Istayak Ansari, Master Franchisee, True fit &Hill, was the youngest Chief Operating Officer in the Health and Wellness industry in Asia spearheading the fastest growing international gym chain in Asia before he took the Master Franchisee of TrueFitt & Hil
Take us through your professional journey.
After completing my MBA specialising in Marketing from MET (Mumbai) and M. Com specializing in Business Management from Mumbai University, I got my first professional break at Zee Interactive Learning Systems Education Limited, a part of Zee Telefilms limited in 2002 as Franchise Manager taking care of franchise expansion in western India. After Working with Kidzee for two years, I moved to Gold's Gym India in 2004 as Franchise Manager. I was promoted as the Head of the Company at the age of 30 in 2009. I was instrumental in taking the company from 4 gyms in Mumbai in 2004 to 85+ open and operating gyms and 100+ franchisees signed gyms across 56 cities in India in a short span of 9 years.
I have spent around 13+ years in start-ups, retail management, & franchise development.
When and why did you quit Gold’s Gym?
I had quit Gold's Gym in Sept 2013 to start my own venture in Health, Wellness & Beauty. For my first venture, I have partnered with Lloyds Luxuries to set up a chain of upscale royal barber shops across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar & Vietnam under a Master Franchise License.
What according to you are skills needed to be a successful franchise professional?
To become a successful franchise professional:
= Firstly believe in the concept you are selling.
= Secondly, a franchise professional must project his franchisee the ROI in a right manner so that he is convinced to have the same belief in the franchisor.
What all challenges you faced during your professional stint for strengthening franchise network?
The biggest challenge during my professional stint was getting the right franchise partner on board and secondly seeking the right partner who could invest huge capital.
One strategy that will help create a successful franchise network.
Always give your prospective franchisees at least four references of your existing franchisees and ask him to cross check the facts and figures which the franchisor has mentioned.