With an idea to offer an affordable range of spa services, The Four Fountain Spa was conceptualised. Anurag Kedia, Director, The Four Fountains Spa shares the expansion plans of the brand.
Neha Gohil (NG): Shed some light on your entrepreneurial journey? What made you come up with The Four Fountain Spa?
Anurag Kedia (AK): Post our management education (2004-2007) we were employed with multi-national companies, and were in fairly stressful jobs. We travelled frequently and stayed in hotels. However, despite being reasonably well-paid we could not afford a relaxing massage at the hotel’s spa due to the exorbitant prices. That common experience provided us the inspiration to start a chain of spas that would put spas within reach of more people.
NG: What is the USP of ‘The Four Fountains Spa’?
AK: We are India’s first chain of affordable health spas. The Four Fountains Spa offers high quality spa services at prices less than half of our competitors which is our USP.
NG: When and why did you plan to expand via franchising? How significant is this model for your expansion?
AK: Interestingly, we had franchisee enquiries right from the first month of launching our first outlet in Pune. However, for the first three years, we decided to tune the business model completely and ensure that all systems and processes were in place. It is only a little more than a year back we started engaging with franchisees to set up franchisee operated spas. We value the association with our franchisees significantly and would like to capitalise on their local knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to make it a win-win situation for all of us.
NG: Recently you have entered south Indian market with your first store in Bengaluru. Which specific area are you focusing for expansion in south?
AK: We have launched two spas in Bengaluru at Jayanagar and Koramangala. We would like to expand our presence in Bengaluru and subsequently launch in Chennai and Hyderabad. We are seeing a very good traction from potential franchisees already.
NG: Where do you have your presence across India (via franchised and company owned outlets) and how many outlets you have?
AK: We have 13 outlets currently across seven cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Goa, Aurangabad, Bhopal and Manali. We are planning to launch a spa in Kolkata by December 2012.
NG: What are your further expansion plans?
AK: The current financial year will see us adding another 8 to 10 outlets in the cities we are already present and in some new cities as well. We would look at doubling the number of spas every year for the next four years to reach our vision of 300 spas across the country.
NG: What is your eligibility criterion for a prospective franchisee? What is your preference in terms of area and investment?
AK: The franchisee should have a professional background and be interested in the wellness services sector. He/she should be willing to commit time on a daily basis in the long term to ensure the business is performing to its maximum potential. We would like to be on the main roads of posh residential localities, either on the ground floor or the first floor. We require 1,000-1,200 sq.ft carpet area to build a day spa.
NG: What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
AK: Recruitment and training for all employees is done by the company. Every employee undergoes a structured class room and on the job training programme. We have a unique Franchisee Training Programme (FTP) which empowers our franchisees to become experts in the business.