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Feb, 03 2011

Profits MADE TO order!


PERSONALISED gifting is Presto's forte and it has guarded it fiercely for the last 10 years by offering quality products range. Till date, no other company has come close to what Presto offers and stands for. Presto Personalised Wonders, a Kolkata-based brand owned by Mohan Impressions Pvt. Ltd, was incorporated in June 1995 with one objective, to be the premium resource in everything that can be personalised. The Founder Directors, Anurag Poddar and Anil K. Jhawar, have been at the helm of the affairs since the journey began with a miniscule team of 10. Today, the company has a staff strength of 225+ and owns business space exceeding 50,000 sq.ft. From offering a single product, the Presto pre-inked stamp, the company over the years has developed its distribution channels, diversified its product lines and multiplied success.

Presto wonders now has five verticals; personalised gifts, corporate gifts, awards and appreciation products, personalised home décor and office rubber stamps. Each store houses nearly 600 unique products that cater to all kinds of gifting needs for kids, youngsters, house-wives and serious buyers like corporate houses, PSUs, clubs, schools, colleges and all kinds of business houses as well.


Potential for profits

The corporate gifting market in India is around USD 500 million. The market is a concoction of organised and unorganised players. At Presto, the goal is to be the numero uno of personalised products and services through quality products and unparalleled customer service. As per Anurag Poddar, Director, Presto Wonders, “In India, the industry is at a nascent stage and hence, it will grow very rapidly in the next 10 years. This spells out a huge opportunity as the entry cost is low at this stage and the competition is almost non-existent.”

“The market for custom rubber stamps in India is driven by price while in other countries, it is quality-driven. This leaves a lot of space for businesses willing to supply quality and complete solution in office rubber stamping. This market is estimated at USD 200 million in India and growing at 50 per cent every year,” says Anil K. Jhawar, Director, Presto Wonders.

The company's rewards and recognition products help many companies and corporates give face to the achievements and inspire their team. The share of personalised gifts is less than 1 per cent of the total gifts market but is doubling every year. Presto is helping the cause in a big way by continuously introducing new products for customers to choose from. Recently, Presto has introduced personalised three dimensional crystals where any image or text can be engraved inside the crystals. World over, this is a benchmark product in personalised gifting.

Presto's large range means it has a huge target audience: kids, teenagers, housewives, young executives, corporates, businesses, schools etc. Anyone from the urban middle class can be a Presto customer. 


Consolidating online/franchising business

In 2009, Presto entered the realm of e-commerce by launching its portal Through this, it simplified the gift-giving process by making shopping convenient and secure. Presto has been a pioneer in utilising the latest advances in technology to provide its customers a safe and satisfying shopping experience.

As with other renowned companies in any sector, franchising has proved profitable for Presto Wonders franchise family too. The franchisee buys the consumables or blanks from the company and customises the products in the store itself. The ratio between the sales and purchase is usually 3:1. Most products can be customised in just 15 minutes while the customer waits. With growing volumes , the company is able to offer better solutions to customers in terms of products, service and creative support. All these factors contribute to the growth of this personalised concept to multiply profits.

When asked about the contribution of franchising as a business model in expansion, Poddar says, “Franchising is the ideal growth vehicle for our format. While we focus on product development, brand building, technical and other supports to the franchisee, the franchisee can focus on running the store optimally. Franchising is the perfect marriage, where each party brings on the table what the other lacks. Franchisee emphasises on investment, local knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit while the franchisor contributes a proven business model, volumes of scale and brand value.”

Out of the 55 stores that the company is successfully operating across the nation, 40 are franchised. The company plans to open majority of its stores via franchising only in the near future.


Add-on benefits for franchisees:

Investment & time flexibility

The personalised benefit is not only for customers but franchisees too. While taking a Presto franchise, the franchisee gets the investment and time flexibility. Not only the franchisee will have to invest less time, but he will also have an investment range to choose from. A potential franchisee can make an investment as low as Rs 4 lakh and as high as Rs 14 lakh. The investment fee for a Presto's franchisee also incorporates machineries, working capital, store fit-outs and other start-up costs. For its franchisees, the company has evolved store control systems so that a franchisee can monitor his store by spending on an average 15 minutes per day.

Some of Presto's best franchisees are women. At present, the company has five franchise stores run by women and the company is keen on increasing this number. As says Jhawar, “It is suitable for women to start this business because it suits the temperament and creative ability of a woman. It also requires very less amount of involvement, which is suitable for women entrepreneurs, who have to balance social and professional responsibilities.”

Since the company operates through small format retail, Presto's franchise store can fit in an area between 80 sq.ft to 400 sq.ft in shopping malls, high streets or in large departmental stores. Their stores can be standalone or kiosks, depending upon the availability and nature of the space.


Helping franchisees grow

On the training front, Presto provides a 360-degree support system to its franchisees. The pre-store opening support starts with site selection followed by assistance in store fit-outs, staff recruitment and training, store merchandising, installation of machineries and equipments and on-the-job training to the staff. Once the store is commissioned, the support team is there to provide all operational support that includes creative support, machine maintenance, sales support, etc. The company conducts quarterly audits at the franchised stores to determine various performance parameters and see whether the franchisee staff is trained up to the mark in required areas.

The company holds special and extensive training sessions for its franchisees at its training centres in Kolkata and New Delhi. It also provides staff training in terms of handling and troubleshooting of the machines, retail operation, merchandising, corporate sales, etc. The company carries out ATL and BTL activities throughout the year across its network. To keep the stores “happening”, the company observes all important days of the calendar, such as Valentine’s Day, Friendship’s Day, Father's Day, Mother’s Day, etc, on the same date and perform event-specific merchandising at all the franchise stores. It organises interactive sessions with customers inside the store and PR activities with celebrities .

Patronising IT and ITES companies, Presto Wonders has a pan-India tie-up with them and business from a particular city gets routed through the respective franchisee. They even route their online business through their franchisees.


Batting at 50, eyeing

century in 2011

Boasting of retail presence in 50+ locations across India, including Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Nagpur, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Agra, Patna, Aizwal, Durgapur, Kharagpur, Itanagar, Raipur, Bhillai and Vizag, the company is now looking for EBOs outside India through the franchise route. It is looking for franchisees in all cities and towns. Presto has a present day family of 40 franchisees ,some of whom own more than one outlet.

The company is operating through SIS format inside Pantaloons, Big Bazaar and some multiplexes and food courts. After a rewarding response in India, the company is all set to go global by opening its franchise stores in Bangkok and Phuket by April this year. It would have its presence in a premium high street location in Bangkok.

Presto has come a long way from its humble beginning. And given its core competence, successful track record and products' range, it is right on the way to chart personalised success.


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