Cocoberry with the vision to spread the idea of eat healthy and live healthy offers healthy and delectable eating options to its consumers. In an interview, R Inder Bhalla, MD, Cocoberry shares the success story of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Share with us the inception of Cocoberry?
R.Inder Bhalla (RIB): Cocoberry the name is a blend of two words "Coco" from Cocoa beans and "Berry" from the assortment of fruits that the company serves along with freshly made non-fat frozen yogurt. It is India’s first premium frozen yogurt chain. We serve non-fat frozen yogurt along with hot and cold beverages such as coffees, teas and smoothies. We also serve a variety of freshly made sandwiches.
RK: What inspired Cocoberry to take the franchise route? Have you noticed any difference in the performance of the company after adopting the franchise way?
RIB: We have opted franchising to target the larger audience. It is the best mode to increase the brand equity, brand presence and brand acceptability. Moreover, it requires lower investments to reach out to a much larger target consumer base. Franchising is the only way to penetrate the new markets by partnering with local people who have good local knowledge. Our franchisees are becoming partners by sharing our vision and definitely we look forward to see the results in near future.
RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced at Cocoberry?
RIB: We have been giving healthy yet delectable eating options to the people. We would like people to indulge in eating healthy and have a healthy life ahead. We are going green and taking various steps to become a socially responsible organisation.
RK: What kind of background and eligibility criteria is necessary for securing the franchise of your company?
RIB: We want our franchisees to have good educational and a sound financial background. The food and beverage industry knowledge can be an added advantage though it is not a necessity. We are looking for young, professional, intelligent entrepreneurs with a good knowledge of the market that will help them to operate the business.
RK: How many outlets do you presently have? What are your future target locations for expansion?
RIB: We presently have six operational outlets and seven more are going to be opened in the coming weeks.
RK: What support and training does a franchisee get when partnering with your company?
RIB: We provide all kinds of support to our franchisee like identifying the location, negotiating the lease, diligence of the property, assisting in building the stores and hiring staff. We have all systems and processes in place that helps a franchisee to succeed.
RK: What is the break even period for a ‘Cocoberry’ franchise?
RIB: The break-even period for Cocoberry is 18-24 months.
RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?
RIB: They should be risk-takers and innovative.
RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
RIB: Franchising will definitely be an option for our robust growth plans. We will partner with people to take forward our vision and mission to expand our presence across India. We aim to open 300 stores by the end of 2013. For this, we are targeting at all the metros and Tier I cities.