Launched in 2000 as an online trading portal, one of India's leading online retail brokerage house, Sharekhan plans to expand fast via its franchise partners. The brand is offering numerous opportunities to prospective entrepreneurs willing to invest in the same sector. Hanumanth Rao, Associate Vice President, Business Partner Group- Sharekhan Ltd shares with us his brand’s plans for this FY.
Tell us about Sharekhan’s presence globally. How many franchisees do you currently have?
Sharekhan currently has 155 branches with one international branch in the UAE and 2,148 active franchisees across 525 Indian cities.
Via which business model do you operate in India and in other countries that show your presence?
We operate through branch & franchise network
Why did you opt for franchise route? How it has helped the brand to excel in different ways?
There were numerous reasons like belief in entrepreneurship and leverage on local influencers to get business. Franchising also helps in scaling up the business in nook & corner of the country. With wider network, it has helped to grow our brand value since our franchises are the biggest brand ambassadors.
So, any requisites you seek in a franchise partner for your brand?
What are the major challenges for your industry in India and how is your brand overcoming the same?
The major challenges are increasing compliance cost, falling yields, lack of equity awareness. To overcome the same we have tied up with Online Trading Academy and we also do a lot of investor awareness seminars. Programs like first step & ATC are aimed at people who want to invest in equity market, but lack knowledge.
What opportunity does the online trading market has for investors/opportunists?
There is a humongous opportunity for online trading, especially with growing internet penetration. It surely helps in scalability of the business, brings transparency in a regulated industry like ours and also protects investor/clients interests.
What % of business is your brand obtaining from online route?
80% of our business comes through online channel.
Tell us how much investment is needed to open a Sharekhan outlet?
Typically you can start the business with a capital of around Rs two lakh.
What are your expansion plans?
We look to acquire around 600 franchisees largely in the country’s tier-II and III cities in this financial year.