With the aim to take fashion designing education to the common man in India at affordable price, INIFD (Inter National Institute of Fashion and Design) came into existence. In an interview, Kamla Poddar, Regional Director, INIFD shares the success story of the company.
Abha Garyali (AG): Tell us something about the origin, growth and success of ‘Inter National Institute of Fashion and Design’ (INIFD).
Kamla Poddar (KP): Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) was launched in 1995. With 15 years of existence, it is India’s leading fashion and design education conglomerate with over one lakh pass outs and approximately 15,000 students passing out every year. INIFD aims to take education in fashion and design to the common man in India by providing quality design education at affordable fee right at their doorstep. INIFD is the pioneer institute offering wide variety of programme under one brand and catering to the trend and industry requirements.
AG: How do you think INIFD is different from its competitors? What is its USP?
KP: INIFD has an International tie-up with one of the best fashion institutes of the world ‘Istituto di Moda Burgo’ (IMB) situated in Milan, Italy. We are the ‘Official Knowledge Partner’ to the biggest fashion event ‘Lakme Fashion Week’. INIFD is the only institute in the world to be associated with a fashion week providing myriad opportunities to our students. Our students can participate in the Gennext show of Lakme Fashion Week, display their collection at the Fashion Pavilion at Lakme Fashion Week along with top fashion designers and be part of the core implementation team that provides them with a hand on experience on the intricacies of fashion and design world. The International top fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger is the placement partner to INIFD.
AG: What are the main courses offered in INIFD?
KP: INIFD offers programmes of study leading to B Sc.Degree in fashion, interior, and textile design. The company also offers diploma and advance diploma in these subjects. INIFD introduced MBA design management, a post graduation degree with specialisation in fashion retailing and visual merchandising, real estate and retail space management. INIFD also offers Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and diploma in public relation and advertising, public relation and journalism and public relation and event management. INIFD has a tie-up with the prestigious Annamalai University of 80 years of standing and pioneers in Distance Education Programs (DEC). We are the only one offering DEC approved courses which enables students for Govt jobs.
AG: When and why did the company initiate franchising?
KP: The company commenced its franchise operations in 1996 with the aim to take fashion and design education to the masses at an affordable fee. The franchise mode of expansion facilitated quick expansion as fashion and design were fast progressing fields and there is a tremendous requirement of trained manpower. INIFD established a chain of fashion and design institutes thereby catering to this huge demand and also satiating the fast developing fashion consciousnesses amongst the people.
AG: How many franchisees do you have and in which cities?
KP: INIFD has the largest network of 180 centres pan-India and abroad. INIFD is widely spread from Jammu in the north to Cochin in the south, Shillong in the east to Gandhidham, Gujarat in the west. It also has international presence in Nepal, Bangladesh and many other foreign countries.
AG: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the prospective franchisees?
KP: We look at enterprising business entrepreneurs who have the flair for fashion and style with dynamic approach and risk taking abilities. Never say die spirit and focus to achieve targets is an essential prerequisite.
AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion of INIFD through franchising?
KP: We have plans to expand the brand presence pan-India through franchising. We are working on consolidation and expansion to more tier III cities.
AG: What training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
KP: We provide complete training to all the staff members of the franchisees including the faculties, centre manager, counselors and others. We provide them with all the training and publicity materials. We support and assist them in all the events and any other help required by them.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
KP: We provide our franchisees with a comprehensive franchise module that enables them to deal with all situations.