DNA Newspaper Need a change? Board the franchise train. ...
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Need a change? Board the franchise train.

Sunday, Sep 8, 2013, 11:19 IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA, Priyanka Golikeri  

Setting up a franchise is emerging as an alternative for those bored with routine jobs.

At a time when people are either jobless or forced to take up any job that comes their way owing to the prevalent economic crisis, setting up a franchise seems top on the radar for some.

With several brands, selling ice-cream, confectioneries and fast food or rendering services like salons, spas and pre-schools, eying quick expansion, individuals looking at working as franchisees are big hits.

With returns on investment expected in about one to three years time in most domains, and profit margins being in high double-digits, the proposition seems to be a lucrative option.

Experts says franchising is a bit like putting together a startup, albeit the equipment and manpower are often provided by the franchisers.  “And youngsters nowadays are open towards trying out a gamut of professions and jobs, “says Sunil Goel, Director of HR Firm GlobalHunt

Gautam Shukla, a 32-year-old software engineer in Koramangala, is planning to nosedive into franchising for a new ice-cream brand. Shukla is in the IT sector for close to a decade, and “now want to try out something totally different.” 

He says selling products that are manufactured centrally is far easier than running a specialised service.

“Furthermore, ice-creams or food items can also be sold through mobile vans, that call for far less investment, both in terms of manpower and rentals, as compared with opening stores or kiosks,” says Shukla.

Planning to pool together his savings, and through a small bank loan, he says he can manage to put across the initial Rs12 lakh. 

“The margins are really good,” says Shukla, explaining that if he buys a four litre ice-cream pack from the franchiser for Rs400, and sells each scoop for Rs40, he can easily get Rs1200 from 30 scoops. 

“So, from the remaining Rs800, even if my overheads and staff costs come up to Rs200-250, the deal is extremely lucrative,” says Shukla, who is approaching some new brands that are looking for franchisees.

Sandhya Keshavan, an MSc graduate working with a pharmaceutical firm is also, like Shukla, looking at franchising. Keshavan has plans of getting in the booming wellness sector, and is scouting for brands that are into salons and spas. 

“I will be needing about Rs28-30 lakhs, which I have to avail through a bank loan. The franchiser will help in training and providing the staff, and I am expected to start recovering the investment from the second year onwards,” says Keshavan, who has also quit her job, “out of frustration” to plunge full-time in this venture.

Shukla on the other hand plans to continue working till “I am confident of pulling this off.”