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Jan, 06 2014

Is 2014 going to be promising for franchisees?

A new day, a new start and in a similar way, as we step into New Year, all the prospective franchisees expect to turn over a new leaf. Read what franchisees feel...

As 2013 has come to an end, the projections for 2014 are already pre-planned and like always we anticipate that the New Year would turn out to the best bet for franchisees. As we move on, we expect franchise sector to continue to outperform in 2014 as well just like it did last year. After conversing with best franchisees of established brands, let’s have a look at what they are expecting from franchise fraternity in 2014. Every year, many prospective franchisees - be it young brigade of graduates, working professionals, womenpreneurs – housewives, mothers and retired professionals, make a way into franchise business by believing that it will in turn becomes boon for them.

Challenges faced!

The road that leads to success is not always smooth. Be it new or existing franchisees, every prospective franchisee goes through a bumpy phase. Talking about the challenges he faced during his entrepreneurial journey, Vinod Kapoor, Multi-Unit Franchisee of Titan Company Limited, who runs  brand’s franchise in  the tricity – Chandigarh, Mohali  and Panchkula says, “We faced recessionary trends, competition not only from competitive brands and traditional business  but also from the same brand franchisee in the tricity, opening up of more branded stores in the tricity, government regulations such as PANCARD above Rs 5 lakh and applicability of TCS on cash payments above Rs 5 lakh , imposition of increased import duty on raw materials , market price prevalence based on outside the regulated market operations , customers diversion towards the biggest mall in the industrial area which has sprung up here bringing in a steep downfall in walk -ins in the high street markets.” Whereas, Ruby Sethi, Partner, SmartQ, says: “Expansion of the number of centres and increasing our batch sizes were the major challenges we came across. Maintaining a zero drop-out rate was also a major hurdle but delivering quality in work helped us to overcome all of these. A goodwill created by word of mouth from our existing group of parents has always worked in our favour. We would actually like to thank all who believe in us and would always work towards living up to their expectations.”

Expectations from 2014

The expectations and resolutions are all set in advance. Many franchisees believe that enormous business opportunities in the franchising business are yet to be tapped. They also expect from the industry and brand owners to extend support in all the areas as it’s the franchisee who represents the brand’s image. Commenting on how he feels about the franchise industry, Vinod Kapoor, says, “Expectations in terms of economy are relatively good since a new government will be in place in early 2014 for five years where growth will be the plank of the new Government. Franchise fraternity needs to ensure that they make realistic projections of sales revenue and costs. Usually while drawing up a proposal for the potential franchisees, the franchisors officials’ show promising revenues and growth and at the same time the costs are not taken on actual that prevail in the market resulting in fanciful RoI and early payback and when the ground realities are different the franchisee gets disheartened and franchisor's officials raise their hands.   Franchise community should make achievable projections to give a comfort level to the franchisee. Besides this, the franchise community must provide for the time cost of the franchisee rather than only working on the RoI. All these parameters should be well explained to the prospective franchisee to avoid dissatisfaction at a later date.”

Changes expected from franchise fraternity

Talking about the changes that Vinod Kapoor wishes to see in 2014, “Franchising in 2014 would be led by acceptance and adopting technology developments in the field of retail.  The success mantra will be customer oriented and focused customer engagement. Franchisor and franchisee will have to provide customer, the experience to establish customer connect through uniform standards, transparent policies to drive customer loyalty. Long term loyalty will however work through product's functional qualities and emotional chord with the customer through a dedicated retail team with positive attitude to succeed. Teams will have to operate and demonstrate consistence in performance with a clear value systems. Retail teams will have to be trained in product needs as well as soft skills regularly and not restricted to one time affair. Franchisor - franchisee team needs to be judged on the basis of employee engagement and regular communication on the inputs needed to outperform. Franchise fraternity with WILL to WIN will definitely EXCEL in 2014.”

Last but not the least franchisees across all sectors think that Indian franchising should be formally recognised as an industry, which would boost the action plan and processes of the industry and set the ball rolling.

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