India for which the genesis lies in the organisation itself.
AG: Amigo Sports has plans to open FIFA official stores in India. How many outlets are you opening through the franchise route?
VM: Amigo will open about 35 FIFA official stores (Exclusive) within the next two years across 30 major cities of India like Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai etc. These stores will be a combination of both COCO (Company owned and operated) formats and FOFO (Franchisee owned and operated).
AG: Do you think that franchising has played an important role in the success of the company? How it has done so?
VM: We have not launched any franchised outlet as yet, but yes we believe that this will help our brand. It increases scalability, raises the footprints across the country, helps increase the product offering, eases pressure on the product costs as any upscale distribution will bring in economies of scale.
AG: How many outlets does Amigo Sports have and in which cities across India?
VM: At the moment both the stores which are open are company owned. These two are in Mumbai (Phoneix- Palladium and Oberoi Mall)
AG: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees? How much investment is required by them?
VM: First and foremost, the franchisee should be passionate about football game (on a lighter side, but indeed it helps if he is). Franchisee should have an appropriate location suitable for retailing in case he would like to offer our brand, he should have experience in running retail stores of similar discipline, ability to finance the project to the tune of Rs 30-35 lakh. Moreover, he should be willing to look at a time horizon of at least two years to expect return on investment.
AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
VM: We have plans for immediate expansion of FIFA exclusive stores among others. We shall open 35 stores of FIFA in the next two years, of which about 70 per cent should be through the franchising route.
AG: What training and support you will provide to your franchisees?
VM: We will provide them support through an integrated programme which encompasses product, staffing, customer services, customer relationship management, and ambience maintenances.