In a candid interview, Dorab Patel, Chairman and MD, NGDA Watches, talks about his lines of businesses and companies. Edited Excerpts:
NGDA, which was established by Minoo Patel in 1962, has grown into one of Vidarbha's most respected organizations. Today, it is a multi-faceted group dealing in high value retailing, distribution of consumer durables, watches and logistics operations. With 50 years of experience in distribution and 35 years in retailing, it offers the best products from the leading manufacturers and after sales service.
You are associated with some of the biggest brands. How do you see the future in the coming years?
I have been associated with the Titan brand through franchise model since 1993. Initially, I started with one shop in Nagpur. Now, I have a portfolio of seven stores spread over Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai. And in the coming years, I am planning to add my portfolio to other cities and formats. The competition is getting aggressive and fierce today, but our model has managed to hold its ground. We do not see any immediate threats either for the brand or for the model in the near future.
Why did you choose franchise route to start your business? How this model helped you in growing your business?
Franchising is a great model for someone who is going to start his/her business for the first time. There is also a comfort level, when you get to associate with a stronger brand for both generating footfalls and putting systems into place. We also chose franchising for the aforesaid reasons.
The franchise model offers a structured path to organized retailing and also helps in attracting the changing demographics to the store by introducing relevant products and services. It also guides to build sustainable customer traffic over a period of time.
What are the benefits you have enjoyed been associated with this brand?
Retailing skills, analytics tools to expand and control a chain of stores across cities, building confidence, help to grow our business rising, and establish an identity in our town.
How long did you take to breakeven?
In the first year itself, we managed. Later, we worked out on accounts of the rental costs. In the first year, we managed operational breakeven, while in the second year, cash breakeven happened.