THE THICKSHAKE FACTORY
The Thickshake Factory opened their doors in winter of 2013 in Hyderabad. In a span of three years, the brand has the world pouring and sipping at their doors. Aswhin Nag and Yeshwanth Nag, Co-founder, The Thickshake Factory
talk about the franchising journey of the brand in this exclusive interaction. Tell us about your Franchising journey in 2018- new outlets added and if any repositioning of the previous ones. The Thickshake Factory has seen an exponential growth in the number of outlets setup over the last 5 years. From 56 stores at the end of 2017, we currently stand at 97 operational stores across 20 cities in India and 1 in LA California. Majority of our franchise partners are existing franchise owners who have taken up multiple stores. This is a testament to the success of the brand. We have had no outlets that have been shut down in 2018. Based on your experience and expertise - what do you have to say about the understanding of franchising in India, especially so if you have to compare it with the system seen in European or Western countries.
The idea of a franchising business is a very nascent concept in India. The European and Western countries have mastered the art of franchising with new age models that have been tried and tested as successful. In any franchising business, there are primarily three aspects that one looks at: 1) Operational Expertise 2) ROI 3) Brand Credibility.
Franchising has transgressed to a state of a specific skill set with a definite number of parameters that one needs to fulfill in order to be successful in the business. Young entrepreneurs looking to take ownership of their finances is a booming segment and will continue to grow in the coming years in India. What are the nuances that are typical to franchising operations in India. One of the primary characteristics of franchising operations in India is geography. Every region is so varied in their tastes and preferences that the nature of business is defined accordingly. What works in one region may not enjoy the same response in another region. The best way to break through the market is to introduce a novelty from another country and add a taste of Indian-ness to it!
Another native Indian concept is the Rent to Revenue Ratio. While it is around 10 percent in the European and Western countries, it is close to 30 percent in the Indian market. This has a direct effect on the sustenance of the business in the long-run. Tell us about the franchising business of your brand, highlighting the key milestones that are dear to the company’s journey? We operate on a FOFO model primarily. 70 percent of our outlets are Franchise operated outlets with nearly 35 percent of them having more than one franchise. The brand has seen an exponential increase in the number of stores that has been set up over the last 5 years of inception.
We are one of the most awarded Shakes brand in India bagging multiple awards. What makes your brand a favorite with franchisers - things that you do for relationship and business building for them. As mentioned earlier, nearly 35 percent of our Franchise partners have taken up more than one store. This is a clear indication of the trust in the brand and belief in the product quality. We are always learning various new aspects associated with the franchising world specific to the F&B segment and have shared this knowledge with our franchise partners regularly. We are very critical in our choice of potential franchise partners, motivating them to be involved in all the various aspects of running the business and not merely treating this as an investment opportunity. What as a franchise do you expect from the franchisers? To begin with, we look to partnering with passionate entrepreneurs who stand strong on the following parameters: 1) Location availability 2) Risk taking & a willingness to invest in the growth of the business 3) Ability to look after day-today operations at the store
4) Capability to run more than one outlet. A mutually collaborative partnership forms the cornerstone of our expectations from the franchise partners.