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Nov, 30 2011

Brand New Ideas

With international franchisors rolling out pathbreaking concepts in new business lines, grab your unique business opportunity with them. Brace up to reap rich rewards of being first movers!

INDIA'S robust economy affirms nation's claim to be a preferred destination for global brands. With Indian franchise industry growing at 30 per cent annually, several renowned brands have plans to spur their presence in the country.

Also, the market for unique business segments such as cleaning, technology, senior care etc is developing rapidly, creating opportunities for suppliers. As almost every business can be spread via franchising, the phenomenon is catching up fast with new business segments. These markets are largely untapped and debutants will surely enjoy the front runners' edge.

Further, there is growing set of entrepreneurs, who look for opportunities beyond traditional concepts.

To lure Indian investors, foreign franchisors, as mentioned below, are bringing in innovative business ideas that are promising and can be trendsetters. Find out how…

Brands in focus

India, being the land of growing opportunities, is attracting several international brands from diverse industry categories. Franchisors, both experienced and new to the Indian market, are betting big for business here.

Concept 10 10

The US- based Concept 10 10, having presence in places, including Denmark, Greece, New Zealand, Malayasia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, is now seeking expansion in India via franchise route.

Jorgen Albrechtsen, Founder and President, Concept 10 10, Inc. shares: “Concept 10 10's approach is based on years of research with amazing results, offering the best cardio ever. Even though the workout is brief (20 minutes), it is very intensive, which is necessary for positive results.”

The brand mainly targets health conscious clients in the age group 30 and 50. The company offers about 10-day training to selected franchisees in Naples, Florida. Speaking on brand's expansion in India, Albrechtsen says: “India is indeed an obvious place for Concept 10 10. We are looking out for qualified partners. It's important for us to find right franchisees to ensure high quality and continued success.”

Live 2 B Healthy

Driven by the zeal to help people in their golden years to live happily, Cory Czepa founded Live 2 B Healthy in 2008. This health and wellness company provides group fitness classes for senor citizens that can be performed in retirement communities, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing areas.

Also, Czepa is the CEO of the company. He says: “The programme is intended to generate enhanced senior housing experiences by persuading elderly residents into pleasurable and sociable opportunities to stretch physically and improve their comfort levels in new social situations. We're proud to bring senior fitness services to residential communities, allowing them to support a healthier lifestyle for residents.”

The company, with its presence across 11 locations in the US, started franchising in 2010. It is now planning to foray into India to cater to the growing population of seniors, who are the potential consumers of such services. The demand for such concepts is growing in India due to changing lifestyle here. “We have no competition in the franchise world. We have a service that is in great demand and can't be replaced by technology,” adds Czepa.

IBTA

Founded in 2001, the Florida-based International Business Training Association (IBTA), is the world's fastest growing business skills training and certification body with presence in over 180 countries. It has exclusive tie up with Spear Business Academy (SBA) in India for launching Certified Business Professional programme. The concept was launched in 2010 in India. Mahesh L Nair, India Partner- IBTA ,USA, says: “The Indian Training Market is over USD 80 billion with vocational training as the largest contributor. Skill gap is the biggest issue India Inc is facing. Our global standard programme provides students, working executives with necessary business skills.”

The company already has brand presence in over franchised 10 locations in India with aggressive pan-India expansion plans via franchising. Its unique 'Super Franchisee' model allows partners to act as master franchise in the allotted zone. The brand is looking for super district franchisee, franchisee and micro units.

AngloINFO

AngloINFO is the world's largest network of expatriate information websites. It was established by Wendy Wilson and Mike Hardaker in French Riveria in 2000.

Today, the company has 59 regional websites in 25 countries. The brand opted for franchise model to grow its concept. Tony Salter, CEO, AngloINFO Ltd, says: “Our franchisee is a local site owner, within the region, who has local knowledge, understands the regional dynamics and can empathise with the local expatriate community.” Out of 59 regional sites, 39 sites are franchise operated.

The company is looking for franchise partners to take on its other “quick start” sites across globe, including India. The company sees huge business scope in the Indian market. The concept is an advertising-based business. AngloINFO provides comprehensive franchisee training, which is delivered remotely. Also, the franchisee does require selling advertisement or manage sales people.

Buck stops here!

Buying an international franchise may not always need big bucks and huge infrastructure. Many franchise concepts have low-cost or home-based models. In general, foreign brands enter the new markets via master franchise (MF) route. But several brands offer unit franchise directly, which again has low capital requirement. In fact, being the first partner (whether MF or a unit) in the franchise system may bring distinctive advantage. Franchisors often give an added incentive and support to its first franchisees. The investors can look out for brands with established franchise system, as they can also be successful in the new market. Besides, for renowned companies, launching franchisees for the first time it may not be a risky affair.

Seal the deal

In general, the start-up cost is around USD 2 lakh for concept 10 10 facility. However, the costs for India will be different. Live 2 B Healthy is seeking experienced master franchisees or regional developers, who have passion for fitness and working with elder citizens. The business can be operated from home or office and initial capital depends on the location. Women franchisees are encouraged to apply.

IBTA plans to have around 50 locations by 2012 end and over 200 centres (super franchisee, franchisee and micro centres) by 2014 end. It's a low-cost business that requires start-up capital between Rs 8 and 10 lakh capital with 20 per cent royalty. The infrastructure required is between 1,000 and 1,200 sq.ft at a good location.

For AngloINFO franchise one needs initial investment of GBP 10,000. A franchisee needs a computer, Internet access and telephone. The business can be run from a home office. The brand is looking to set-up franchise operations in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Goa.

Bottom line

Franchising is a brilliant model to invest in an international business. It's a matter of finding the right match with a proven and established system. With unique international franchises making headways in India, the prospective investors looking for business opportunities beyond traditional sectors have a lot to choose from. Definitely the first movers will have an upper edge!

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