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Franchising in India, Part 3: The Indian Scene

Today’s post on franchising in India will look at Indian franchises themselves. Let’s begin with a personal anecdote. Below you’ll see a photo of a bustling Indian restaurant. You’ll find it in the city of Pune, a city of 4 million people in the state of Maharastra. It’s called Dosa Hut. It’s just beside a modern new shopping mall and next door to a bustling McDonald’s. Here’s the catch though: it’s not a franchise, but a restaurant designed to look like one. Most you'll find dosas being sold by vendors on the side of the road. But some smart restaurateur realized that young Indians are looking to eat at a place with all of the trappings of a western food franchise and designed their place accordingly.


Eaters at Dosa Hut enjoy a lunch

As for real franchises in India, the market is roughly similar to countries all over the world. Mostly, you encounter a lot of domestic food franchises, places like Veggie Hummous Hut, Chawla’s and Grillz and Coolz, a sandwich and ice cream franchise chain. But it is not only food franchises that are on the rise. There are education franchises like SmartKids and The Global Classroom, which have been created to satisfy that great hunger for knowledge that many Indians have, plus home restoration franchises like Tanclean and real estate franchises like REBI. The Indian franchising market is also very well-regulated and the Indian Franchise Association provides outstanding support for its members. Ultimately, India is becoming more and more brand conscious. That’s the lesson of Dosa Hut. You can see it in their name and in the design of their stores. While Indian consumers still look fondly at Western brands, the challenge for Indian franchisees is to create a household name with the same cachet of a McDonald’s or a CartridgeWorld. Give them time and I believe they will. Want to learn more about Indian franchising? Why not read an introduction to the Indian franchise market, as well as our experience of a Mumbai McDonald's.
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