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May, 07 2014

Follow cluster franchise network strategy

In conversation with TFW's Beny Sachdeva, Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director, Max Retail India, talks about the astounding franchise business model as a tool to expand and what it takes to be a successful franchise professional.

Take us through your professional journey.

I started my professional journey with Hindustan Lever and spent good 48 months with the brand. The next professional break for me was an interesting one with the Madura Garments where I was appointed as Vice President for Peter England start up team. A wonderful 10 years stint at Madura has given a lot of expertise in retail and business development.

In my current role as Executive Director at Max Retail, India, Landmark Group, I am glad that I was hired nine years ago as the first employee for them to start the Max Chain and the chain now has the turnover of Rs 1000 crore.

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

= A thorough know-how of the business.

= Ability to nurture the franchisee network and retain them.

= Making the franchisee value the fair customer understanding.

One strategy that helped you create a successful franchise network?

I always believe that the right attitude towards the franchisee is the key to strengthen your franchise network. Also, I strongly follow cluster franchise network strategy for brand strengthening.

How do you ensure that there is ongoing communication between the brand head office and its franchise partners?

In our business, we conduct periodic reviews every quarter. Our Business Development team takes care of the staff recruitment and takes care of the stocks required or in abundance. Any variations, if found, are immediately discussed with the franchisee in question and addressed accordingly.

What major hurdles have you faced while building a franchise network?

Location, location and location has always been a challenge for building up the franchise network for Max Retail as we only operate via anchor stores at the malls and big stores at high streets. Therefore, combination of apt franchise operations at apt location is a challenge before finalising the store. We have never compromised for the location, so, if we have the right franchisee don't have the right location, then we involve the third party and the franchisee runs the store at our chosen location. We have been successful in choosing all locations for company stores and franchise stores.

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