BBX India, a company that introduced the barter business exchange concept in India is putting away the money out of equation thereby creating a cashless trading. In an interview, Amar Chandhok, CEO, BBX India shares the growth and success of the company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you please shed some light on the inception of BBX?
Amar Chandhok (AC): BBX is business barter exchange that evolves B2B exchange where businesses can come and interact with each other and barter all their products and services. BBX is a brain child of Michael Touma. He started this company with the aim of providing a trading platform to help businesses complement barter trading to their existing cash cycle. Apart from this, BBX is also into retail barter segment where even smaller businesses like salons, spas, restaurants, architects, and interior designers can come in and barter their services. This is the main concept of BBX.
RK: Is BBX going to replicate the same in India?
AC: Yes, we have already started barter operations in November 2008 with the vision of replicating the same concept in India. The concept of business barter exchange was originated in Australia in 1993 and we have expanded our presence in New Zealand, Costa Rica, India and soon going to start operations in Singapore also.
RK: When did the company started franchising? What has inspired the company to take the franchise route?
AC: The company started franchising about 10 years ago across the globe and in India, the company entered in 2008 through franchising. It entered India after tying up with ‘Net4barter’ (pioneers of corporate barter in India), thus providing the new franchisees a range of bartering options with small, medium and corporate level businesses. The idea of taking BBX Australia to global market is possible only through franchising. This is the core reason of adopting franchising. We select master franchisees for countries or states who exercise sub franchising for different cities.
RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees?
AC: The aspiring entrepreneurs have to be educated enough to understand the whole concept of bartering. We are looking for:
RK: How many outlets does the company has at present in India?
AC: In India, we are operating in three outlets, one each in Delhi, Mumbai, and Uttar Pradesh. While across the globe, the company supports more than 20 franchisees.The company is serving a base of over 7, 000 barter system businesses worldwide.
RK: What are the future target locations?
AC: We are targeting at Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat as the major states where this business can be promoted and we are also looking at Maharashtra to expand the presence of the our business.
RK: What kind of support and training does a franchisee get when partnering with your company?
AC: We generally have a two week training programme. One week in our head office in Delhi and another week in the area of the franchise. It also provides:
RK: What kind of step company is taking to market the concept in India, which is not very widespread yet?
AC: In India, we have engaged the expertise of Franchise India to promote the brand and also, we are looking at direct marketing skills, and prospects to create more and more awareness of barter concept.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
AC: We are planning to add five to six franchisees in this fiscal year and subsequently eight to 10 franchisees in 2011.