19 years on, and still growing strong. America's Best Franchising (ABF) is set to accomplish some more milestones. Doug Collins, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ABF, tells Namita Bhagat how he is making a difference in the hotel franchise business and his
19 years on, and still growing strong. America's Best Franchising (ABF) is set to accomplish some more milestones. Doug Collins, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ABF, tells Namita Bhagat how he is making a difference in the hotel franchise business and his expansion plans in India.
Tell us about the origin of ABF. How has been the journey so far?
19 years on, and America's Best Franchising, Inc. (ABF) is still growing strong. We have grown from almost nothing to a franchising company, which today has over 300 properties to its credit in countries like the US, Africa, Argentina, China, India etc. So far, the journey has been fantastic. Along the way, we have assembled a lineup of attractive brands and great franchisees.
What inspired you to foray into the Indian hospitality market?
India is an attractive market. Besides being a growing and vibrant market, it is also the homeland of our several franchisees in the US. We wish to spread our footprint across the world. India is a growing market and thus there is enough room for growth here.
Can you tell us about yours recently launched brands in India?
We have six brands in our portfolio and are planning to bring all of them to India. Presently, we are pursuing development of 3 Palms (a luxury brand), Country Hearth Inns & Suites and our business budget brands like Vagabond, Budgetel and Parkside brands. It’s been six months that we have entered the Indian market.
How many properties do you have in India. What are your future plans?
Presently, we have four Parkside Inn hotels and plan to open several properties every year, starting from major markets in both tier-I and II cities. We anticipate our 3 Palms brand of resorts entering the five star Indian market soon, along with our business brands.
How do you plan to tame the challenges?
Development anywhere presents challenge and India is no exception. Although, there is a need for hotels in India, the cost of land and infrastructure requirements are some of the great challenges here. India is a vast country and with hospitality industry going to a next level there is a room for numerous brands, both domestic and international, to set their mark.
What is your franchisees’ eligibility criterion. What kind of support and training do you offer?
There is no template for a perfect franchisee. Hard work, attention to details and an inclination towards hospitality are must. If a brand is suitable for the market and meets our requirement, we feel the teamwork with a good franchisee will lead to excellent results. Our company and our master franchisees will provide comprehensive support and training to franchisees. These services include operating guidelines, quality assurance, marketing, reservation services and operations support.