To eliminate the word ‘Puncture’ from the dictionary of automobile drivers, Innovationz Indian Corporation took up the exclusive Master Distributorship of VIPSEAL for Indian Sub Continent. In an interview, Harneet Singh, Managing Director, Innovationz Indian Corporation shares the journey of their venture with VIPSEAL.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the journey of VIPSEAL Tyre Sealant with Innovationz Indian Corporation so far?
Harneet Singh (HS): Our journey with VIPSEAL, an international brand from Europe, started at AutoExpo 2010 in New Delhi. We were (and now as well) in constant lookout for quality innovative products. This led to our association with VIPSEAL. We were aware of few similar products in India but consumers had a lot of complaints with them. People were still buying inferior quality products because there was a strong need for a tyre sealant in the country. So we first tried VIPSEAL ourselves for long time, compared it and then finalised on it.
We have recently added some of the biggest brands of US to our product portfolio like Kraco Floor Mats, Goodyear Floor Mats and Auto Expressions Car accessories.
AG: What can you foresee about the future of VIPSEAL Tyre Sealant?
HS: We do not have any doubt about potential of tyre sealant market in India. In long term we see the market completely dominated by VIPSEAL because there is no other player with the quality, affordability, network and customer service matching ours. Moreover, two unique features namely High Speed Compatibility and Re – Balancing Compatibility make us stand apart from any product across the world.
VIPSEAL is a quality product from Europe and we want to brand it like that only. We want only those people to get associated with us who have a name in market for good customer service. And it’s needless to say, there is lot which these selected dealers will gain. It’s a win win situation for all. We are optimistic that with our ongoing efforts, VIPSEAL should rule the tyre sealant industry in the coming years.
AG: What are the opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the sector?
HS: Anyone looking to join us under franchise model should believe that they will break-even within few months or may be in a month (depending upon area they will be catering.) However for any new entrants it will be very tough to sustain because apart from ensuring good quality product there is lot of investment in educating customers as well. It is an ongoing process to build a brand and certainly a franchisee would be reaping many more benefits when compared to independent business with a new and unknown brand.
AG: Tell us about the franchising model of VIPSEAL Tyre Sealant. When and what motivated the brand to expand via the franchise route?
HS: Franchising model of VIPSEAL Tyre Sealant has two options in it. Investors can either go for ‘VIPSEAL Shoppe’ where they can set up retail counter for directly installing VIPSEAL in the customer’s vehicle. Those who are already part of automobile industry i.e having tyre shops, car detailing centers, car washing stations, car accessories retailers can also take our franchise for adding value added service of ‘Puncture proofing’ to their offerings. The other option is joining our network as distributors/C&F Agents for their area where they can target car dealerships, car workshops etc.
India is a very different market when compared to others. To do business in one state is completely different than in other. So we thought of going for a franchising model with people who know their local markets well and have a good reputation locally. Also it helps us to focus on things at macro level without worrying about everyday nitty gritties of business, which are taken care of efficiently by our channel partners themselves.
AG: Where do you aspire to take the brand in the next five years? Will the expansion be via franchising?
HS: As I mentioned, we are going via a normal route (no short cut) by educating customers. There has been a good repeat demand which tells about the product itself. Yes we would be going via franchising business model only.
AG: How has been the growth of VIPSEAL Tyre Sealant during the last few years? Has franchising helped in attaining success for the company?
HS: Within a span of one and half years we are a business of about 35 employees (no agents) serving our customers and franchise partners. We are present in 60 – 70 per cent of all Indian states either through distributors or ‘VIPSEAL Shoppes’. We are also in process of setting up our branch offices and warehouses in different cities to facilitate quick service and delivery of our products to our franchisees.
Yes, franchising has helped us in many ways starting from understanding local markets, better reach to our customers, meeting quick service needs and exercising effective quality control. It has also helped us to create VIPSEAL as a national brand.
AG: How many franchisees do you have in India and in which cities? What are your future expansion plans?
HS: We are present in states of UP, Uttarakhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and AP, Nagaland, Mizoram etc. through a network of Distributors and C&F agents. There are more than 100 outlets in different cities providing VIPSEAL services to their customers. Very soon we would be starting with Delhi, Maharashtra and Punjab.
AG: How much investment and area is required by prospective franchisees?
We are looking for the people with like minded ideologies and customer-centric approach. Investment and area for a prospective VIPSEAL franchisee/ distributor varies from region to region. Investment can range between Rs 3 to 15 lakh and space can vary from 300 to 1000 Sq ft. For a VIPSEAL Shoppe’, you need to have an already existing automobile outlet or can start afresh with a 500 Sq. ft retail space in the automobile market.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by the company? How can these challenges be overcome?
HS: Any business organization looking to get associated with us will be assured of maximum cooperation at all times. One needs to educate customers’ and convince them about the benefits of VIPSEAL. We have trained and experienced staffs who give complete training and 24x7 assistance to our channel partners in case they need it.