Donald Boroian, Chairman and CEO, Francorp, US is one of the world’s most sought-after consultants in the field of franchise strategy and business expansion. Boroian has been on the board with many associations. In a conversation with FIHL, Boroian talks about the potential India has in franchising
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): What sort of potential India has for franchising as compared to other countries?
Donald Boroian (DB): India has a western approach in the kind of programs they hold, or the retail environment that they have. Besides this, many international brands have gained huge popularity in Indian markets. To put it more simply, I think India has a tremendous market. Within last few years, India has developed a global recognition. It happens partly because of the call centres that developed here and partly through the recent technological contributions.
RK: What is the effect of global brand exposure on franchising in India?
DB: Global brand exposure has always been helpful and necessary. For instance, Japan was isolated in many respects for years together. This is the reason why majority of the brands of Japan were unknown to the world. It is the electronic brands which were known around the globe like Sony and Panasonic. Then, Japan introduced franchising concept to expand across the world. Similarly, in India, 80 per cent of the businesses are independent and one of its kinds. People are adverse to working or doing business with a brand that are not known. Therefore, I think global recognition of a brand is indeed helpful and necessary.
RK: What is the need of customising the business strategy as per the local culture of the target country?
DB: It is important for a franchisor to customise the business strategy as per the local culture of the targeted country in order to make sure that the franchising business succeeds there. Typically, the US companies while looking to expand in other countries will hire a consulting firm to do market research and check out the feasibility of that concept; also, we do the same in US. When Indian companies want to foray into US, we do feasibility studies for them. And when companies from other countries like Japan, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico target US, they hire us i.e. Francorp to do a market study to see if their concept or products or services will work in US or not. Even they go through the exercise of putting a prototype outlet to understand the market anatomy and the demands of local customers.
RK: What are the advantages of partnering with a western brand?
DB: Western brands have a global presence. It provides technological support, cutting- edge aspects and lifestyle connotation to it.