Opportunities for women Unconventional prospects
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Sep, 15 2009

Opportunities for women Unconventional prospects

The so called ‘male dominated society’ may be in for a change with women coming at par with them in every sphere of life. In business realm too women are creating ripples not just in women dominated sectors, but they are venturing into the men’s domains.

The contribution of women in the business world is ever increasing. They are not only mastering women oriented businesses but are also foraying into unconventional male dominated franchise sector. Dry cleaning, cartridge refilling, mobile stores, etc are the new sectors where women are putting their foot in.

Performance

Franchisors are relatively happy with the performance of women franchisees. They  prefer to be associated with more of women franchisees. Naveen Rakhecha, CEO, Cartridge World, South Asia says, “Thirty per cent of our franchisees in India are women,  and across the world, more than 70 per cent of the stores have an involvement of women.”  Franchisors find women to be a better lot than the men. Alkesh Aggarwal, Re-feel Cartridge Engineering tells, “All our women franchisees are doing very well. We  find that women entrepreneurs are far more efficient and dedicated than the men’s lot. They are the tough task managers. The initial one month is challenging because of no work experience earlier, but once they settle down, they are outperforming their male counter parts.” Women have already started setting benchmarks in franchise industry.

Engaging women franchisees

Engaging women franchisees was not ideally something that the franchisors had thought of. It just started with one, and because of their performance it led franchisors to appoint more women franchisees. After an initial success with a women franchisee, Cartridge World started to encourage more women to be part of their organisation. In future also they wish to appoint a specific team of women franchisees. Saru Jindal, Asst Manager, P&C had a different reason for engaging women franchisees as a part of their dry cleaning business. She tells, “In most of the households, women are the decision makers for a purpose, like dry cleaning and laundry. Women have got a better vision for fabric and garments which makes them very suitable for this industry. Also they have a very strong network in the local areas which can easily help them to convert it to business. They can maintain customer relationship also very well.”

To encourage women special training and support is being provided. Aggarwal informs, “We developed our back-end support activities and training model in such a way that they get a complete know-how and support for even trivial issues that they need to take care of in initial stages. There are lot of men who want to engage their better half into some independent business. In order to make them comfortable, we give them a hassle free start to the business.”

Advantages

Women have been underestimated for their capabilities and strengths on various occasions. But they have changed the way the world looks at them today. Women bring with them some distinct qualities which can be of leverage to the business. Highlighting the advantages of working with women franchisees, Rakhecha avers, “Women are a much patient lot than men. They are honest, enthusiastic and adaptive. People trust them more.”  Adding to the advantages, Jindal says, “Women have strong local network which helps in better conversion to business. They are adept in interaction and winning customers. Being practical and innately organised they are able to perform multi tasks simultaneously. Treasuring on these qualities of women, investor’s business can bring about promising results.

Disadvantages

Like every coin has two facets, working with women entrepreneurs too may have some side effects if not many. The women who are housewives and had not the chance to get higher education can be at losing end when it comes to paperwork and accounting aspect.  Aggarwal tells, “Apart from lack of legal and accounting knowledge, there is no disadvantage of working with women franchisees.”  Highlighting  not the disadvantages but the limitations of women, Jindal says, “Along with many positives there are some  limitations attached with  women in  business. These are coping up with extended working hours. It is difficult for women to dedicate long hours as they have family responsibilities attached to them which can’t be ignored. So, in such circumstances they have to depend on employees at the outlets.”  Having a different opinion Rakhecha says, “There is certainly no disadvantage of working with women, as has been our experience. They have done us a great job. We have no regrets at all.”

So, if you are thinking of women’s abode but are having a second thought, no worries,  go ahead. Women will definitely do well for your business and will get results beyond your expectations!

Franchise Facts

Cartridge World

Franchises: 60
Investment: Rs 15 lakh
Area required: 400-450 sq. ft
Stores: 100 by year-end

Re-feel Cartridge Engineering

Franchises: 65
Investment: Rs 8 lakh
Area required: 300-400 sq. ft
Stores: 100 by year end

Wardrobe

Franchises: 18
Investment: Rs 6.5-7 lakh (For Delhi NCR Region)
Area required: 150 sq. ft
Stores: 100 by year end

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