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Feb, 11 2013

Knowledge of market is very important

After spending over 20 years in the retail sector, Shoaib Farooqi, Chief Operating Officer, Planet Fashion, International markets & Trade Business, has spent more than half of his career in travelling across India and listening to customers which has faci

After spending over 20 years in the retail sector, Shoaib Farooqi, Chief Operating Officer, Planet Fashion, International markets & Trade Business, has spent more than half of his career in travelling across India and listening to customers which has facilitated him in gaining rich knowledge about market dynamics. In a tête-à-tête with Swati Mahajan, he talks about his entrepreneurial journey.

How long have you been a franchise professional? Why did you choose to be a professional in the franchise sector?

I have been into franchising for the last 19 years. Between 1994 and 2006 I was responsible for setting up the entire retail network of all Madura brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England. From 2006 till date I have been instrumental in creating and implementing the franchisee network of a very successful and profitable multi-brand retail concept - Planet Fashion.

What according to you are the three skills needed to be a successful franchise professional?

One of the basic skills is to have an ability to understand market dynamics in terms of location, catchments and assessment of the known and unknown risk factors. Also, a thorough knowledge of market is very important. Ability to develop a business model which is profitable for franchisees and the company and being able to evaluate a franchisee in terms of his passion, integrity and capability.

According to you, how has franchising brought about a change in the Indian consumption scenario?

Growth of small towns has been enabled by franchisee participation. Franchisees are based locally and they understand the regional nuances. This has resulted in the availability of right product mix for the consumer. All leading brands are now available in small towns, just as in metros.

According to you, what are the five key elements to be incorporated in a franchise business model?

The five things are:

Business model: India is not a homogeneous market and the business model has to be developed with the focus on regional requirements. Local festivals, wedding dates, market needs, etc., should be kept in mind.

Franchisee location: Next thing is the location of the franchisee, along with its assessment, attractiveness and rent viability of the property.

Franchisee participation: Active participation is mandatory for success. Need to create an active involvement of franchisees in your business.

Customer experience: Staff recruitment, training and retention are crucial. Keeping the front end staff abreast of the latest innovations is a must.

Operations: Strict control on selling expenses.

Where do you see yourself as a professional five years down the line?

I would like to share my extensive learning and experience with my colleagues and enrich them so that they take the right decision. We have very successfully demonstrated this in Madura Fashion & Lifestyle.

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