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Specialty retail 2010-06-23

Spreading fragrance of franchising

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

Florista India Pvt. Ltd is known for creating exotic flower arrangements with flowers, fruits, wine, chocolates, exotic greens and roots. In an interview, Smriti Dalvi, CEO, Florista India Pvt. Ltd, shares her interest in the business and her dedication to expand it across the nation.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Shed some light on the inception of Florista India Pvt. Ltd?

Smriti Dalvi (SD): Sameer Dalvi, my husband, who successfully runs an advertising agency, is the founder of the company. We started this business to offer quality products along with quality service to people, thereby, making business all the more organised. We started our first store in Mumbai and are now a chain of floral designing boutiques. Our speciality is in designing exquisite flower arrangements that are made from exotic, fresh and beautiful flowers, sourced from all parts of the world, including India.

RK: What inspired Florista India Pvt. Ltd to take up the franchise route?

SD: We realised that franchising is the only route available for expanding the business in this category. It is a very customer-centric and sensitive industry. A franchise owner with apt training and mindset would be able to give same quality experience to customers, which otherwise would be difficult. We are encouraged by a number of inquiries from different parts of the country and the world.

RK: What is your USP?

SD: Our biggest USP is that we are extremely professional. We are a complete customer-centric brand, where everything is about convenience to customers. We have simplified all the processes, be it selection of floral arrangements, delivery process, payment process, etc. Moreover, we have facilitated our customers to place orders through emails, smses and phone. Payments can be made in person, via mobile or internet banking.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced at Florista India Pvt. Ltd?

SD: We have started an exclusive call centre for facilitating orders over phone and tracking of these orders. We also have introduced a number of other practices that are rare in this industry, such as:

  • Developing integrated order management software for maintaining customer and orders’ data.
  • Developing and implementing e-commerce website www.florista.in.
  • Introducing new products and services like Singing Florigram, 24 Carat Gold rose.
  • Starting and developing our franchise network.

RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees for your company?

SD: We want franchisees that have:

  • Professional background
  • Sound financial backing
  • Are open to using systems and processes right from the beginning
  • Are excited with the prospect of making money by providing beautiful experience to people

RK: What kind of training and support does a franchisee gets while partnering with your brand?

SD: We impart support to our franchisees in following areas:

  • Store operations.
  • Order management, including training on the software.
  • Floral event management.
  • Team management.
  • Marketing, advertising support and recruitment of skilled manpower.

RK: What are your expansion plans? How many franchised outlets do you have?

SD: We have 12 franchisees, with two stores scheduled to be opened this month, and three company-owned outlets so far. Our future target locations are metros, tier I and II cities. We plan to open over 300 franchised outlets in the next five years.

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