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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.

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