Deval Tibrewala, the CEO and Director of Polo Towers Group which owns and opertes Shillong’s only luxury hotel, Hotel Pultas has established Polo Foods, a new business entity which has recently been appointed as the Master Franchisee for three US-based brands; the Great American Cookies, Forever Yogurt and sandwich chain Quiznos (for East India). The company is looking for franchisees for a pan India expansion.
“Our first stores will open in Kolkata in the next 3-6 months. We are looking for strong franchise partners. The area required would vary between 700-1,000 sq.ft. per store. For Great American Cookies, it could be as small as 300 sq.ft. The franchise investment would range between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 40 lakh depending on the location in a mall, food court, etc. Our model is more profitable as we allow a franchisee or our company-owned stores to stock multiple brands in the same location by having a co-branded outlet. We will have standalone stores plus co-branded stores,” said Tibrewala.
The format for both the company owned and franchised stores will be the same. However, it will vary for Forever Yogurt full store and Forever Express. The latter has less variants and can be opened in as small as 150 sq.ft. thus giving a great ROI in terms of the rentals being paid.
“We plan to have 100 stores across the three brands by 2016 having a mix of company owned and franchise outlets as hybrid model is the best suited business model for India. In Kolkata alone, we will open three stores each for Great American Cookies, Forever Yogurt, and Quiznos in the current fiscal,” he further added.
For Quiznos, the company plans to open stores across Eastern India in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Mizoram, and Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Tibrewala also confirmed that for Quiznos his company will also tie up with companies for captive outlets, i.e. if there is a large office block owned by a company then we can have special pricing for the employees.
He concluded by stating that going forward Polo Foods plan to bring more international brands to India.