A Fruitful Business Bouquet
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Oct, 12 2010

A Fruitful Business Bouquet

Dubai-based Hiten Bajaj, Director, Mosaic Live Communications, an event management company, has signed a master franchise deal with Edible Arrangements, a fresh-fruit delivery franchise, to introduce creative fruit bouquets in the Indian market. In an int

Dubai-based Hiten Bajaj, Director, Mosaic Live Communications, an event management company, has signed a master franchise deal with Edible Arrangements, a fresh-fruit delivery franchise, to introduce creative fruit bouquets in the Indian market. In an interaction with Amanpreet Kaur, he shares what more he has in his basket to offer.

What makes Edible Arrangements (EA) a niche concept? What types of products would you offer?

The unique selling point of Edible Arrangements is that it is a healthy concept with a wow factor. Edible Arrangements is a pioneer in delicious, high quality, artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements that are healthy and practical gifts. Usually everyone associates the word bouquet with flowers, but Edible Arrangements changed that by offering creative fresh fruit bouquets. In terms of our product range, we have a wide variety of baskets for all occasions, from flower-shaped fruit baskets to chocolate-dipped fruits like strawberries, pineapples and apples.

What market research did you conduct as a master franchisee?

We did a market analysis, which involved demographic profile, eating habits, gifting culture and consumer spending. We also conducted a competition analysis, which involved gifting competitors such as florists, chocolates and toys. Besides, we also conducted a customer analysis that involved identifying our target segment, factors influencing buying behaviour, frequency, occasions, brand positioning, pricing strategy and quality.

What marketing strategies are you looking at to pull in more customers?

We have designed a very strong marketing mix to begin with. It is very important for us to first educate our target market about the product. That is the most challenging part of any business, especially when you have as different a concept as Edible Arrangements. We have various strategies to break through this market. Our marketing firm has designed an extensive grand opening campaign. There will be a mix of print, online, social networking, BTL and ATL activities to start off with.

How will you expand the business further in the Indian market?

We are looking at a combination of direct-owned business and the sub-franchisee model. Our main focus at this point is to get our flagship store started, which is in Mumbai. There are two options for sub-franchisees, either they can open a station store or a core store, depending on the geographical area.

What is your selection criterion for choosing franchisees in India?

India, as I call it, is a sleeping giant that is awakening slowly. It is and will continue to be one of the top markets for any international brand in terms of consumption and the disposable income of people. There is a set selection criterion for the sub-franchisees, which includes financial strength, prior experience with client servicing and hospitality, business acumen and local knowledge, amongst many others. The selection process would be similar to the one followed in the US.

Which cities are on your expansion radar? How many stores are you scheduling to launch by this year-end?

We are going to target major metros region-wise though by this year-end, we are only targetting at getting the flagship store in Mumbai up and running. You have to understand, this first store will give way to other Edible Arrangements across India and we are spending all our time and efforts to get it perfectly right, just like the ones in other 10 countries. We have embarked on an aggressive schedule of 20 stores within the next four years.

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