Having started its education and training business in 2000, the Indian Institute of Medical Representative (IIMR) has been serving the needs of the pharmaceutical industry with complete allegiance. In an interview to Priyanka Rai, S K Singh, Director, IIMR, shares the story of the institute’s growth, expansion and success.
Tell us something about the origin, growth and success of IIMR.
The Indian Institute of Medical Representative (IIMR) is recognised as Asia’s only institution that imparts pharmaceutical management courses across the country. Being the oldest pharmaceutical education institution in India, IIMR has been serving the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. The institution is affiliated to UGC. IIMR provides research-based exclusive training courses to its students. Today, the institute enjoys corporate relations with more than 430 blue chip pharmaceutical giants for the placement of its students.
What is the USP of your brand? What makes your brand promising?
We offer a certificate programme in pharmaceutical management, a vocational course for three months and give unique training to the students to become successful medical representatives in the pharmaceutical sector. The USP of our brand is 100 per cent placement guarantee or full course fee return.
Why did you take the franchise route? Why do you think it is apt for your brand?
With success and tremendous growth over the last 13 years, we planned to opt for the franchise route to establish our business all over India.IIMR is the only brand of its kind in the country. The industry (pharmaceutical) needs pharmaceutical professionals throughout India and this requirement can be met by opening IIMR learning centres across the country. This way the investors, the pharmaceutical industry and unemployed graduates will be benefited. IIMR will serve the nation both as the industry leader and by virtue of its social responsibility to provide employment to youths of this country.
And to gain maximum growth, the franchise route is the best. No other option can allow one to make huge profits.
What strategies have you planned to beat the fierce competition in your domain?
You already know that these days very tough competition is being witnessed in the market. But I want to point out the fact that we have monopoly in this business and no other brand exists all over Asia right now. We have already placed more than 10,000 students in various pharmaceutical companies and are the leader in this fruitful business.
What is the amount of investment required for taking the franchise of the company? How much area is required for the same?
The investment differs depending on the tier / grade of the city. However, it remains within the range of Rs 8 -16 lakh. The standard requirement for opening the brand’s franchise centre is 1,000-1,250 sq ft carpet area.
What can an IIMR franchisee expect in terms of RoI and break-even period?
An IIMR franchisee can expect a robust RoI as about 165-250 per cent return is generally observed. This may be higher for a dedicated and dynamic business partner. Normally, the break-even appears in 6-9 months. Here again it may peep out earlier in about four months for hardworking entrepreneurs.
What all training and support do you offer to the franchisees?
As far as training and business support is concerned, we train our franchisees and their staff thoroughly. The training and support continue throughout the year or as and when required.
How many centres are you planning to open by this year-end?
Presently, we have 30 franchise centres across the country and are planning to open 100 centres by this year-end. For expansion, we will be targeting tier II and III cities.
What scope do you foresee for your brand five years down the line?
We have seen vast opportunity in our segment and are planning 300 centres in the next five years. Moreover, the Planning Commission has decided to achieve a target of $100 million for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies will require 15 lakh medical representatives by 2015. This is a big opportunity for us to prepare professionals for the large number of potential job opportunities.