Effective utilisation of resources and optimal delegation of responsibilities at multiple levels have helped him establish a well-connected, organic franchise network.
In a conversation with Ekta Sharma Verma, Ankur Madan, multi-unit owner, Subway Restaurants- Delhi NCR talks about his growth graph and his leadership mantra.
Take us through your professional journey.
I started my career with ICICI Bank in 2001 before flagging off my own real estate business. Working as an entrepreneur is the best opportunity anyone can give to himself. I am a foodie who likes to explore unique tastes at different places, which is why I was tempted to try my hands in food business. I joined Subway way back when the chain was still expanding its business in Delhi NCR. The low start up cost, flexible floor plans and worldwide recognition of the brand as a provider of healthier offering in food service space has enabled me to grow from owning one restaurant in 2006 to managing eight restaurants at key locations in Delhi NCR today.
For how long have you been associated with the brand?
I have been associated with Subway Restaurants for eight years now. I opened my first Subway Restaurant in 2006, at a time when there were only 25 Subway outlets in Delhi NCR.
What according to you are the three skills needed to be a successful franchise professional?
= Franchising business requires hands-on management which requires direct involvement of the franchisee in store operations along with meticulous attention to details.
= To become a franchisee, one needs to possess business acumen and awareness, as well as effective time-management skills.
= A franchise owner should also be a team leader, one who motivates his employees to ensure customer satisfaction.
How do you ensure that there is an ongoing communication between the brand and your outlets?
Franchising is an interactive business. Communication within the network (franchise to franchisor as well as franchisee to franchisee) is as important as with the consumer. Subway has developed clear channels of communication which ensure that the franchisees get utmost support from the company and the franchise business is smooth and efficient. There are regular seminars and meetings which help franchisees maximise efficiency and potential profitability. As for the consumers, The Tell Subway Survey is a short online survey designed by Subway which gives customers a chance to leave valuable feedback about their most recent experience.
What major hurdles have you faced while building a franchise network? How did you go about addressing those issues?
Finding high-quality trained manpower, getting a good location at low rental, keeping your workforce motivated are some of the challenges that we encounter at a franchisee level. Subway has a very strong and supportive franchise network. Subway even gives its franchisees the advantage of relocating the restaurant if the location does not turn out to be profitable, at minimal costs.
Your leadership mantra
For any business to prosper and give commensurate returns, employee satisfaction is of utmost importance. Only a positively-oriented individual can deliver with the best of his ability, which is why I believe in keeping my staff motivated.