In an interview with Restaurant India, Asvin Simon, Bangs, reveals his plans for India and global markets.
How do you see restaurant franchising as a business model in India?
We have been into franchising for about five years. We are the only organised brand in this segment. We started in 2009 and now are present across three countries, including India, Dubai and Qatar, its Indian originated international brand. We are the first brand from India into overseas market in this segment. And we have close to 60 outlets in India.
Do you think that this is the best medium to expand the business, as JV is another such example available for expansion?
Yes, if you want to grow fast then franchising is the best medium within the span of limited time. If you are planning for your own outlet, then lots of things have to be taken into consideration like manpower, investment and supervision whereas in franchising model you can establish very fast. This is the best method for expansion for multicity expansion.
As you are operating under fried chicken and Burger segment. Do you see any competition from brands like KFC and McDonald’s as they have the bigger share of the market in this segment?
They are there for decades and captured a significant piece in the market share. Hence, we are at a very nascent stage to compete with any global brands.
Earlier talking to Restaurant India, you said you are targeting 500 outlets in next five years. What is the growth as of now?
Last year we were focusing on the international markets, but now we are focusing on national market and hope to grow very fast and steadily. We will open stores very soon all across the nation.
You have outlets in global Diasporas as well. Being the franchisee restaurant, what are the legalities for taking brands to other countries?
In India it is very vast, we have to develop a lot in terms of awareness towards franchising as there is not much knowledge about franchising and there needs to be a lot of franchising program and how to combat laws, at the end, you have to follow the brand which is not happening in most of the cases in India. There needs to be more consistency towards franchising especially food.
What’s your take on rules and laws prevailing in the country when it comes to restaurant franchising?
It is very difficult we don’t get solutions very fast in India that’s the biggest problem. We are very weak whereas overseas, these things are becoming very fast as there are many rules to catch hold of the franchisee or franchisor. We need to improve a lot, and to have a lot more control on franchisee permit.
You have your presence in smaller cities. Why so? Are you afraid of entering the metros as they are addicted to global brands?
We have metro presence as well but it’s not very easy to open an outlet in metros. We are a growing brand, at a very initial stage. And as the real estate cost, labour cost and other operational charge as well as hidden charges, example bribe is huge in these areas. So, it is almost impossible for brands like us to open outlet in metros. These things do not happen in smaller cities. I am saving half of the amount which needs to be spending in metro cities.
What are the benefits of operating in smaller cities?
There are a lot of advantages which we get when we open in smaller cities like the competition is less, visibility is very big but at the same time when open in smaller cities, you will have to do a lot of activity to sustain a customer as there are limited set of customer willing to have the kind of food you are offering.
Online food ordering apps have certainly grabbed the customers in restaurant industry. Does it hamper your sales?
Actually, online food ordering websites are making a comfortable zone for us. We are getting additional business from it. They are making our work very easy to say instead of me doing a business promotion for my brands, they are doing so. They have a platform through which they are also benefitting and we are also getting an increased share.