STELLAR FURNISHINGS & SCHILLERE FURNITURE KOLKATA
Stellar Furnishings deals in furnishings (curtains & upholstery) and flooring along with all related accessories like drapery rods, bed covers, bed sheets, cushion fillers, cushion covers, blinds, wall to wall carpets, design (center) carpets, laminated & hardwood flooring, furniture, lamp shades and exclusive showpieces including photo frames, candle stands, candles, artificial flowers, flower vases etc. Reeshab Agarwal, Business Development Head, Stellar Furnishing & Schillere Furniture Kolkata talks about the franchising journey of the brand. Let’s talk about the challenges associated with franchising in India? The challenge associated with franchising in India is nepotism. In the industry people have their favourite brands and the major challenge lies in the efficiency of the franchising companies. What makes your brand a favorite with franchisers - things that you do for relationship and business building with them? We operate on the Franchise Owned Franchisee Operated (FOFO) basis. We are no stock business model, so the franchisers don’t require investing in the stock and this makes us popular. Whatever the cost they have to adhere is majorly for making of the show rooms or buying the samples. Second thing what we do for them is the store set up part. From initial making to the final designing of the store, everything is done at our end. All the MRPS and the margins are given from us to the franchise owner. The major point that makes us as a brand favourite is in spite of operating on a no stock model we are giving them a margin of around 45 to 50 percent on all products. As a franchise, what do you expect from the franchisers? We obviously expect that they adhere to our investment models. Apart from this, there is one more thing that we stand firm on and that is that we do not want it to be a staff run show. The industry needs a personal touch and we request franchisers to run stores themselves. Personal involvement is very important for us to survive in the toughest of markets. Based on your experience and expertise, what do you have to say about the understanding of franchising in India, especially if you have to compare it with the system seen in European or Western countries. We have been in the franchise business for the last three years now and have successfully delivered about four franchisees. We are planning to develop another 10 stores in the next 2 years. We as a company would like to go in for a family-run business system even in the franchisee business. I think stock and warehouse system in India needs to be improved more and there is a vacuum over there and in coming years we would be able to remove that as well. What according to you are nuances that are typical to franchising operations in India? The franchising companies in India do not have a very good network but I think with new players coming, there should be more marketing activity, more operations, more successful exhibitions where franchisers can have the opportunity to have successful conversions of clients on the spot. There is also a setback in terms of technology. With new technological giants coming to India,operations would become easy in future. Tell us about the franchising business of your brand, highlighting the key milestones that are dear to the company’s journey. The key milestones of the company journey is that we successfully opened two new stores in Delhi. Currently, we have five stores in Kolkata, two in Delhi and one in Bhubaneswar. We are also foraying into Singapore soon as well as in Bangladesh and some more new markets.
We are introducing a new brand by the name of Siyaara Furnishings which would be catering to the most economical segment of the market and we are hopeful of snaring a large market share in the coming years. The other key milestones what company aims to have in the near future is that we are aiming to open approximately 15 stores in the next two years.