Women Entrepreneurs Mar, 22 2010

Garnering A Fair Share In Franchising

India is witnessing a revolutionary change in the franchising industry, especially in terms of women entrepreneurs entering the domain. Let us find out more about the qualities that make women stand-out in this male dominated arena

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Garnering A Fair Share In Franchising

With the growing number of women in franchising, the fairer sex sees to enjoy her share of success equally well with that of men. Some of the successful entrepreneur like Shahnaz Husain (Shahnaz Husian Group), Lina Ashar (KKEL), Shobha Kaul (Personal Point) etc have made the Indian male franchisors realise that women have a significant role to play in the franchising arena. While few years back, it was unusual to see a woman heading any business empire. However, the present scenario is witnessing the emergence of women in franchising. Lina Ashar, Chairperson and Founder, Kangaroo Kids Education Limited (KKEL) remarked, “Previously there were restrictions to venture into business and entrepreneurial activities. But over the years with increased education and exposure, the woman of today is more confident and outgoing as compared to the previous generations.”

Shahnaz Husain, Founder, Shahnaz  Husain Group shares, “The last two decades have seen the woman stepping out of her home, to make a career, gain financial independence, establish her own identity and fulfill her ambitions and dreams.” She further adds, “One can even go so far as to say that business acumen and sound management are without gender. There is no hard and fast rule that a man is a better entrepreneur by virtue of being male. Women have shown that given the same opportunities, they can be equally successful.”

Nevertheless there are few franchise businesses which are ideal for women. A few of these are listed below:

  • Pre-schools and play schools
  • Educational institutes
  • Beauty and hair salons
  • Jewellery franchise
  • Apparels and lingerie
  • Home furnishing and interior designing
  • Home-based franchises
  • Health and wellness centres

Innate qualities responsible for competing with men

Women because of their innate qualities are suitable for most of the franchise venture. Ashar shares, “In my opinion, success is not gender-specific. For both women and men to attain success the common mantra is focus, dedication, determination, innovation and inspirational leadership skills. However, due the patriarchal system of society, women need certain additional emphatic qualities like firm decision-making skills, pragmatic outlook towards enterprise-management and larger risk-taking appetite in order to sustain and succeed their ambitions. We can see women are breaking through these barriers. With the right exposure and qualification, women entrepreneurs of today are matching their male counterparts at every step, or in fact a step ahead.” In words of Husain, “Women not only have the courage, inner strength, and foresight that are necessary to be successful as entrepreneurs, but are no less than men when it comes to intelligence, talent, and creativity.”

Let us have a look at some of the qualities that make women better competitor than men in the franchise business industry.

Empathetic and friendly:  Women are more empathetic and friendly as compared to men. Women can create better relationship with their employees and clients. The tendency to be more empathetic and loving makes them perfect in running pre-schools and play schools. Moreover, women are warmer, friendlier and can sympathise with staff, thereby winning their regards and friendship sooner than most men franchises.

Juggling and organising ability: Women can handle more tasks simultaneously as compared to men who get flustered when faced with challenges. Husain comments, “A woman has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. For one thing, she can manage her different roles of wife, housewife, mother and career woman efficiently.” Therefore, women have the tendency of doing more than three things at the same time; this helps them in making a franchise successful. Ashar says, “While most women are known to proficiently manage multiple activities, it can get exhausting and be unproductive in the long run, if tasks are not organised well. Being able to focus on every task in hand is a major advantage that a women yields.”

Patience and time management: Handling the multiple responsibilities makes women more patients with employees. Women can divide their responsibilities and try to complete them in the allotted time. Ashar comments, “Good time management and organisation skills go a long way in ensuring the effective usage of one’s time and skills and the outcome at large.”

Prioritising responsibility: Women are good at prioritising, and deciding which activities are more important than others. This particular skill works well in the franchising industry, when problems arise concerning planning, staffing, financing and people management.

Better at motivating and encouraging: Women are considered better at motivating and encouraging employees. This helps them in getting more work from their employees and also encouraging franchisees that are not doing well. This accounts to the reason of seeing more women counselors in schools and corporate sector also.

The above given qualities prove that women can successfully compete with men in the franchise arena. Therefore, now it is time for men to understand and encourage greater acceptance of women as franchisors and franchisees.

To conclude, women are ushering as a strong competitor of men in the franchising industry and India is soon going to witness more number of women entrepreneurs in the near future.

Related: Women Franchisors Stand Tall

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