ZOOMING IN ON SUCCESS
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Sep, 10 2010

ZOOMING IN ON SUCCESS

As a leading online service provider, the company's services enable customers to store, share and print their digital photos easily and affordably.

As a leading online service provider, the company's services enable customers to store, share and print their digital photos easily and affordably. ZoomIn.com offers personalised products and services through online and brick-and-mortar studio. In an interaction Sunny Balijepalli shares his company's growth plans.

What services does ZoomIn provide?

Started in September 2007, ZoomIn.com allows customers worldwide to upload unlimited photos and safely share them for free with friends and family. People can order photo prints or personalised gifts with their favourite photos, theme or a message, which is delivered at their doorstep in India, US, UK and Canada. ZoomIn's photo prints and gifts are of highest quality, as we use world-class technology and infrastructure. We have been able to maintain consistently high-quality levels in terms of service and finished products because we do our own processing, printing and manufacturing at our state-of-the-art print facilities.

Being a one-stop photo studio, what products and services do you offer?

We offer products like photo prints, including prints on canvas, photo books, T-shirts and baby body suits, calendars, personalised stationery, gifts, mugs (available in five variants), canvas tote bags, bag tags, mouse pads and frames. We also provide instant prints, passport photos, custom framing, scanning and archival services, event photography and videography and design assistance.

When and why did you get into franchising?

Our first offline retail setup was through a franchisee in September 2009. We decided to start our first store via franchising, as we wanted someone who would be from the photo industry with adequate domain expertise. We decided on franchising because it offers us a quick and sustainable way of growing. Also, franchisees are basically owner managers, who have a greater appetite for growth.

What kind of training and support do you provide to the franchisees?

Our training modules involve classroom and on-floor training on ZoomIn products, the software involved in creating products and the POS skills. The initial training session is supplemented with training documents and ongoing refresher courses.

What strategies have you undertaken to beat cut-throat competition in the market?

Constant innovation on the product front, strong emphasis on product quality and superior customer service is what strengthens our brand. Happier customers are our best advocates. We are going to emphasise heavily now on catchment area marketing activities to increase awareness and selectively look at mass media.

How many ZoomIn studios are you planning to open by this year?

We recently launched a network of ZoomIn studios across five cities. In total, we are looking at 25+ retail points by the end of this year. This would be a mix of franchised, company-owned and shop-in-shop retail locations.

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