Travel industry has grown leaps and bounds. With its progress new brands are also emerging in the franchise wagon. Magic Holidays is one such brand. In an interview Hitesh Kshatriya Chief Operating Officer (COO), Magic Holidays expresses his enthusiasm towards the franchise model.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the conception, growth and success of Magic Holidays.
Hitesh Kshatriya (HK): Magic Holidays is a timeshare product of Panoramic Group. Conceptualised in 2009, it is been three years now that we have been helping people to own holidays. Though new in the market Magic holidays has witnessed a precipitous rise in business, and today owns over 21 properties worldwide. The success rate is overwhelming. We are present in all metros and major ‘A’ class cities. Now we are expanding to tier I and tier II cities.
AG: When and why did you adopt the franchise route for expansion of Magic Holidays? How has been the franchise experience so far?
HK: In April 2012 we adopted the most preferred model for business expansion to reach the people of India with our Direct selling associates (DSA’s) / franchisees. Everyone enjoys holidaying. Today holidaying has become a necessity, and a huge business. We adopted the franchise route because we wanted to offer our expertise to masses. We wanted to expand geographically. Moreover, franchising helps nurture entrepreneurs who are interested in our field of work and offers many business opportunities.
The experience so far has been overwhelming. Being new in the market, the brand is sharpening its base strong to take great leaps. Great things are in store in the near future.
AG: What can you say about the future success of Magic Holidays? What makes Magic Holidays different from other travel players?
HK: Magic Holiday’s is here to provide memorable family vacation. We pride ourselves on our proactive attitude and exclusive customer service which has earned us an enviable reputation amongst our competitors. We own resorts and hotels in USA and New Zealand. We have reached a figure of 15 owned properties in India and abroad with 6-7 upcoming properties .Our USP is vacation confirmation. This is the main concern to a member as he wants confirmed holiday when he demands .And we do that. Also our program is very flexible in term of night split and season up gradation. Competition motivates us to do better.
AG: Where do you see the brand in next five years?
HK: In the coming five years I foresee Magic Holidays as most trusted and bankable holiday planner. I expect to scale up the business and we will surely be a brand well known for changing the lives and redefining holidays. I also foresee Magic Holidays in the topmost list of timeshare industry.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspirants keen on taking the franchise / DSA for Magic Holidays?
HK: The opportunities are endless. Holiday business is fast growing and we will be busy doing business even in the least expected time of the year. On top of this, the franchisee / DSA will have a very reasonable investment to make but returns are promising for aspirants keen to jump into the franchise bandwagon. Here you have opportunity to work with a vibrant group where you can explore many horizons.
AG: How many franchisees / DSA do you have presently in India? What are your plans for the year 2012?
HK: We have just started franchising. Thus, the figure is not important, but we are growing fast so you may see us in your area before you know it! We foresee an exponential growth in the number of franchisees / DSAs in the coming years.
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
HK: We are in search for franchisees / DSAs who show passion and belief in life. Someone who foresees customer needs and develops a functional, versatile and an efficient product. There is only one investment ‘be passionate about making difference to the life of people at large transparently and honestly’.
AG: Share with us the challenges that can be faced by your franchisees? How can these be overcome?
HK: Family vacation ownership program business is concept driven. It is not ‘off the shelf’ product which a customer can feel and touch. It is about spreading the awareness as to how much it is significant to invest into securing happy moments for family. As this industry is in nascent stage and the concept is gradually being accepted in past few years, franchisee will have to work hard towards it.
Product knowledge is something that is important. Training will help overcome that. Networking is also one important aspect used to build relationships with potential and existing clients and vendors because people prefer to do business with people they know and trust. However with being transparent and honest to customers about offering, we are confident that franchisees would be able to generate very good business. Moreover we are also finalising our brand strategies which will give visibility and awareness about the brand, helping franchise to connect with prospective client at ease.