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Women Entrepreneurs 2010-03-08

Women Franchisors Stand Tall

The last few years have witnessed a tremendous growth in the franchising arena, especially for the fairer sex. Looking at the progress of women in all fields, it can undoubtedly be known as the women’s era. The article is a tribute to women entrepreneur

By Sub Editor
Women Franchisors Stand Tall

More and more women are realising that starting their own business is not as daunting as it sounds. Being a franchisor has given them the right platform to climb up and be an inspiration to their counterparts. Till a few years back businesses run by women were considered as small and conservative ventures but in recent years a large number of firms started by women have experienced fast growth, proving this speculation as a misconception. Most of the ventures had their growth due to the tremendous growth in the franchising industry, which has become popular among the entrepreneurs. The study conducted by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) showed that out of the 73 million people who were involved in starting new businesses, about 30 million were women across the 34 countries that had participated. Having sufficient financial power, professional degrees and work experience has helped women share the same arena as men.

The attributes which can help any woman in setting-up and running a business venture are passion, quick thinking, decisiveness, confidence and an aptitude for handling many tasks simultaneously. We can see that many women have achieved their aims and are leading their companies to the top notch businesses. The franchise concepts which are led by the fairer sex are traditionally those by which they are fascinated most such as beauty, fitness, education, aviation courses etc.

One of the best examples of a woman franchisor can be of Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson of Shahnaz Husain Group, the pioneer in Ayurvedic skin, hair and body care. The group provides clinical treatments as well as products for all treatments. Currently, the Shahnaz Husain Group has over 400 franchise clinics across the world covering over 138 countries. Shahnaz Husain has received a number of awards for her entrepreneurship like the ‘Greatest Women Entrepreneur’ award from Success magazine, USA in July 2002, the Global India ‘Woman of the Millennium’ Award, presented by Global India Congress, USA.

Another example of a successful woman franchisor is of Vandana Luthra of Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves (VLCC).  VLCC started as a fitness as well as beauty salon in 1989 and started franchising in 2007. Presently it has over 100 outlets in 48 cities and is planning to expand more.  Shobha Kaul, Managing Director of Personal Point, fitness clinic, is yet another example of woman franchisors. She has been awarded the 'Woman Franchisor of the Year' at the India franchise Expo in 2007. Personal Point came into operations in 1992 and started franchising in 1995, currently running 45 franchised outlets.

There is another field in which women franchisors have made the nation proud. It is in the field of education. Lina Ashar, Founder-Chairperson, Kangaroo Kids Educational Limited (KKEL) is one of the best examples in this field. With her understanding of the learning needs of children, she has brought an alternate system of child education in India. KKEL supports 80 centres (75 franchisee and five company owned) in India operating across 17 different cities. It also has an international presence in Dubai and Maldives. Sudha Gupta, Chairperson of Mother’s Pride, a play school, whose play school franchise concept was established in 1996 has opened up to 12 play schools in Delhi and NCR through the franchise route.

Air hostess Academy (AHA) which prepares the youth for the aviation and hospitality industry was set up in 1997 and began franchising in 2002 under the able guidance of Sapna Gupta, Founder and Director of AHA. It was this woman’s spirit and passion towards her venture that has made a small venture into a successful empire as it has its presence in 38 centers across 29 cities.

By reading the contributions of all these spirited women, one cannot deny that it is truly a women’s era. Women have been successful in all fields but one field in which they were considered to be lagging behind was business. But with such women achievers in this field of franchising business this also has been overcome.

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