PUMA entered the Indian market in 2006 and within three years it has shown an exceptional growth. Sanjay Roy, Executive Director Sales, PUMA India speaks to Joyshree Saha, about his strategies for franchise stores.
As a leading footwear and active wear brand in India, what is unique about franchise strategy that makes your model click in the market?
We have both owned and operated (O&O) model in India along with franchise model. We have a dedicated team which oversees product, operations and cost effectivity in the O&O model. Hence, we are able to guide and pass on best practices/learning to our franchisees from our O&O model. It also makes us equipped with risk parameters.
How much has franchise model helped to facilitate growth in this industry in India?
India is a diverse country and to reach every city in India is only possible through a franchise model. Only a good multiple franchise model can help to reach the width and depth of the country. Our expansion goal is to go pan-India and present in mainly tier-II and III cities.
How have you mastered the art of selecting and retaining the right franchisee?
There are various facets to be a good franchisee. Ideally, they should have a merchandising and operations background. They need not be necessarily investors. We have a region specific franchisee and not one franchisee for entire country. We assess the franchisee through multiple layers of management. They all have more than ten years of experience in merchandising and operations. In case there are gaps, we try to stabilise them with our own experience and best practices.
What do you think personally about Indian franchise owner? And, how can Indian franchise owner be more competitive?
I think the Indian franchise owner is progressive and forward looking. He should be a risk taking entrepreneur, who has the ability to look at future pragmatically. If the Indian franchisee becomes more operation savvy, looks at long term business and has a good working capital, he has a long future.
E-tailing has taken the market by storm. What are your strategies to ensure smooth operation of the franchise stores? How do you ensure your franchisees motivated to face the challenge?
Consumption in India being at a nascent stage, we expect that if the economy does well, the consumption will jump multi fold. And this growth cannot be handled by any single channel, it needs multiple channels to cater the same. E-retail and brick –n-mortar both are going to stay. The audience for exclusive stores will be more premium; they will expect better service and purchase better end products while e commerce will cater to lower end customer with value purchases. We already see that difference in the buying patterns of both channels. I am very confident with Brick & Mortar retail as we will continue to invest and open PUMA owned and operated stores and franchise stores at the same time.