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Sep, 02 2014

Star-studded biz opportunity

The world of business and franchising has not just attracted the masses but the celebrities too. Many top celebs across the television and big screen have don their business suits and happily invested in the franchise trade.

These business ventures not just offer long term stability but tremendous growth prospects too. Let's know how these celebs ventured into their alternate businesses apart from their shining acting careers.

Be it a restaurant business, hotels, sports brand, interiors or salons, celebrities are everywhere.  They just don't endorse brands, but own them too. It not just gives a sense of satisfaction but unremitting extra earnings too. If we go by the trends, it is clear that many reel life actors and other known names have started their business ventures either via JV's or different models in franchising.

Fine Dine Italian food brand, Pizza Vito owned by ace shooter, Abhinav Bindra hopped on the franchise bandwagon in 2011. Pizza Vito was formed via a joint venture with Pizza Vito Holding. SportsFit- Chain of gyms by MS Dhoni started franchising in 2013. The brand takes immense pride in its association with youth icon MS Dhoni in India. Being Human, a clothing line with a heart by Mandhana Industries believes that there aren't too many brands in India which help you look good and do good at the same time. It is an inspirational fashion brand with the added benefit that every item of clothing helps shape a life through education or saves a life through healthcare. Being Human whose face is super star Salman Khan started franchising in August 2012 and currently it stands at 23 Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) out of which six are franchisee run. Shilpa Shetty Kundra's Iosis started franchising in 2012 and now offers one stop shop for wellness to an individual. The Fusion of four arrangements which encompasses all treatments of spa, skin, salon and slimming, offers advantage of turning the dream of beauty and wellness of individuals.

Benefits

Unlike other brands, the brands owned by celebrities definitely have an advantage of gaining fast recognition amongst the masses. Dr. A.S Bindra, Chairman, Pizza Vito opines: “Brands owned by celebrities give confidence to the franchisees/ partners/associations as celebrity credibility is always at stake.”Agreeing to the same, Parminder Datt, Business Head, Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd that manages chain of SportsFit Gyms says: “By having MS Dhoni on board, we had immediate brand recognition. No doubts that customers can connect to a brand faster when there is a recognisable face associated with a brand. He is involved in every little detail and aspect of our plans and has given inputs at every stage of our business.”

On the contrary, Satyaki Mukherjee, Business Development Manager, The Yellow Chilli says: “A celebrity name only opens the door, after which it is sheer performance of the brand that entices people to associate with it.” Vikramveer Singh Bawa, Director, Strategic Expansion and Planning, Iosis says: “The involvement of a celebrity always has a positive rub off on the brand and the image. A celebrity lends credibility to the brand image and assures the customer about the quality.  Shilpa Shetty Kundra being a wellness icon herself gives an incredible impetus to Iosis and we have, time and again proved that our standards are second to none.” Manish Mandhana, Managing Director, Mandhana Industries says: “Having a celebrity helps to get the initial push and recognition for the brand, however, the product itself is very important to establish great franchisees, partners and associations. Also, for a brand like ours, the value and the product line offered is so strong that it translates into profitable RoI which is vital for any business.”

Training and support

Every brand makes sure that it trains its franchisees completely in terms of technical and other support. Pizza Vito boasts of being a house of quality products. It makes sure to provide SOP of quality to all its franchisees. Being Human prefers to join hands with like minded people who have an understanding of the brand values that are deeply rooted with humanitarian causes and have a strong retail background. The brand provides complete support for day-to-day business operations, recruitment and training and also provides leasing and project guidelines. To be a SportsFit franchisee, a prospective franchisee should have passion to not only run a fitness business model but also to be the best in it and have a long term plan. The brand assists its franchisees in technical and operation support. Since the business at Iosis is all about people, it ensures that it has a rigorous process of screening and reviewing the prospective franchisees. A prospective franchisee need not necessarily be from the same industry. Iosis provides complete management support and training to the aspiring individuals so that with their high level of enthusiasm and inner drive they make their dream a success. Iosis follows a multi stage review process starting from their profiling, to multiple rounds of discussions to ensure that the investor is excited about investing in the wellness sector and will be able to provide the support that the brand expects from a franchisee. Sanjeev Kapoor's The Yellow Chilli started franchising way back in 1998. The brand seeks people with passion for food. Any previous experience is also welcome. Complete support is provided to the franchisees, with hand-holding from the day of the launch, followed by continuous product enhancement, marketing and up gradations from time-to-time.

Way forward

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's, The Yellow Chilli has 26 operational restaurants out of which 24 are franchisee-run and the brand has big plans to launch 25 more restaurants by 2015 in India and abroad. Iosis has 15 centres in 11 cities and plans to take the count to at least 30 by 2015.  SportsFit has its own gyms in Global Foyer, Gurgaon and Vasant Kunj. Brands franchise centres are located in Faridabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Dehradun and it plans to expand not just nationally but internationally too. By 2015, SportsFit plans to have at least 300 gyms. Pizza Vito currently has two company owned and seven franchise outlets. By 2015, the brand plans to open 10 franchise and 20 company owned outlets. By March 2015, Being Human plans to grow its reach to 50 EBOs across India out of which over 50 per cent will be franchise stores.

 

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