Credited for converting Indian vada pav into Indian Burger is Jumboking, started 10 years back in Maharashtra. In an interview, Dheeraj Gupta, MD, Jumboking shares the expansion plans of the brand.
Neha Gohil (NG): Jumboking has completed a decade of its existence. Share with us the success and the journey of the brand so far.
Dheeraj Gupta (DG): The concept of Jumboking was started 10 years back. At that time it was quite unimaginable to make vada pav as popular brand. However, the company did it by overcoming all the obstacles. Today Jumboking has become an air conditioned outlet, crowded with youngsters proudly biting into the Indian burger i.e., vada pav. During the last 10 years we have worked hard and it has surely led to our success.
(NG): What inspired you to start Jumboking?
(DG): Western QSR models like McDonald, Dominos etc which are known worldwide for its services was my inspiration. I observed the Indian market and realised the need for a branded Indian burger chain and I started a vada pav restaurant, JumboKing.
(NG): What is the USP of JumboKing?
(DG): Jumboking is a well defined brand of vada pav. It has its unique identity. It appeals to the youth and working professionals. The play and plug model developed by us makes it easy for operators to control the quality and scale up with complete financial and operational control. We also have a Regional partnership programme for people who have the capacity and the desire to become a bigger part of the Jumboking system. The regional partner is made city wise. It is imperative that the regional partner will put up three stores of his own in the respective city.
(NG): When and why did you take the franchise route for expansion?
(DG): We initiated franchising in 2004. Franchising makes expansion faster as compared to company-owned outlets. We believe if you get right franchise partners, it is more sensible way to grow. Our company generates 65 per cent of its business through franchise format. It is profitable to partner with people who are ready to become entrepreneurs.
(NG): How many franchise outlets do you have and in which cities?
(DG): At present we have 38 operational stores, 34 in Mumbai, two in Baroda and one each in Bharuch and Ahmedabad.
(NG): What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
(DG): Presently we have 46 JumboKing outlets across India. We are planning to open 200 stores in Mumbai. We would like to combine the equity and reach further in Mumbai. We are also targeting metros and tier II and III cities to expand further. We have expansion plans for Aurangabad and Bengalure and we already have branches in Gujarat. We have set a target of 100 stores by August 2013. All of these stores will be between 300 – 500 sq. ft and air conditioned format only.
(NG): What are the qualities that you look for in a franchisee?
(DG): A franchisee must have prior business experience and passion for entrepreneurship and willingness to commit personal time.
(NG): How does Jumboking support and train franchisees?
(DG): We have a full-fledged training programme in place which includes 15 days class room style training and 15 days on the job training.
(NG): How much investment and area does a franchisee require for opening an outlet?
(DG): The franchise fees and cost of interiors for an air conditioned JumboKing store will be approximately Rs 15 lakh. Area required for the franchise is 300 sq. ft with minimum frontage of 15 ft.
(NG): What are the challenges that a franchisee faces in this business? How can he overcome these challenges?
(DG): Basically for any franchise business the franchisee needs to be patient. Most of the people give up before reaching the break-even period. You patiently have to work through it. To overcome the challenges JumboKing offers its franchisees systematic training and support in terms of operations, store management, logistics and marketing to establish the business.