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Retail 2012-03-16

Rising high via franchising

By Neha Gohil Feature Writer

From a supercilious origin in 90’s with a production capacity of just 20 shirts a day, Turtle today has established itself as a complete menswear brand. Shitanshu Jhunjhunwalla, Director, Turtle Limited shares the brand’s success journey in an interview.

Neha Gohil (NG): Shed some light on your entrepreneurial journey and throw some light on the inception of Turtle?

Shitanshu Jhunjhunwalla (SJ): The inception of Turtle in the year 1993 was inspired by the absence of affordable menswear brand in the city in 90’s and the continuous growing demand in the Indian textile sector. We started as a small unit with a production capacity of just 20 shirts a day and have come a long way today to be recognised as a complete menswear brand in Indian market achieving a turnover of more than Rs 86 crore in the last fiscal. Turtle is now present in over 550 cities across India with 55 exclusive Turtle stores and Turtle merchandise in 1,600 MBOs. Our quality and affordable prices has created a huge demand for the brand across the country. With the constantly changing global fashion trends, we have established Turtle as an honest brand that offers style, comfort and great value for money to its customers.

NG: What is the USP of Turtle?

SJ: Quality and value proposition price is the USP of our brand. We offer a wide array of products in apparel and accessories suited for every occasion maintaining the highest standards in quality and in tune with international design and fashion trends. Our positioning as a brand that offers excellent value for money has worked. We offer the best quality products at the most affordable price which makes our customers brand loyal.

NG: Why and when did you take up the franchise route for expansion?

SJ: After our success in our base city, we planned to expand our presence in other parts of the country and offer the experience of Turtle products to wider geographies. Franchisees have a better knowledge of the local market and understand the needs of the target audience that has helped us cater to our customers in a better way. Physical expansion is not always the best growth answer without careful research, planning and number-planning. Hence we started expanding with the franchise format.

NG: Presently, how many franchisees do you have? What are your further expansion plans via franchising?

SJ: 90 per cent of our stores are run by franchisee operations as of now. In future we would continue to expand via the franchise model to sustain and grow the business organically.

NG: How much area and investment will a franchisee require?

SJ: Our stores are generally sized from 800-1,000sq. ft carpet area for our exclusive outlets. Our flagship stores can go up to 1,800 sq. ft. The investment on the part of the franchisee varies from Rs 25-35 lakh depending up on the store size.

NG: What qualities do you seek in your prospective franchisees?

SJ: We need honest and entrepreneurial business minded people with the passion for our brand and the aggression to succeed. People with an apparel or sales background have a smaller learning curve.

NG: Mention few challenges and how can they be overcome?

SJ: Generally, we tie-up with local entrepreneurs in the smaller cities and teach them to run our stores like their own stores. Once the store starts delivering good customer service and a constant supply of the right product –the job is done.

NG: What do think of apparel retail franchising? Is this sector promising for entrepreneurs?

SJ: Retail is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in India and would continue to clock a double-digit growth for the next five years at least. This sector provides great opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded people whether from the franchisor or the franchisee side. The franchise business is very nascent in India and would progress and develop itself as the retail sector expands.

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