Advisory Mar, 16 2012

Forte for the fairer sex

Women entrepreneurship is on the rise. All thanks to the development of various business concepts that interests women. Franchising has further encouraged women to opt for entrepreneurship. Read on to know the hot franchise concepts for women during the y

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Forte for the fairer sex

Contemporary woman is a business woman. She is not just confined to her house and is always ready to explore the outer world like her men counterpart for better opportunities. This drastic transformation has given boost to women entrepreneurship. Also the emergence of various women oriented business concepts is encouraging women entrepreneurship. Franchising is adding fuel and is making business quite easy and accessible to women.

Why Franchising?

Franchising offers a proven business model that is already tested and is successful. It is a low risk business model with a facility to devote flexible hours, providing the expertise of the franchisor to make the business success. As majority of the women oriented franchise businesses are owned by women so aspiring women franchisees also prefer to take up the franchise business. According to an estimate, there are more than one lakh franchise outlets managed by women which are on a continuous rise. The article explores some of the hot franchise concept for the year 2012 for women.

Hot franchise concepts for women for 2012

Though women today can fit into any business concept but there are some business concepts that are quite close to women’s interests. In fact there are a few franchise domains which are specifically being dominated by women entrepreneurs. Let us have a look at few of these.

Beauty sector: Beauty and women are correlated with each other from time immemorial. The fairer sex has her forte in beauty and well-being. Walking on the beauty path many women entrepreneurs have gained a lot of prominence and name in this sector. Shahnaz Husain (Shanaz Husain Group), Blossom Kochhar (Blossom Kochhar Group), Vandana Luthra (VLCC), Veena Kumaravel (Naturals) etc are few of the prominent ladies who have made the beauty sector more women oriented.  Many more women have been inspired to enter the beauty business by seeing their success. Shahnaz Husain says, “As far as franchise salons, spas and beauty institutes are concerned, I have had mainly women franchisees. The beauty business essentially deals with women and I feel that it can be best understood and handled by women. I feel that women have a special aptitude for the beauty business. A woman is better at client handling and has good communication and people skills. This is an added advantage in the beauty business.”

Play school and pre-school sector

Women have been making a name for themselves in the pre-school field for a long time. The utmost patience and warmth imbibed in women make them perfect educationalists and care takers. Established brands like Eurokids, Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd, Brainworks, Promise, Edify Education and many more have opened their doors to more and more women entrepreneurs. Sharing her views about women in franchise, Lina Asher, Chairperson, Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd said: “Globalisation has led to an increased sense of awareness and has also brought about significant changes in our social structure.” She further added: “We do have a large number of women franchisees especially for our preschool brand Kangaroo Kids.” As informed by Kavita Jain, Vice President, MDN Edify Education, “The most favourable thing that attract women to education franchising is the short working duration. It is usually seen that women prefer taking franchises of pre-schools and even franchisors prefer women entrepreneurs.”

Gym and fitness centres

Fitness earlier was men centric earlier but women are also getting more conscious of being fit and healthy. This has made fitness centres as an important business opportunity for the fairer sex. Manisha Ahlawat, Master Franchisee, Vivafit India shared: “Vivafit came across as a fresh new concept in women’s only fitness centre format. We identified this great business opportunity due to a dearth of fitness centre/gym options in India for women of any age group. Most of the regular gyms cater to a predominantly male clientele and may have over looked the specific needs of women.  We want to provide a place where women as young as 14 and as old as 80 can work out in a safe and comfortable environment.” Regarding the need for health centres she added: “This is a growing need also as we know the increasing incidence of breast cancer, diabetes, blood pressure and coronary diseases in Indian women. Vivafit has successfully tapped the same market segment in Portugal and we want to replicate their success story in India.” Curves, another international fitness club, catering its services specifically for women clients, target only women franchisees all across the world. Their business model promotes women entrepreneurs to open their fitness clubs which are especially for women clients.

Home based sector

Another sector which is coming up especially for women entrepreneurs is the home based sector. Home based opportunities have really grown in the last couple of years. These provide apt earning and entrepreneurial prospects to home makers who earlier had no choices to make money from home. Few direct marketing companies which can sell products from the comfort of home are entering into franchising, thereby providing women a good home based opportunity. As shared by Vijay Dalwani, Director, Sanda Wellness: “Sanda Wellness provides a great opportunity for women (homemakers) to jump into the entrepreneurial world with minimum investment and more comfort to work from home.”

Books and toy rentals

Women entrepreneurs can cash on this emerging good franchise opportunity of rental books and toys. Women are considered good dealing with kids and their parents. Therefore running a toy or book rental franchise gives them dual advantage of making money while interacting with young ones.

It may not be apt to conclude that women entrepreneurs are just limited to these few business categories. There are many other sectors in which women have made a name but these are few of the sectors which are getting dominated by the fairer sex. However this list is continuously on the increase, with women becoming more independent and career conscious.

Related: Surviving franchise strategies

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