Pioneering the concept of quick printing is Sir Speedy. The company introduced a nationwide network of fax machines and colour copiers and used electronic publishing (with Macintosh computers) over traditional typesetting. In an interview, Chandrajit Narra, MD, HiQ Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, National Franchisor, Sir Speedy shares the future plans of the company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Elaborate on the significance of Sir Speedy in communication practices of business houses? What kind of products and services it offers?
Chandrajit Narra (CN): Sir Speedy centre is a fast-paced, full-service business communication, data management, and marketing services facility. It offers full range of services including graphic design, digital printing both black/white colour; variable data printing and integrated marketing campaign development, mailing services, promotional products, fulfillment, web-to-print services, signs/posters/banners, e-mail marketing, websites development, data services and data management and full range of bindery and finishing services. There is also response tracking in the form of PURL (Persistent Uniform Resource Locators) and QR code development and metrics for marketing campaign management.
RK: When and how Sir Speedy opted the franchise route to expand its presence in India and Why?
CN: HiQ Business Solutions, US based IT consulting firm, has joined hands with Sir Speedy Inc. in 2007 to provide complete digital quick printing solutions in small and mid size business segments. The franchise agreement has given HiQ Business Solutions, Sir Speedy brand name exclusivity for India. We see a tremendous opportunity in field of printing and copying services as the customer requirement for professional help in handling their document is growing in India. This will find a place for new franchise centres in India. The market for on-demand printing as a retail concept and more importantly the accompanying business culture is developing. Our confidence in this vision is supported by Sir Speedy’s 40 years of success opening hundreds of printing businesses and their experience in other countries including the Middle East and Asia. We understand the marketplace and the opportunity to help India’s business customers adopt a new way to achieve their business objectives.
RK: Who all are eligible to secure the franchise of your company?
CN: To qualify for a franchised Sir Speedy centre, an average investment of Rs 45-60 lakh and liquid funds of Rs 15-25 lakh is required. Project cost which will be customised is based on the agreed business objective/ opportunities of each franchise centre. We are looking for prospective franchise owners who are willing enough to apply the tools and strategies made available to him or her by the franchisor.
RK: How many franchisees the company currently has in India and how many are targeted by the company and in which areas in the coming years?
CN: We have one franchised centre in Hyderabad. We are looking at major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru for multiple centre sign-ups and other state capitals initially. In terms of numbers, we expect to catch-up to first 25 centres by 2012 and we have a 10 year plan for 200 centres throughout India.
RK: How do you support your franchise partners in terms of training and initial handholding?
CN: Sir Speedy provides the knowledge and handholding for growth and profit of its franchise partner. Of course, franchising is the way for Sir Speedy to create better customer experience. The operational related issues are handled by us. Thorough training in four operating systems: production management, marketing and sales management, business and financial management, and employee management is also provided to our franchisees.
RK: Did the company face any challenges while setting up the business? If yes, what were they and how did you overcome those challenges?
CN: The key challenges were local knowledge and business models, which are presently volume model. Our business model allows flexibility of operating the value and volume model with regular feedback on profitability, also complemented by the local knowledge of the franchisee. We also see the opportunities emerging out of changing customer requirements. There has been growing demand for dependable single point of contact for multiple print/ document related requirements. There has been a major drop in the high volume printing and rise in small volumes with customised and personalised print pieces.
RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?
CN: For entrepreneurs seeking new business ventures, it is good to know the printing industry is well established while simultaneously experiencing a new resurgence. Technology advancements, digital capabilities and online services have added to our depth of capabilities, enabling Sir Speedy franchise owners to expand their services and revenue potential. By maintaining a progressive outlook and proactive stance, Sir Speedy continues to be at the forefront of change, providing our network with the edge needed to successfully compete in an evolving marketplace.