Others Indian Franchising Summit 2007: ‘Franchisees in India work more as agents than as business partners’

Indian Franchising Summit 2007: ‘Franchisees in India work more as agents than as business partners’

Author | Sumita Patra | Monday, Mar 12,2007 9:45 AM

Indian Franchising Summit 2007: ‘Franchisees in India work more as agents than as business partners’

The Indian Franchising Summit organised by the Franchise Plus magazine in collaboration with Franchising Association of India (FAI) kicked off in the Capital on March 10. The summit revolving around the theme, ‘Franchising - The future of Retailing in India’, was aimed at establishing a platform for the sharing and exchange of knowledge of best practices, thereby paving the way towards a blueprint for success through franchising.

Delivering the welcome address, C Y Pal, President, Franchising Association of India, said, “The Indian economy is going through a rapid growth. It is driven by revolution in the retail sector. With all the action in the retailing space, franchising is assuming a very significant role. At present, franchising constitutes just 2 per cent of the retailing business in India, therefore, there is tremendous scope for further growth of franchising in India.”

“Events like this are important from the point of view of growth of franchising in India,” Pal further said.

Expressing his thoughts on the booming retail sector, Vikram Bakshi, Managing Director, McDonalds India, attributed growing disposable income, increasing openness towards modern formats, increasing appetite in the tier II towns, changing role of women, increasing demand for ‘shopper-tainment’, as the growth drivers for the retail sector.

Dwelling on the ailing factors, Bakshi said, “Franchisees in India work more as agents than as business partners. There are no specific laws as well.”

According to him, transparency, new product development, innovative products, well-established business network, were some of the factors that needed to be kept in mind in order to ensure a successful franchise system.

Harsha Agadi, CEO, Church’s Chicken, USA, highlighted the ways of selecting a franchiser and a franchisee. According to him, understanding the emerging trends, understanding return on investment are critical. He also stressed on value proposition while saying, “Value proposition needs to be clearly defined.”

S K Jain, CMD, Jaaydaad.com, laid stress on both the opportunities as well as the challenges of franchising in India. According to him, there was high acceptability of organised franchising system. He felt that Indian brands were at par with international brands.

Jain enumerated, “lack of regulation in franchising, cultural differences and attrition of trained manpower” as some of the challenges (of franchising in India) that needs to be addressed.

The day’s first session on ‘Emerging Opportunities in Franchising — Domestic and International Brands’ was moderated by FAI’s Pal and had in its panel speakers like Pinaki Mishra, Partner, E&Y; Marcel Portman, VP, International Development, International Franchise Association; Sunil Dewan, Franchise Consultant, USA, and Amjad Ali, Co-Founder, Euro Dixy (UK).

Sharing his thoughts on the topic, E&Y’s Mishra, said, “Internationally franchising is very well accepted. In India the acceptability is growing by the day. India is a market waiting to be explored.”

According to him, the changes that were taking place in India were not driven by the disposable incomes that people had today. He said, “It is not due to extra income that things have changed dramatically. Moods have changed. The new Indian consumer looks at things from a lifestyle point of view.”

Mishra cited, ‘booming consumerism, vibrant economy, changing attitudes and resplendent market’ as some of the key drivers of growth.

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