Confidence in the brand, convincing skill, promising support, honesty and transparency are the must-haves for a franchise professional to be successful.
Ramesh V. Kheni, Senior Vice President, Classic Polo tells Beny Sachdeva about his achievements and challenges faced so far.
Take us through your professional journey.
I started working in 1984 with the Arvind mills ltd, Ahmedabad in export division of shirting and denim fabric and pot that joined an American buying house in Bangalore in 2003 where I was dealing with renowned American apparel brands and there I was working as the Country Manager . In 2009, I joined domestic men's apparel brand Classic Polo
The brands you have worked with and number of franchisees added to the brand's network during your presence there.
I am working for Classic Polo from last six years. We had just 4-5 franchisee-run stores in 2008. We had started converting company stores to franchisee from 2009 and decided to expand only via franchise model. Now out of 77 stores, we only have seven company owned stores and rest all 70 stores are franchisee-run. During my presence, we have converted 35 company stores to franchise stores and added another 35 new stores.
What according to you are the three skills needed to be a successful franchise professional?
Power of the brand plays a major role. But otherwise, confidence in the brand, convincing skill, promising support, honesty and transparency.
How has franchising brought about a change in the business scenario?
Franchising is the fastest way to grow any business. Franchising has helped the entrepreneurs and investors to start their own business as per their need of investment and suitability.
How do you ensure that there is ongoing communication between the brand's Head Office and its franchise partners?
We have developed many methods and procedures for our franchisees to be connected all the time with the head office. Few of them are as follows:
= We conduct monthly review of the franchise partner and rank them based on important parameters of the brand and business and share among all franchisee's every month.
= We share the performance data every month for appreciation of the achievers and it act as motivations as well lesson for poor performing.
= We have a quarterly bulletin that reaches to all franchisees of what is happening at the brand's head office.
= We conduct minimum two meetings for all our franchisees in a year so that they can share their own experiences, challenges and solutions they adopted for any operation within their scope.
What five key elements should be incorporated in a franchise business model for a long term perspective?
= Viability of the model
= Standard Operating Procedures
= Quality of products or services
= Support system
Where do you see yourself as a professional five years down the line?
I have learnt a lot in last six years and I am still learning and will keep learning. May be in the next five years, Classic Polo will have 1000 stores all over India and I will have pride in heading 1000 stores run by franchisees.
Your leadership mantra
Transparency, trust, courage and freedom.