Go World is all about making travelling a heartening and pleasant experience. In an interview, Ram Sridhar, CEO, Go World Holidays shares the success of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Tell us something about your company Go World.
Ram Sridhar (RS): Go World Holidays is a travel related services for the past seven years. Apart, from booking holiday packages, we also take care of choosing the right destination, arranging logistics, entertainment, food and gift items. We also offer incentive tours, cruise vacations, and one of its kind honeymoon packages to suit the clients’ budget.
RK: When did you think of taking the franchise route to expand your business?
RS: In the mid of 2008, we started franchising our travel services. Presently, we support around 17 franchisees.
RK: What initiatives and practices have you introduced in the company?
RS: When we started exercising the franchising model, we found that many of the franchisees were unwilling to pay the upfront fee, the royalty fee and other overhead expenses. So, we thought of converting the franchisees into our business associates. Now we are growing our business through business associates who work the same way as franchisees. The only difference is that they do not have to pay us the royalty fee. They pay the royalty only if they make bookings through us.
RK: What do you look for while selecting your franchisees?
RS: we look for people who are interested in the travel agency business. Experience in the similar field is not at all a criterion to select our business associates. S/he should have an office space with computers and internet facility as most of the booking is done online these days and most importantly, s/he should have the networking skills to sell the packages and make the business run profitably.
RK: What kind of support and training do you offer to your franchisees?
RS: We support our franchisees with printed brochures and help them market the brand at the local level. We share promotional expenses with them and encourage them to participate in the travel related conferences or seminars that are often organised either by us or by any other organisation.
RK: What are the challenges faced by the franchisees?
RS: The major challenge that an entrepreneur can face is the competition from the key players at the local market. But our support and guidance helps the franchisees in offering value for money services to the clients that ensures loyalty towards the clients
RK: What is the initial investment required by an aspiring franchisee?
RS: The initial investment ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. This is the only investment a business associate has to make as we do not collect any royalty fee from them.
RK: What are your future plans?
RS: Presently, we have 16-17 business associates and we have plans to take this count to 180-200 by the end of 2010. We also have plans of implementing technological services for our clients..
RK: Any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs?
RS: The most important thing is to have a well customised plan before investing in this kind of business. The other important thing is to have the courage to take risk without which one cannot survive.