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business expansion 2017-02-13

We are growing exponentially as a brand: Sohrab Sitaram

Keventers, widely accepted for its delicious milkshakes has plans to expand in India as well as internationally.

By Ekta Sharma Feature Writer

Sohrab Sitaram, CEO & Director of Keventers believes that hiring the right kind of people is very important. He is also ensuring consistent training at all his brand outlets. Keventers, a brand widely accepted for its delicious milkshakes has plans to expand fast in India as well as internationally. Keventers was acquired by the Dalmiya Group in 1940. We spoke to Sitaram, who has been associated with setting up some of the most successful restaurants and bars like Tabula Rasa, Chi Asian Cookhouse, No Escape, Shalom Goa, Smoke Signals; to name a few and is now spearheading Keventers. Read on for his views on franchising as a concept and about his future moves.

Firstly, why franchising? What has worked best for you in terms of franchising Keventers business?
We opt for franchising so that we can grow the business via local partners. They have a better understanding of the place, culture, eating, and drinking habits. They know what will work best for the locals. This is mainly to facilitate and take advantage of the local knowledge, business trade, marketing and efficiency in consultation with our local partner who has taken the master franchise. The idea is an aggressive business expansion, but at the same time mitigating risk is also there. Hence, local knowledge is important.

Tell us about your expansion plans in the next few months. Any cities you wish to enter into specifically?
We are growing exponentially as a brand. We are exploring each and every nook and corner of India (All states and cities). Internationally, we have already opened our first outlet in Nepal and will be opening soon in countries: Kenya, Nairobi, California, Dubai. We are also in talk for Maldives, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Scandinavian region along with Sharjah.

What are the biggest challenges for the hospitality industry in India and how do we overcome them?
The biggest challenge for the hospitality industry is to hire the right kind of people in different states. We are overcoming this problem by putting huge investments into training our employees - thereby continuing to build a more enriching suitable profile. We ensure consistent training all across India due to varied cultures and habits.

Do you also plan to tie up with any celeb face for Keventers and why?
Most of the celebrities are already associated with Keventers. Many of the actors and actresses have taken franchise rights for Keventers. We don't plan to tie up with any celeb face as all of them are equally important to us, atleast not at this stage.

While making expansion moves for Keventers, did you also face location/real estate issues? How do you overcome them for your franchisees?
Yes, we also face location/real estate issues and to overcome them we partner with a local businessman. We give franchisees to local people who know about the place or who are from the same city. They know about the city and help us with the location.

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