How to start a franchise business in India with 8 viable options

Starting a Franchised business

A franchise business combines the benefits of an entrepreneurial life with a readily recognizable brand. Starting in business can be difficult as it takes years to build the brand identity. However, franchise businesses have a head start as they are already known by the public.

If you plan to set up a franchise, here’s how you can start

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Your preferred niche – Years ago there were only a handful of brands that had a franchise in India. Most of us would remember visiting Bata franchises for our school shoes. But franchises are very common nowadays. You should choose an industry you are passionate about, be it a restaurant, an apparel brand, a share broking firm, a courier agency or even a pharmacy. 

Probing the possibility – Most franchise business in India invites application from interested parties. There must be an initial agreement with the franchise provider. In the case of international franchises, an international broker may also be involved. You must also get the business registered with the government and carry out the other compliance formalities.

Regulatory Licensing – Specific business licenses are required to run a business. Landing a franchise deal is subject to acquiring these licenses. For example, it could be a drug license for a pharmacy or an FSSAI license for a restaurant. 

Infrastructure – You must convince the franchise company that you have the infrastructure to carry out the business. This includes the required retail space and sufficient manpower.

Franchise License fee - The franchise license fee varies with the policies and popularity of the brand. For instance, many upcoming restaurant franchises charge Rs 2 to 5 lakhs as fee. A MacDonald's franchise, on the other hand, can set you back by Rs 30 lakhs. 

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If you are not sure about your preferred niche, here are a few franchise business ideas you can consider (along with indicative costs)

  1. Pre-school – The demand for quality education will never go away. If your area is lacking a preschool you can apply to Kidzee, Shemrock, Bachpan etc. and set up a quality kindergarten in your locality. (Estimated investment - Kidzee - Rs 12-15 lakhs)
  2. Pharmacy – Healthcare is another evergreen business. While standalone pharmacies are popular, brands like Apollo, Medplus, Care and Sanjivani offer you the chance to open a drugstore with an established brand identity. (Estimated investment - Apollo - Rs 5-10 lakhs)
  3. Courier – Brands like Delhivery, InXpress and DTDC can be explored for logistics needs in your area. (Estimated investment - Delhivery - Rs 50,000 to 2 lakhs)
  4. Personal grooming – Jawed Habib and Shahnaz Husain are among the many instantly recognizable brands when it comes to personal grooming salons. (Brand fee - Jawed Habib - Rs 7.5 lakhs)
  5. Gifts – If the colourful world of flowers enchants you, perhaps you can go for a Ferns N Petals franchise. Or offer gifting solutions in the neighbourhood with a Gift Shopee. (Franchisee fee - FNP - Rs 3 lakhs)
  6. Restaurants – It is one of the best franchise business in India, with something for every budget. (Infrastructure investment - Hard Rock Cafe - Rs 30 to 50 lakhs, Franchise fee - Rs 5 lakhs)
  7. Ice cream – Ice cream outlets, like Amul and Baskin Robbins, are another popular franchise business option. (Estimated investment - Baskin Robbins - Rs 12 lakhs, including franchise fee Rs 4-5 lakhs)
  8. Décor – Of late, furniture and home décor franchises like Pepperfry and Instadecor have emerged as business opportunities in urban centres in India. (Estimated investment - Pepperfry - Rs 10 lakhs, franchise cost - Rs 2 lakhs)

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If you have arranged the capital to start a business or plan to expand your existing one, applying for a franchise can be a feasible option for you.