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Nov, 12 2013

Franchising helped us grow quickly

With more than three decades of rich work experience backing him and exposure cutting across different industries speaking volumes of his professional journey, the 43-year-old CEO (Retail and Online) of Ferns N Petals knows inside out of the flower busine

Take us through your professional journey.

I started working very early at the age of 16 and started out as an intern in a steel forging factory in Jamshedpur. Prior to joining FNP, I was a part of the forgings and automotive industry, producing high precision steel machined components for TATA motors and Indian Railways.

Now, I am associated with the retail and e-commerce industry with 27 years of rich work experience. When I joined Ferns N Petals (FNP) in 2001, the brand had only 7 franchise outlets. In 2002, we strategised and incorporated the retail and franchising wing of the company and formulated various franchise offerings.Today FNP is the leading florist retail chain in India with 167 outlets in 65 cities.

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

An entrepreneurial mindset with business acumen; good communication skills and interpersonal skills to handle difficult situations and people; pro-active approach with leadership traits.

How has franchising brought about a change in the business scenario?

Franchising permits your company to grow with capital invested by individual franchise owners. Franchising model of Ferns N Petals has brought a radical change in the growth of the company. Because of this system, we have been able to open new shops every two weeks and have expanded our foothold through the length and breadth of the country.

From the financial point of view, franchising brings in the additional income to the franchisor through payment of franchise fee and royalty. This capital injection provides an improved cash flow, a higher return on investment and higher profits to be added to the turnover of the company.

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

Absolutely, franchising is the way forward. Any brand can invest only up to a certain amount to expand. Besides capital requirement, there are other reasons for seeking partners. In franchising, you can share the risks and at times, entrepreneurs/ franchisees come up with suggestions that were never imagined by franchisors.

Your leadership mantra?

Teach, train and delegate. I would be able to bring out at least 5 CEOs in my current team who will thereafter repeat the same mantra… teach, train and delegate.

According to you, what are the five key elements necessary in a franchise biz model, from a long term perspective?

  • Provide the best possible support to franchisee, in whatever the brand is promising; starting from choosing the right location, training, manpower support, supplies at fair prices.
  • Advertising and branding support for his local promotion.
  • Periodic upgrades of design and promotional material without a franchisee reminding for it.
  • Fair and transparent cost in setting up a franchise outlet should be shared clearly.
  • Software to run day to day business and support in terms of e-commerce / any other sales which can be diverted to the franchisee.
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