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Jun, 07 2014

Land of budding biz opportunities

It receives the first rays of the sun. It denotes hope and also the beginning of a new era. No wonder then, budding businesses are on a rise in the Eastern part of the country and this region is also the birthplace of many industries. Here we give you a g

East India (also known as Eastern India) is a region of India consisting of states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and also the union territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands. West Bengal's capital Kolkata is the largest city of this region.

Kolkata is the financial and commercial centre of not only Eastern India but also North-Eastern India and houses the Calcutta Stock Exchange. Famous companies such as ITC Limited, Britannia Industries and Coal India Limited are also based out of this city.

As per a research sometime back, the approximate GDP by PPP of Kolkata stood at $150 billion, which made it one of the top South Asian cities in this regard along with fellow Indian cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai.

'The city of Joy' offers immense possibility by virtue of being the entry point to locations blessed with plenty of natural resources. The fact that several good companies are headquartered in this city implies that the business environment is good enough.

This good business environment translates into success stories hailing from every sector- from F&B to jewellery to apparel. Here are a few examples.

Going strong

Brands like Presto Wonders, ICA and Pabrai’s make a good example. Kolkata-based Pabrai's Fresh & Naturelle Ice Creams produces 100% natural ice creams with no artificial colours or flavours and takes pride in hand-crafting each of its flavour. A Unit of K.N & Co., Pabrai's Fresh & Naturelle Ice Creams is a partnership firm run by Kunal Pabrai and Nishant Pabrai. The brand  boasts of many industry leaders as their clients- Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels, Park Hotels, Mainland China, Machaan etc. to name a few.

With 24 outlets overall, out of which 23 are franchise led; Pabrai is all set to expand further. Currently available in 10 cities (basically metros and tier-I), the brand is keen on exploring other parts of the country in the next two years. 

Pabrai feels both single and multi-unit franchisees work for them. Besides that, it also has an additional franchise level called “Franchise Plus” which is one step lower than master franchisee. Here the franchisee has at least one unit-franchise and also acts as a stockist for supplies to his/her area.

Pabrai considers perishable nature of its product as a big challenge while expanding. “We have to first create a storage-cum-distribution partner- a Franchise Plus- who not only opens the first outlet but also acts as our logistical support provider for that city/area. Once this is in place, we can expand to open newer outlets in that city/area”, says Kunal Pabrai, Partner, Pabrai's Fresh & Naturelle Ice Creams.

Regional player gone national

It's always a moment of pride for any region when a brand not just proves its mettle on the home turf but expands beyond the known territory, takes on a bigger market share and gives other established brands a run for their money.

Born in the year 2002, Manyavar- the brand synonymous with ethnic men wear, started retailing in 2008. From its first store in Bhubaneswar to its 333rd outlet in Mumbai, the brand has definitely come a long way. Present across 130 cities globally, it has 174 franchise led outlets. The brand also has international presence with stores in Dubai, Sharjah and Bangladesh.

Manyavar regards the creativity of its designing cell, the price range, its production capacity of over one million units annually and timely supplies as the brand USPs.

In India, the brand is looking at the cities of Udupi, Begusarai, Bidar, Pondicherry, Trivandrum, Haldwani and Tirupur to expand business in the near future.

Finding the right location in a new state/city has been a bit of a challenge as the brand admits but credits its team experts who have been able to overcome the same.

A new start

With a vision to spread the Bengali culture, the brand Sonar Bangla came into being. A pocket-friendly restaurant and sweets shop, Sonar Bangla aims to take the flavours of Bengali food to different parts of the country; especially North India. Presently up and running with three restaurants and two sweets shops in Delhi-NCR, the brand serves authentic Bengali food and will soon be introducing Chinese food to its menu as well.

Promising all support and training to its associates, Sonar Bangla is looking for passionate partners in Delhi/NCR to expand business.

Eastern India- The new destination for brands

While big brands hailing from Eastern parts, looking to expand business may not be many in number, but big brands rushing to mark a presence in Eastern states of the country are definitely in plenty. More development, improving infrastructure and rising consumer awareness is propelling more and more brands to sit up and take notice of this glorious and culturally rich part of the country.

Like in the very recent, Indian Terrain, a casual men's wear brand is planning to extend its foothold in the eastern market of India. The brand intends to tap cities of Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Asansol, Guwahati and Bhubaneswar.

On its way to increase its retail footprint, Splash- high street fashion brand from Dubai, is also looking east. Already present in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc, the brand has 12 stores in India and is looking at taking this number to 16 by the end of 2014-15. Its next stop will be Kolkata, the only metro where Splash isn't present at the moment.

Another example is that of Natural Ice Cream, that is planning to expand in the northern and eastern states with 15 new outlets. The Mumbai based ice cream brand intends to open stores in Delhi- NCR, Chandigarh and Kolkata.

The traction that Eastern India is creating for the brands is an indication that the region is developing by leaps and bounds. Soon, we'll see big brands hailing from the region, ready to conquer the rest of the country.


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