Synonymous with the exotic oriental tradition of gifting, cherishing and loving, Arabian Nights is a retail concept inspired by Middle Eastern folklore. In an interview, Alfia Ansari, Marketing Director, Arabian Nights Pvt. Ltd shares the brand’s expansion in India via franchising.
Namita Bhagat (NB): What is origin and concept of ‘Arabian Nights’? How has been the journey so far?
Alfia Ansari (AA): Arabian Nights, a concept synonymous with the Middle Eastern tradition, brings the exotic oriental-themed lifestyle at your door steps. We are a chain of theme-based oriental stores that offer unusual range of product offerings. Every store of Arabian Nights is an experience that revolves around the aspect of reincarnating the tradition of gifting, cherishing and loving. The traditional touch brings happiness to people’s conversations, beauty to their homes and lifestyle in its own unique way. This is very carefully embedded in every product that we choose to sell to our customers, be it our fragrances or Spa at Home range or the designer hookahs and accessories.
NB: What are the core competencies of the brand that make it unique?
AA: We are pioneers in this oriental-themed retail in India and are a company that infuses serenity of the past with modernity of the future. We are a recognised and award winning brand who have successfully established company-owned outlets and intend to expand our network via a well-planned franchise strategy; and thus seek enterprising entrepreneurs to join us in our successful journey. We offer the best quality and value-for-money products to our clients and franchisees best quality and value for money products.
NB: Share the brand’s current presence in India.
AA: Arabian Nights Pvt. Ltd currently runs on a COCO model (Company-owned and Company-operated) and has 15 stores in Mumbai, Pune, Khapoli, Lonavala, Goa, Hyderabad, Luckhnow, Indore, Bangalore, Raipur and Ahmadabad. We are available in all formats i.e. EBOS, Shop-In-Shops (SIS) and Kiosks.
NB: What all products and /or services does the brand offer?
AA: Arabian Nights has magnificent range of products including Shisha and accessories, Perfumes, and SPA at Home.
We are the only company to foray into the Shisha retailing business in India and have an exquisite range of Shisha exclusively and intricately manufactured for Arabian Nights and consists of products such as carved exotic Shisha, numerous delicious flavours and amazing accessories. We also have a wide range of Shisha accessories of all varieties such as chillums, Soex charcoal, hookah base, etc. We are India’s only brand to manufacture 100 per cent herbal molasses and are the only company in the country to manufacture original and innovative shisha flavours. There is a huge selection of more than 52 flavours that are well known and trusted branded flavours of AFZAL and SOEX, to suite a variety of different palates.
Our brand presents an exhilarating range of high quality fragrances from the depths of the mystical east- Afnan Eau de perfumes and concentrated oils. These fragrances are made from the finest ingredients sourced from France, spreading the aura of a subtle magic of the world’s most exclusive perfumes.
We also have an array of incredible Spa products at Home range that relaxes, distress, and rejuvenates comprising eye-catching candles, divinely incenses and soulful potpourris.
NB: What is its market scope of such a concept among Indian consumers?
AA: Our Shishas are so intricately designed that they have become one of the most preferred and unique gifting articles for every season, some use it to brighten up their houses and bring a touch of ethnicity to their living rooms by placing a hookah as a center piece, some buy it as a collectable, some use it for personal use too. Our target consumers are young, full of life, ambitious and trendy in the age group of 18-35 who believe smoking a hookah is the ultimate away to unwind, socialise and share.
Our perfumes are targeted at the candid professionals who are decision makers, experimental and confident individuals falling in the age group of 25-40.
The Spa at Home range of products cater to professionals with attitude and style majorly in the age group of 25-40. They buy these products to rejuvenate from the comfort of their own homes and believe in a stress-free and joyful life.
NB: What are your expectations from the franchise business model towards the brand’s further growth?
AA: Yes, we are now en route to franchising and are looking at significantly increasing the footprints of Arabian Nights in India within the next five years. We are seeking expansion not only in metros but also in Tier II cities. Although we are looking at pan-India expansion but currently North India is our favourite market.
NB: Could you also share the franchise facts such as area and investment requirement for aspiring franchisee?
AA: To be an Arabian Nights franchisee, area requirement is approximately 250-300 sq ft and the initial estimated investment is around Rs 15-16 lakh. Besides, the franchisee will have to pay a onetime franchise fee of Rs 2.5 lakh to join our partner network.
NB: What would be the perfect location for opening an ‘Arabian Nights’ store?
AA: We are seeking premium locations in metros, tier II and III cities all over India.
NB: What kind of franchisee training and support programme do you offer?
AA: Arabian Nights will provide the franchisee with the complete store set-up i.e. the fixtures and furniture’s as per our brand and retail design manual, regular training programme for the staff and even incentives for performing staff etc.
NB: Where do you see the brand, say, in the next five years?
AA: Our vision is to have at least 50 stores in the next 5 years in all metropolitan, tier II and III cities across India.