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Mar, 03 2017

NATURE-FRIENDLY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

Anil Bhandari, Chairman, ‘Sandberry’ by Saffron, is an avid nature lover & is inspired by his invention of alternative wood products made by special polymer composite Art’Wood

What was the purpose behind the inception and growth of Saffron Group?

The brand Saffron is all about ‘Love for Trees’. The inception of our brand took place when a special polymer composite product was developed called ‘Art’Wood’ as a substitute of wood, which also forms the backbone of our brand as we sell products made of artwood. This Art’Wood replaces wood in various applications such as blinds, flooring, windows, window shutter, doors, door frames and furniture, etc.

What is the strategy that has made the brand popular?

The major factor is the concept of developing alternative to wood. Like, in case of blinds, bamboos were being used widely earlier. Shabby finish was there on sticks and manual weaving was done. Aesthetics were not good, choice of colours were missing. Usage was restricted to balconies. Due to exposure to sun, wind and rain, life of bamboo blinds were limited.

With the invention of special polymer composite Art’Wood blinds, aesthet­ics are excellent now. Durability of the product has increased multifold. Products are easily washable. They can withstand tough weather conditions. They are fungus and bacteria free. The usage of Art’Wood blind is not only restricted to balconies, but people have started using them in their living rooms, bed rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. It is not restricted to residences, but are used by corporate & commer­cial establishments, educational institu­tions, hospitals, hotels, resorts.

What made you to choose Sandberry as your brand name?

Sandberry is a rare and unique fruit that is available naturally. As the products those will be introduced by our company are also rare and unique in nature, we have chosen the name ‘Sandberry’ - concepts showcased.

What is the current market size and potential of this industry?

The current market size is about Rs 6,000 crore and it is increasing 30 per cent per annum. And if the concept catches up throughout India, growth rate can be much higher.

As of now, there are lots of un­organized players in the market. Quality and branded products are not available at the national level. We are planning to address this area by introducing branded products, providing quality products, coupled with excellent services, and to have its presence throughout India.

All these new products will be launched and marketed under the brand name ‘‘Sandberry’ by Saffron’

What special leverage would a franchisee have post associating with Sandberry?

We call our franchisees as Indepen­dent Business Partners (IBP). Com­pany’s aim is to create large number of Entrepreneurs. We are providing them an opportunity to become an entrepreneur at a nominal franchise fee of Rs 2.5lakh, of which, Rs 1 lakh is refundable and taken as a security deposit, and the remaining Rs 1.5 lakh will be utilized to build up the showroom as per the best interna­tional practice. We have named the showrooms as ‘Experience Zone’, which are designed and built by highly qualified professionals.

Then, we will train and guide all IBPs to promote the product and to install the product at customer’s premises. Our team will hand hold IBPs till they start operating independently.

To encourage and motivate the IBPs, who are performing well, ‘Sandberry’ by Saffron has planned for additional incentive schemes.

Apart from above, more plans are in pipeline to motivate, recognize and appreciate the achievements of all our IBPs.

What kind of growth do you see for your brand in the next five years?

We are expecting to become the Rs 1000-crore brand in the next five years.

How far do you want to take your brand?

During the next financial year, we are planning to set up about 500 IBPs in Karnataka, and also to have about 10,000 IBPs throughout India in the next three to four years.

During first phase, ‘Sandberry’ is planning to launch 21 conceptual products. In the next two to three years, ‘Sandberry’ will showcase about 100 unique conceptual prod­ucts to the Indian market.

What is the opportunity for women entrepreneurs?

The Saffron Group firmly believes that women are more capable of ‘multi-tasking’ and are focused. We have a range of products that women will be able to promote more effectively. Also, we are promoting maximum numbers of women to come forward and grab this opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

What criteria do you follow to select the IBP & what kind of training and support do you provide to the IBP?

The ideal IBP must be dynamic, self-motivated and result-oriented per­son, who is willing to meet custom­ers at their door steps to explain the benefits of the products to promote it. As told earlier, ‘Sandberry’ by Saffron will provide sales training to all their IBPs about the methods of approaching customers, making presentation about the features and benefits of the products and thus promoting the same. ‘Sandberry’ by Saffron also provides the practical training to install the products at customer’s premises.

‘Sandberry’ by Saffron also provides uniform, ID card, presen­tation material, display material, catalogues, shade cards, samples, etc to their IBPs.

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