Franchising in India: Learning the Hard Way

Franchises are taking over the world, from fast-food restaurants to furniture outlets. While they may seem like a simple, risk-free way to expand your footprint and revenue, franchising is tricky business. Vijay Kapoor learned firsthand how difficult it is to create a successful franchise in India for his fashion brand Derby Responsible Menswear. Hear his roller coaster of a success story and get strategic advice on if, when, and how to franchise your own business.

Kapoor learned the importance of dressing for success early in his career when he was barred from a building because he wasn’t dressed right. He turned that experience into a business. He explains, ”I decided I’d get into clothing and help people dress well because if you’re dressed well, you’re confident, your inner strength and your talent comes out, and you can go out and succeed.”

After 14 years of building his fashion brand in Southern India with 30 company-owned stores, Kapoor wanted to go national. But expanding would be expensive. So, he turned to franchising in 2008 — and by 2012 he deemed it a complete failure. But Kapoor didn’t give up, learning from his mistakes, strengthening his brand, and switching to a franchise-first mindset where everyone wins.

Kapoor reflects on that time, “When we had these losses and when I had to sell away everything and bring everything back to the drawing board is when I realized the fundamental mistake or flaw in my whole thought process. The business model was successful in south India. But the way it was operated and expanded was absolutely flawed. Entrepreneurship is about sharing and growing together. Only when everybody wins in your value chain, will you succeed.”

Today, Derby Responsible Menswear is 95% franchise, and Kapoor has created over 1,000 successful entrepreneurs in the process by focusing on the brand, location, talent, training, data, and communication.

Listen to Kapoor’s setbacks and winning strategies and hear how he’s setting a new standard…

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