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May, 21 2012

A BIZ A WASH WITH PROFITS

What if your daily ritual of car washing can also provide you the opportunity to make profits? Yes, carwash and detailing business is the new 'IT' thing in the franchise fraternity. With money rolling in at a fast pace, your dream of turning into an entre

Y OU won't be astounded to know that increasing numbers of consumers are turning to car wash and detailing professionals. In the past few years, there has been a steep rise in the number of cars in India that has triggered the growth of this sector. According to industry estimates, India is projected to have the highest number of cars by 2050 (about 611 million cars); its consumer market is expected to be the fifth largest in the world by 2025, and humungous growth is also anticipated in the transportation sector. Keeping this scenario in mind, the car-care business has grown in just a couple of years.

The car-care business encompasses a wide customer base from local businesses to dealerships new car owners, older luxury car owners, etc. Thanks to the rise in disposable incomes, customers don't mind paying extra bucks for car washing. Dependency on cars for daily travel has led to rising demands for frequent servicing of cars. Thus, professional car washing is the best option to meet this surging demand. Relatively, a new sector in India, it is at the threshold of picking up top gear in franchising.

Elaborating on the growth potential of car-washing market in India, Anckur Sama, Founder-Director, Carz Spa, says: “Indian carwash market is expected to witness an exponential growth; in the next five years about 5,000 stores will come up.”

Brands on a success drive

Seeing this burgeoning demand in car washing market, many prominent players like Carz Spa, Speed Car Wash, and Express Car Wash are speeding up to get into franchising.

Speed Car Wash (SCW) is a concept designed and developed by LIV INDIA GROUP. The brand is into the car cleaning segment and strives to give the community a new definition of car care and detailing services that are not professionally followed in India. A unique mechanised car-cleaning concept, SCW, is a junction where cars get 'pampered' by the latest equipment that embraces high pressure cleaning machines, spray extraction machines, high powered vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, etc.

Anckur Sama has also capitalised on this growing business. With an experience in car-care industry, his passion has made him step into this venture. “We offer all kinds of car-grooming services, from normal washes to intensive interior steam cleaning, ozone air purification, germ free and complete sanitization, paint correction and protection, anti-rust, anti-glare, and sound dampening; we sell multi-brands in car-care products and car perfumes to our customers,” Sama adds.

Exppress Car Wash, another promising brand in this sector, was initiated by a group called ManMachine. Exppress Car Wash is the prompt and convenient car-cleaning service that comprises several perks in car washing like mild pressure, hot water, and steam for engine compartment and complete body wash by foam detergents and then spraying with liquid wax to give the car a dirt-free coating.

The car-care services also consist of the concept of car detailing. Simply put, car detailing is exterior and interior refurbishment to maintain and restore vehicle appearance, clean interiors, underbody protection treatments and sun-films. “3M has cutting-edge over other brands as it offers car-care products like performance finish, 3M Paste-Wax, Scotchgard Paint protection film, car-wraps, foam-it interior cleaning products, and auto sun-films (of which we are the inventors),” says Vishesh Nigam, National Manager, Franchising Business, 3M.

En route to franchising

Today, franchising seems to be the best option for spreading the reach of any business, and in carwash business an entrepreneur can reach his destination easily via franchising. Sama thinks that franchising is the best possible way to expand with limited resources. Carz Spa currently has 32 franchise outlets.

Palwinder Singh, Manager, Channel Expansion Division, Speed Car Wash, that has around seven franchise outlets says: “Franchising is a way for a business to expand beyond its original owners. The power of franchising is realised through the combination of the contributions from the two participants (franchisor and franchisee). Our quality services, convenient and cost effective benefits of using SCW, will help our franchisees grow their businesses. As a SCW franchisee, you also have the ability to control your destiny while working from home.”

3M, one of the renowned brands in this service, started the business a year ago with one store, and today, they have grown to 12 franchise stores in five cities. The franchising route allows them to use the local strengths of their franchisees in their markets to expand business, while the company goes on with their task of innovating, developing, and supplying great products, maintaining quality standards and marketing. The company's stores have performed extremely well and are hitting the break-even mark within the first year of opening.

Guidebook to grow

Franchisors in the car wash business think that it is imperative to provide necessary training and support to their franchisees. Carz Spa provides extensive two-week training from scratch. Their trainers even stay back at franchisee outlets for 10 days after launch. Extended support in marketing, designing, and standard operating procedure is also provided. The brand is seeking franchisees that are passionate about the industry, have an urge to learn and a much-needed patience to reap the 'harvest'.

SCW franchisees do not need any prior technical experience to effectively operate a franchise. SCW's comprehensive initial training program includes engaging in in-depth informative classes on all matters pertaining to marketing, operations, and technology. The training sessions are taken by their certified trainers, who have enough experience in car wash business. SCW's focused support services provide valuable information to its franchisees that ensures successful program implementation. These services include marketing and advertising assistance, equipment and technical support, web and online support, etc.

The franchise partner of 3M has to undergo the '3M Franchisee Induction' programme at their India headquarters at UB City, and their Innovation Centre and Electronic City, Bengaluru. Key franchisee staff and applicators have to undergo a fixed number of days of training when they are appointed. Subsequent training is also provided every quarter.

Spreading reach

To spread its spa splendour, Carz Spa is looking for pan-India expansion from Tier I to IV cities.

SCW with an aim to endow the whole of India with the best car services is seeking expansion in all major metro cities, semi-metro, and small cities.

On their further expansion plans, Nigam adds: “We are looking for aggressive expansion in all cities, but our immediate priorities are Hyderabad and Mumbai, apart from new cities like Coimbatore, Kochi and Ahmedabad. We prefer single-unit franchisees, but due to demand from existing franchisees, are also giving a thought to give more than one franchise to the same party/individual.”

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