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Jan, 04 2013

Spotting the right franchisee is vital

To be a successful leader and franchise professional, one has to work hard, be focused and have patience, says Sameer Akhil Kachru, Founder & Director, Yes India Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd (YIHSPL), in a tête-à-tête with Swati Mahajan.

To be a successful leader and franchise professional, one has to work hard, be focused and have patience, says Sameer Akhil Kachru, Founder & Director, Yes India Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd (YIHSPL), in a tête-à-tête with Swati Mahajan.

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

Well, I have been into franchise marketing and business development for the last 10 years with a work experience that spans across several countries, from the US to Europe, to the Gulf Council of Countries, to the Indian subcontinent.

Share with us the name of the brands you have worked with as a franchise professional, and about the number of franchisees you added to the brand's network during your presence there.

I have worked with leading brands in the Food and Beverage Industry, the Radisson Hotels Worldwide being one of them. When I was there, close to 90 hotels were added to the brand's network. I have also worked with The Great Kebab Factory with 35+ units added to it across various international markets.

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

First, it is important to have an eye to choose the right investor or franchisee, as very few investors can “feel” for the brand the way you, as an owner, do. Secondly, one has to identify the right growth strategy by franchising. The right market, right time to enter the market and right strategy to enter with are crucial. Thirdly, one should never compromise on the brand, its positioning and its ethos. Maintain standards at all costs. Learn and have the guts to turn down franchisees, if need be.

Throughout your professional voyage, you must have applied various business strategies.

Tell us about one such strategy that helped you create a successful franchise network.

One programme that shines out on an R&D front is the one that we keep looking to invent and standardise at the same time. We believe in learning from each market. We take that learning and implement it on a global scale by standardising whatever we learned. This can be on any front, from menu to service standards, to anything that we may learn.

Are you bullish about the growth of franchising industry in India? If yes, why?

Very bullish. No doubt, at all. The market is massive. We are franchising in the deepest of dungeons of the country. Today we have operational units in cities such as Yamunanagar and Ganganagar among many other tier II cities. If we succeed there, we might be looking at more than 1,000 units in India alone, across our various verticals.

As a franchise professional, what are the major accomplishments/ contributions for which you are most proud of?

The growth of Go! Chaatzz. A brand that I personally started with various constraints. Today, when I see the brand function on a pan-India level, across various verticals, it gives me the confidence that we have a real winner at hand.

Your leadership mantra...

Work hard, be focused. Make a strategy and then follow it, but not blindly. Be open to new ideas and thought processes. Know your end objective. The means can be altered, if the end remains the same. Revenues, fame and brand positioning come with patience and a good estimation of working capital

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