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Food and Beverage 2013-01-29

Sweetly indulgent profits

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

Originated in India, Yogola, an Italian yougurt concept, is set to capture the evolving probiotic yogurt market in India. In an interview, L.C. Kumar, CMD,Yogola Frozen Yogurts Pvt. Ltd shares brand’s expansion plans through franchising.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Tell us what is ‘Yogola’ all about?

L.C. Kumar (LCK): Yogola is what we call a probiotic yogurt icecream, an Italian concept launched by our group Yogola Frozen Yogurts Pvt. Ltd. We launched the brand in Ahmedabad in June 2012. The same year in December, we initiated its worldwide franchising operations. Currently, we have four stores running in Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Hyderabad in India, with another six coming up in Pune, Mumbai, Surat, Punjab etc.

NB: What inspired you to launch the concept in Indian market?

LCK: Yogola is our own brand that we have created with some Italians to produce an Italian product. So, it is our own creation. Well, we felt there is high potential in Indian market for a probiotic yogurt brand that provides a light product for the calorie conscious consumers. Our offering is 97 percent fat free probiotic natural frozen yogurt with no ice particles does not have any ice particles and it is a bit creamy for customers to indulge into it. We also have some unique menu comprising yogurt sundaes and yogurt floats which are not seen anywhere in India.

NB: What is the brand’s market potential in India?

LCK:  We believe there is a huge potential in our brand as we have tried to develop it in a different way with some uniqueness in our menu. Also, yogurt market is catching up in India and is still about to reach its optimum mark. And we would somehow extend our support to help it reach that mark.We would like people or our customers to recognise our brand by its name Yogola, that we are different to other yogurt brands and offer a different product. We would like to spread across pan India by 2014 by setting up small to medium outlets in malls and high streets.

NB: How do you think franchising will help in brand’s growth and success?

LCK: We are following a strict franchise model and are thoroughly into franchising of our brand. We believe it is the way to take the brand to the next level considering lots of enterpreneurs in the market are ready to invest in some new concept with proven records. Hence, we would be completely focusing towards the franchising way for the brand expansion.

NB:  Kindly share the brand’s expansion plans in India. What all cities will be targeted?

LCK: We are targetting to first enter into all tier II and tier III cities as that is where people are needed to be made aware of the yogurt concept. We plan to have around 40 stores by end of 2013: and in 2014 we would like to expand in all the metro cities one by one.

NB: Share the franchise facts for the brand?

LCK: We have set up a very economical and competitive model for Yogola franchise. All one requires is an area between 60-200 sq ft with an investment of  Rs 10 lakh for a smaller model in malls, and an area between 60-200 sq ft and an investment of around Rs 20 lakh for the mid-size format.

NB:  What are the attributes that you look for in your franchisees? What kind of training and support do you offer them?

LCK:  We would be looking towards all the young enterprneurs who would like to enter into franchising business and are looking for thier career advancement. We are not looking for just investors but seeking dynamic and young enterpreneurs who would like to operate a franchise store for their living and would like to leran about the concept.  They should have a vision to open up multiple outlets across pan India. We give proper training and support to all our franchisees from the point of finding a location to staff recruitment and assistance and onsite training for seven days involving the owner of the store as well besides ongoing training besides human resource support and checks on quality and hygiene standards of each and every franchise store on regular basis.

NB: How would you handle the issue of competition?

LCK: There is too much competition in the Indian market for yogurt brands but this is how you can do well if you are in a competitive market. We want to be different then others and want to excel on them.

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