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Jan, 04 2012


Franchise India 2011 introduced new and reputed brands from across the globe. They are proven, alluring and promising franchise concepts with immense business scope.

THE 9th edition of Franchise India, India's biggest business show brought over 300 reputed foreign and home grown brands from various sectors. 2011 saw the dawn of several new international brands on the Indian franchising scene. Also, the growing number of reputed world brands presenting their business opportunities at the expo, re-affirms the robustness of the Indian franchise industry and the strong consumer confidence in the country's market.

Further, several international companies exhibiting at the show have teamed-up with Franchise India for their franchise expansion in the country. Some of the brands have rolled out their franchise model and plans, while others are in the process of developing their strategies. Never the less, the potential Indian franchise investors will find these opportunities enticing and worth exploring.

Some of the international brands that showcased their franchise concepts at the Franchise India 2011 expo are:

Loon Tao

Originally from Colombo, Loon Tao was the idea of Janaka Wimalananda, who is also the Managing Director of the company. It all began in 2008. He thought of combining Chinese cuisine with seafood. The concept-based restaurant with architecture inspired from Bali has finest master chefs specialising in seafood from China. Owing to its huge success in the domestic market, the brand was inspired to expand its presence beyond the country's borders. It has opted for direct franchise model based on its winning format and internal systems and procedures.

Loon Tao will be targeting tier-I and II cities in India. Sharing the ROI of the brand, Wimalananda says: “It's a fact that the pay-back period is less than three years. This is high growth high profit business. No risk is involved, as it's a tested business model, combined with a successful formula.” The capital outlay for Loon Tao franchise is between INR 1.5 and 1.8 crore and area needed is about 3,000 5,000 sq.ft. The brand offers fine dining format for which the ideal location will be up market mall, high street and stand-alone location.

Shawarma Xpress

Founded by two brothers Saleh and Firas Al Khor, Baharain-based Shawarma Xpress is a quick service restaurant brand franchise. It began operations with its first outlet in 2001, the first drive-through in 2006 and by opening an outlet in the City Centre Mall at Bahrain in 2008. The Group has expanded rapidly totaling 10 units in Bahrain by 2008. Shawarma has master franchisee agreements in eastern region of Saudi Arabia (30 restaurants in five years) and Qatar (20 restaurants in five years).

Andrew H McNair, Head of Operations (HOD), Shawarma Xpress quips: “There are many Shawarma outlets across the world and sadly majority of these have poor standards. We model our restaurants on the traditional QSR style with commitment of producing a creative variety of Shawarma recipes through our unique and innovative concept.” The company preferred franchising to expand the brand to capitalise on the popularity of its products.

Shawarma Xpress has marked three master franchise regions in the North and East, South and West of India. These master areas will support up to 100 restaurants in over 10 years. Elaborating on the franchisee's eligibility criteria, McNair reveals: “The master franchisee must be capitalised to the level that they can open between five and 10 stores of their own before sub-franchising.” Shawarma's ROI period is between three and four years. Further, it offers three outlet models- Mall outlet, restaurant and drive through.


Singapore-headquartered frozen yoghurt retailer Berrylite was founded in 2008. It is one of the largest and popular yoghurt brands worldwide. Expecting to leverage the country's growing market for the packaged yogurt market, which currently is around 60, 000 tonne, the brand has initiated India expansion.

The brand's USP is its all-natural fat-free frozen yogurt and smoothies. Berrylite's frozen yogurt has been certified by the National Yogurt Association's Live and Active Culture Seal (USA) for meeting the required criteria for healthy frozen yogurt. The brand is seeking entry into the India market via master franchise route.

Berrylite is offering kiosks and café formats in India. Marc Ng, President and CEO, Berrylite Pte Ltd, says: “We will expand in India through master franchising. We are targeting to launch about 150 stores in five years.”

Kenny Rogers Roasters

Kenny Rogers Roasters International is 100 per cent owned by Berjaya Corporation, which is a well-diversified conglomerate in Malaysia. The chain joined hands with the widely acclaimed American singer Kenny Rogers, the former Governor of Kentucky, who was previously the co-owner of KFC to establish this restaurant brand.

Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) is immensely successful in the US, Canada, the Middle East and Asia. Presently, the chain has 230 restaurants worldwide with over 100 company-owned and franchise outlets throughout Asia. The stores offer wide assortment of food, which is delicious yet healthy for the health conscious and those seeking connoisseurs' delight. Now, the company is eyeing the Indian market to launch its concept via franchising.

Brands like Kenny Rogers Roasters are also on the lookout for master franchisees in India.

Sarpino's Pizzeria

Canada-based Sarpino's Pizzeria was established in 1972. Sarpino's Pizzaria's founder Gerry Koutougos opened his first full-service restaurant in Victoria BC Canada. After years of offering authentic Italian and Mediterranean dishes through a number of successful full-service restaurants, Gerry set out to extend the brand's presence around the world through takeout and delivery restaurants.

Presently, Sarpino's has marked presence in 14 countries. It features the highest quality handmade pizzas, gourmet pasta and salads, made only with fresh and authentic ingredients. The brand is actively looking for franchise and master franchise partners in India to grow its international footprint.

Ci Gusta

Owned by an Italian company Happy Time Solutions, Ci Gusta, an Italian food restaurant chain, is exploring opportunity to start operations in the Indian market. The brand has teamed-up with Franchise India and Octagona for its development in India.

It is aiming to open the first brand outlet by early next year. Initially the company will target only metros and large cities. Additionally, Ci Gusta is looking to ramp up its international presence in locations such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Dubai.

Dario Rabboni, Managing Director, Happy Time Solutions, shares: “We bring to India and other thriving Asian countries the possibility to enjoy and appreciate authentic Italian food. Our ultimate goal is to bring happiness, combined with a unique, innovative and affordable food experience.” Presently, the brand has operations in Italy, Singapore and Rome. Its product range includes soups, authentic Italian gelato and coffee specialties.

People Impact

People Impact, a Hong Kong-based company founded in 2002 strives to provide beyond academic opportunities for today's children. It offers programmes that help in building vital complementary skills in early child to college students. The concept has established presence through 30 locations in Hong Kong and Greater China.

In response to the increasing market demand and competitiveness, People Impact has selected franchise model to expand efficiently in India. Charles Wong, CEO, says: “It is common across many industries to encounter various challenges when entering a new market. However, I believe the key is to identify hidden opportunities within such challenges not only in India, but also on a global scale.

Speaking on brand's lucrative business proposition for interested franchisees, Wong says: “People Impact promotes a win-win business model of area development, so that all our franchise partners can achieve premium business performance with exclusive region expansion.”

Bottom line

The new franchisors need outstanding business acumen, passion and achievement of franchise businesses to have sustainable growth in India. They will face competition not only from global companies, but also from established local brands. It is important that franchisees are able to match right business, right brand and finally the right market for themselves. If the first movers do their homework well before entering into the franchise systems, they are bound to reap rich dividends later. Therefore, taking assistance from qualified franchise consultant is advisable.

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