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Jan, 06 2014

Support franchisees completely

With over 16 years of experience in strategic planning, business development and hands on experience in developing new markets, appointing channel partners and brand promotion, Dharmesh K Kapasi knows the ins and outs of the franchise industry.

In a conversation with TFW's Parina Sood, the 37-yr-old CEO of Shanti Juniors (Ahmedabad based preschool chain) talks about the pros and cons of the business model.

Take us through your professional journey.

I started my career in the automobile industry as a sales executive. After years of experience and successful stint with various brands in the industry, I moved to the education sector. Here I started out with Educomp Solutions Ltd as the Zonal Head and within a year achieved the award for 'Exceptional Performance' for signing maximum franchise centers in a month. After a short stay at New Age Knowledge Solution, I took up the challenge of establishing a franchising brand in the Pre School sector with Chiripal Group of Industries. That's when 'Shanti Juniors' was born. Growing steadily, the brand has reached 115+ centers in just three years.

Please tell us about the brands you have worked with and number of franchisees added to the brand's network during your presence there.

At Educomp Solutions Ltd 'Roots To Wings', I added almost 35+ franchisees in a short span. At New Age Knowledge Solutions “I Play I Learn”, I added 15+ centers. At Shanti Juniors, all our centers operate under the franchise model.

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

  • Good analytical skills for in-depth survey of the franchising product in terms of ground realities.
  • The professional should make sure that all commitments are fulfilled on time.
  • Ready to give all required support to franchisees, as “franchising is synonymous with service industry.”

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

It's a wonderful concept of expanding an intellectual idea/ service/ property in planned and structured manner. The concept is catching up fast in various industries and is the best way of expanding a business model.

Where do you see yourself as a professional five years down the line?

As a successful CEO of a successful franchise model.

What major hurdles have you faced while building a franchise network? How did you go about addressing those issues?

The major hurdle is searching/recruiting good and experienced manpower, which has been in the franchising business. We have our in-house training team for making sure that the necessary skills are inculcated in the candidate.

Your leadership mantra

“Eagle to Ant Approach”: As the trend changes quickly, we need to be fast and steady. Eagle stands for the macro, top view and ant works on each and every detailing. This approach benefits our preschool partners in the best way possible.

Five key elements for a successful franchise network

  • Design the model keeping “spoon feeding concept” in mind.
  • Investment expected, has to be justifiable and clear in terms of any hidden cost to the franchisee.
  • Training plays a very important role.
  • Flexible policies / realistic policies.

Make sure franchisee makes profits by associating with your brand.

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