Increasing popularity of baby and mother care products have lead Me n Moms to adopt the franchise route. In an interview Naresh Khatar, Chairman and Managing Director, Me n Moms, shares with us the future aspirations of the brand via franchising.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the conception, growth and success of Me n Moms.
Naresh Khatar (NK): In the celebratory spirit of the joy of parenting, Me n Moms has been offering baby care and mother care products for the past twenty years to quality-conscious Indian consumers.
We set up our flagship retail store in Mumbai on May 8, 1994 with a vision to make it a one-stop destination for 0-3 year olds and their mother. Within a decade, MEE MEE was conceived. Me n Moms under the brand name MEE MEE started offering dedicated categories of kids’ wear and accessories ranging from footwear, furniture and toys to baby playtime and bath time products coupled with a variety of maternity care offerings.
We continuously strive towards making parenting a wonderful experience by offering a wide bouquet of affordable products. We currently have 12 exclusive Me n Moms stores across India and one store set up through the franchise route.
AB: When and why did the brand adopt the franchise route for expansion?
NK: We extensively leverage our high quality, innovative, affordable and wide product range to establish a strong foothold in the kids wear and maternity care retail space. We had been scouting for franchise partners during the past few months. We are currently treading an expansion path focusing on tier II and tier III cities with the help of franchise partners for pushing our brand to quality seeking parents. Apart from this, we strongly believe franchise partners would enable us to visualise correct market conditions in the target cities where we would expand. We have already started operating through the franchise route with our first store at Guntur.
AB: What can you say about the future success of Me n Moms? Where do you see the brand in next five years?
NK: We are Rs 80 crore company aiming to reach Rs 300 crore within the next five years. Looking at the ever expanding retail scenario, we intend to set 50 more outlets over a period of three years. We are a debt free fast growing homegrown entity looking to offer a wide variety of innovative products at affordable prices.
AB: What can you predict about the future growth of child care brands in India?
NK: The baby care market in India is pegged at Rs 590 crore and is expected to reach Rs 1,092 crore by 2012.This market primarily consists of baby hair and skincare products, toiletries and diapers.
Further, the baby care segment in India is a lot driven by parents thought for child safety. Hence this market demand products par excellence combined with safety and affordability quotients.
AB: How is Me n Moms different from other child and mother care brands? What is your success mantra?
NK: We are a home grown, debt free and fast growing baby and mother care retail brand. We have a wide product portfolio for kids (0-3 years) and mother at affordable prices. We provide a touch of emotion to our customers through consumer friendly services like offering home deliveries, dedicating a space in our stores to lend a helping hand to mothers for changing diapers etc. We aim to make a difference in the retail space that we are in through these small initiatives in addition to offering after sales service.
Our success mantra is aimed at making Me n Moms stores a one stop destination for mothers and their kids by offering high quality innovative products at affordable prices.
AB: How many franchisees do you have presently in India? What are your plans for the year 2012?
NK: Currently we have one store at Guntur owned and operated through the franchise model. We plan to add 50 new stores within the next three years and will opt for the franchise route for some stores.
AB: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
NK: We are looking for partners with leadership skills who are committed for operational excellence, customer service and who demonstrate a strong willingness to learn and practice the Me n Mom's business model. Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory managerial and business skills, including an aptitude for successfully running a business and interacting with customers, employees, suppliers, lenders, fellow franchisees and their local communities.