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Mar, 11 2013

TREAT FRANCHISEE AS YOUR BIZ PARTNER

Franchising has made it possible for brands to scale up at a much faster pace and in a more cost effective manner than they would have otherwise, feels V Govind Raj, Vice-President and Chief of Retail Services, Titan, while sharing his journey as a franch

Franchising has made it possible for brands to scale up at a much faster pace and in a more cost effective manner than they would have otherwise, feels V Govind Raj, Vice-President and Chief of Retail Services, Titan, while sharing his journey as a franchise professional with Swati Mahajan.

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

I have been at Titan since its inception and have been closely associated with distribution, sales, marketing and retail functions. I have worked as the Chief of the Integrated Retail Services function, working across the company's watches, jewellery and prescription eye wear businesses in the areas of business development, projects and retail training  designated as Vice-President, Integrated Retail Services; Vice-President, Retail & Marketing of Tanishq, India's largest national retailer of jewellery, from April 2006 to June 2008.

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

The three skills which should be there in a franchise professional are, first, the professional should be entrepreneurial, secondly. he should have a passion to serve the customer and be willing to learn by serving the customer, and thirdly, he should be resourceful and determined.

Share with us one strategy that you invariably applied throughout your professional voyage.

Respecting the franchisee and treating him as a partner in your business is an important part of making the franchise relationship successful. At Titan we review performances continuously, make course corrections where required and work together with the franchisee to ensure the success of the venture. We share the company's business plans with the franchisee at the beginning of every year and ensure that the franchisee also has a business plan.

Are you bullish about the growth of franchising industry in India?

Yes, I am very bullish about the growth of franchising in India. India is a very complicated place to do business in and a lot of a company's success depends on how well it reads the local conditions. A brand can be a well respected national brand, but without a good understanding of the local town level conditions, it can fail.

What major hurdles have you faced while building a franchise?

Scaling up in a hurry invariably results in making compromises in areas such as choice of the location, size of the store, the costs incurred, or the wrong choice of the franchise partner. In the matter of franchising, Titan has been very choosy in the selection of the franchise partner and other relevant factors. This possibly resulted in the slow growth of the retail chain in the early years, but in retrospect this has been one of the key reasons why Titan today is a very successful franchisor.

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