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Home & Lifestyle 2011-07-04

Thoughtfully designed franchise opportunity

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

A unique brand with thoughtfully designed furniture that makes a mark in the consumer’s life is ‘Godrej Interio’. In an interview, Anil S Mathur, COO, Interio Division, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd shares the growth trajectory for the company.

Namita Bhagat (NB): What ‘Godrej Interio’ is all about and what is the USP of the brand?

Anil S Mathur (ASM): At Godrej Interio, we put in a lot of effort in understanding the consumer’s life. This helps us to create products that make a mark in the consumer’s life rather than just being a cold piece of furniture. This makes Godrej Interio a unique differentiator of being a brand that has thoughtfully designed furniture. We believe the consumer is not just a buyer of furniture but is the inspiration to design thoughtful products that makes life easy for them.  In few words, Godrej Interio has thoughtfully designed furniture and that is the edge that we are proud of.

NB: The company has opted for franchise growth model. How and when did you start franchising?

ASM: We started the channel expansion through the franchising route from September 2009.

NB: How many franchise/company owned locations do you have at present in India and how many are expected in coming years?

ASM: As on date we have a total of 14 franchise locations and have 50 company owned and company operated (COCO) locations operational in India.

NB: Shed some light on the company’s target clientele and the territories for franchise expansion?

ASM:  Our target clientele are the SEC A+, SEC A and SEC B customers. And SEC implies Socio-Economic Classification based on education and occupation of chief wage earner in the family. A+ is the highest and can be a Post Graduate and a Manager, A is lower than the above and finally B could be just a graduate. And the key territories for our franchisee expansion are the state capitals.

NB: What are the eligibility criteria for the selection of the franchisees in terms of initial investment and space requirement from the franchisee’s end to partner with you?

ASM:   The retail store of minimum area of 4,000 sq. ft is required from the franchisee and the initial investment needs to be worked out on case to case basis due to several variables.

NB: What kind of support and training is provided to the franchisees by the company for starting and operating the franchise business?

ASM: Complete training on store management, product knowledge, selling skills is provided by the company. And on the operations front, the company provides complete support with respect to display stocks, warehousing, deliveries and installation of the products.

NB:  Share your outlook regarding prospects and dynamics of ‘Furniture Industry’ in India in the coming years? What is the company’s strategy for dealing with competition from other Indian and global furniture brands?

ASM: With the boom in the housing sector, the demand for furniture is increasing. Trend of double income nuclear families, is further accelerating the demand for readymade furniture. The readymade furniture industry is still in its early stages of growth and we see the trend continuing at accelerated growths for at least 10 years before stabilising and being in sync with other matured categories.  The replacement cycles are also shortening in this industry and the choices of customers are also changing with increasing décor consciousness of the consumers.

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