Though at an emerging stage, franchising in India has been clocking in a growth rate of 25-30 per cent, making it the second fastest growing industry. In the US, 45 per cent of the sales come from franchised business, India is yet to reach that stage where franchised businesses are as widespread as the local grocers.
However, given the growth figures, franchising in India has immense potential. The $4-billion industry in India employs nearly 97 lakh people. The nearly two lakh-odd franchisees in India are expected to double by 2010, which will cut across all sectors, Even US-listed companies are looking at the franchising model.
This has paved the way for new franchise publications to take root here, besides opening new arenas of growth for the already existing publications in the industry. The Indian publications are active on three different fronts – print, Web and industry events. exchange4media takes an in-depth look at the current space and the players who are playing a key role in its growth.
The Print Players
In the print segment, some of the key players include, Franchise Plus, Franchising World, Franchising Focus, among many others.
‘Franchise Plus’, a leading bi-monthly franchise journal that primarily focuses on the franchising, retailing, distribution, real estate and licensing industry, contains over 100 pages of trends, analysis and opportunities for all those who aspire to become successful franchisees. Vinod Behl, Editor, Franchise Plus, stated that the magazine was launched to realise the need for delivering credible and authentic information to inform and empower prospective and existing franchisees.
‘Franchising World’, another bi-monthly magazine, is published by Franchise India Holding Ltd. The magazine was launched in 1999 as a quarterly magazine and became a bi-monthly in 2000. The magazine aims to help franchisers meet, educate, motivate and recruit franchisees and highlights new and established franchise opportunities.
‘Franchising Focus’, a bi-monthly, is published by Franchising Association of India. The magazine targets franchisors, franchisees, vendors, consultants, financial institutions, students, etc.
Internet portals are the other genre of media in the franchising fraternity, considered a marketplace providing a common meeting point for the franchisors, franchisees, brand owners, vendors, solution providers, and to all the stakeholders of the franchise industry.
Among many others active in this segment, some of the key players include – franchise-plus.com, franchiseindia.com, franchisebusiness.in, fai.co.in, and franchisemart.in. These websites not only provide ready and the latest information on the franchising industry, but also help the industry players in growing their business.
Franchisemart.in, which is a new entrant in the market, claims to have penetrated the franchising industry in Tier II and III cities, along with Tier I cities, which are the primary target of the other major portals. Alpesh Thakkar, CEO, Franchisemart.in, said, “Our website emphasises more on generating business through our website from Tier II and III cities.”
The industry organises numerous events, conferences and trade shows throughout the year. These events provide platforms for business expansion and meeting new clients.
Speaking on the Times Franchise Expo, slated to be held in Mumbai on January 24-25 and in Chandigarh on February 7-8, Sumit Solanki, Senior officer, Times Group, said, “We have already covered the metro cities, now our focus is to capture Tier II and Tier III cities. The growth of this sector is immense because of the population growth and shopping ambitions of generation next.”
A quick look at some of the events in 2009
The advertisers in this industry include franchisors, franchisees, direct selling players, and mall developers. In addition to these, all corporate who wish to expand their business also constitute a major portion of advertisers in franchise publications.
“The advertisers are franchisors, licensors and other budding entities that are on the lookout for suitable franchises, licensees, dealers, distributors, investors, etc. These apart, it also includes real estates developers, primarily focusing on retail real estates. The target audience is mainly individuals who have the funds/ investment capabilities and those who want their business to make a difference. These include first time entrepreneurs as well as those looking to diversify their existing businesses. The magazine generates high quality response for the advertisers,” informed Atul Sharma, Vice-President, Sales, exchange4media Group.
“In the publication business, our journey so far has been quite satisfying. Franchise Plus over the last four years has established itself as an informative, credible and well-respected publication in the franchise domain and has become an example of a successful franchising publication. And, with the industry’s tremendous growth potential, franchising and retail publications are ready to explore new dimensions of the industry,” said, Vinod Behl, Editor, Franchise Plus.
Suresh Krishnan, Executive Vice President and Country Head, Reed Infomedia India, claimed, “In just 20 months of operation, we have captured a huge clientele, as is visible on the site with close to 90 per cent renewal rates.”
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