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retail franchising 2011-02-17

SatNav en-route to franchising

By Abha Garyali Sub Editor

SatNav Technologies, an IT products company which has pioneered GPS Maps and Navigation in India. In an interview, Amit Prasad, Founder, MD and CEO, SatNav Technologies share the success story of his company.

Abha Garyali (AG) : Shed some light on the inception, growth and success of ‘SatNav Technologies’ as a GPS and GIS enabled IT products company?

Amit Prasad (AP): SatNav was started in the year 2004 and we take pride in the fact that over the years we have introduced several innovative GPS products in our country. Our success is attributed to our partners and customer friendly business practices that ensures long term relationships leading to mutually profitable business opportunities.

AG: SatNav is a unique company with a unique idea. When and what motivated you to start the company? What made you adopt the franchise route for expansion of SatNav?

AP: Having seen the widespread implementation of GPS technologies in various countries around the world, and the immense benefits it brings in each individual’s daily life, we were keen to see it benefit our citizens also. We are now focusing on the franchise option because we have built a steady channel in large format retail chains, car dealerships and car accessories, so this is our way of expanding and reach further.

AG: What is the USP of SatNav?

AP : Good quality products, reasonable pricing policy, amazing after sales customer service and constantly pioneering to bring in newer products into the market is the USP of SatNav.

AG: Do you think that franchising can help in achieving success of SatNav? How has franchising helped so far?

AP: Franchising is expected to take product awareness to the next level across the country. We have done a dipstick approach recently to test the model and feel that the initial response is encouraging enough to go full fledged into the franchise model.

AG: How many franchisees do you have presently? What are your future expansion plans?

AP: In the brief period since we kick started a test campaign, we already have several dozen franchisees who have signed up across India. Our goal is to have franchisees in every nook and corner of the country, thereby ensuring a digital footprint which surpasses most conventional channels of product sales and marketing.

AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by the aspiring franchisees?

AP: Our products are so simple to use and to explain that we do not necessarily need technical knowledge from our franchisees. An energetic and dynamic franchisee with decent communication skills in either English or the local language in his/ her area can fit the bill. We have franchise packages that start as low as Rs 15,000 for an individual pack or starting from Rs one lakh for those who want to set it up in their existing stores.

AG: How does the company plan to support and train the franchisees?

AP: We have a self explanatory kit which can be used by the franchisee to know the key talk points for our products and to convince the customer on taking a purchase decision. If further training is required we have teams based out of the metros that travel upcountry very often, so an in-depth training can also be planned if the investment or inventory being picked up is a larger number.

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