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May, 09 2011

FILMS, FITNESS, NOW FRANCHISING

Shilpa Shetty and franchising? Yes, the actor-turned-entrepreneur is now all set to expand her chain of medi-spas across India. She dreamt of being an entrepreneur much before she became an actress. “This dream of having my own beauty parlour is something

Shilpa Shetty and franchising? Yes, the actor-turned-entrepreneur is now all set to expand her chain of medi-spas across India. She dreamt of being an entrepreneur much before she became an actress. “This dream of having my own beauty parlour is something that came about when I was 15 and did a beautician's course,” she tells Beny Sachdeva.

What led to the inception of iosis medi spa?

iosis spa is the brainchild of my dear friend and partner Kiran Bawa, a cosmetologist. She started iosis in 2007 after completing her studies in the UK. I used to visit iosis as her client and loved her dedication and hard work. Finally, over a cup of coffee, we realised that our mission and vision was the same, i.e. wellness. That was the day when I decided to join hands with Kiran Bawa and the inception of iosis medi spa happened.

What is the concept behind iosis medi spa?

iosis is the perfect wellness synergy to renew your skin, body and spirit. iosis means transformation from lead to gold in its true sense. We believed in a holistic approach to rejuvenate body and mind. Down the line when I joined hands and partnered with Kiran, iosis medi spa was conceptualised where medical treatments like, botox, skin treatments and weight loss therapy, were to be performed under the supervision of medical professionals in a serene environment. We both shared the same belief that 80 per cent problems are stress-related, so it was important that we first work on the stress levels of our guest and then take them on any correcting treatments.

What made you choose franchising?

We chose to franchise iosis because franchising business model guarantees success. As my partner Kiran and myself, by now, have a lot of experience in this industry, we strongly believe that no business can go wrong if the strategies are in place. Starting any new venture in the hospitality and luxury segment is a challenge, so we are now looking for the right business partners to make a pan-Asia presence. In brief, franchising is a very safe and fast way for any new brand to build. The key benefits are less risk and more chances of success.

What are your views on the concept of franchising? How is it contributing to the Indian economy?

According to the Global Retail Development Index, India is positioned as the foremost destination for retail investment and business development. Being geographically vast and culturally diverse, India offers the most favourable franchising environment. While companies benefit by having many profit-making outlets in different parts of the country, franchisees in India benefit by being able to generate good returns with little investment and risk involved, hence helping the economy to grow with more employment and increase in gross demands within the domestic market. Entrepreneurs are making the most of India's franchising market and growing economy by becoming successful franchisees.

Kindly share your journey from the tinsel town to an entrepreneur.

I belong to a business family and have been a helping hand to my dad in his business. My transition into a business woman wasn't planned. It started four years ago when I launched my Yoga DVD and distributed it. iosis happened to me in 2008 October. I think my transition from acting to business happened a little late in life. Even though, I am extremely passionate about whatever I do. I am very blessed that I have a great team and a lovely husband who supports me. This dream of having my own beauty parlour is something that came about when I was 15 and did a beautician's course. Somewhere in my subconscious, maybe this was something that I always wanted to do. Honestly, I give all the credit to Raj, who has always encouraged me and made things happen.

In which cities are you planning to open iosis medi spa?

We are presently located in Mumbai and would like to aggressively have our presence in the metros and establish ourselves in tier II and III cities.

What is the USP of the brand?

iosis prides in the unique 'Fusion of 4'. The 'Fusion of 4' combines skin, figure styling, salon and spa treatments. As the name suggests, the nature of offering is non-invasive and all the treatments are carried out by professionally qualified personnel, including specialists like dermatologists and nutritionists. The spa has been designed very aesthetically to take one to experience a different level of serenity, comfort, luxury and peace of mind.

Your advice to women entrepreneurs.

Follow your heart, pursue what you doing with passion and mostly importantly, balance your personal and professional life.

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Who are your potential franchisees

Those who want to fulfill an entrepreneurial dream and have a passion to succeed, who want a business venture to be worth investing.

Franchise requisites

An investment capacity of Rs 6-7 million is required, depending on the project module in a retail or owned space of minimum 2,000 sq.ft. Offer an initial agreement of five years and one-time franchise time fees along with monthly royalty.

Support provided

= Equipment

= Site selection

= Project management

= Layout interior planning

= Recruitment & training

= Interiors planning

= Launch planning

= Market communications (national & local areas)

= IT software support

= System Operating Procedures

= Trouble shooting & hand-holding on continuous basis.

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