How Amul is Spreading its Flavours in India

Presently, out of the 8,500 parlours run by Amul, hardly 30 40 are company-owned and rest all are franchised.

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By Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur India

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In the beginning of 2000, when modern Indian retail was on its verge and international players were looking at India, Amul realised it's the next way forward for the dairy products company. From procurement, it was now time to get into retail. "We decided that we should get into retailing through our own Amul parlours. In this way we would have direct contact with the consumers and secondly, our range was increasing from refrigerated, frozen and fresh products. We then realised that if we open our own Amul parlour, it will help us display our wide product range." informs R S Sodhi, MD, Amul.

Amul began retail with its own parlours initially. Presently, out of the 8,500 parlours run by Amul, hardly 30 40 are company-owned and rest all are franchised. Early morning begins with milk, curd, buttermilk and for the rest of the day, butter, cheese, ghee, and rich icecream flavours are sold at these shops. The parlours are open till late night.

Talking about the kind of franchisees Amul attracts, Sodhi says, "We are not looking for big franchisees like state-wise or nation-wise. We want local franchisees who can personally monitor it within that city. So, there are franchisees having 8 to 10 parlours but basically local." It is not a very high margined product, but investments are also low. If you have got an owned shop or rented then you can begin Amul franchise with only Rs. three lakh and one can earn minimum 30 to 40 thousand a month with no gestation period as well.

"I will prefer youngsters or couples, if both want to work, to come forward to join our franchise," shares Sodhi. Many of its franchisees have more than one outlet running.

Starting franchising in 2006, the brand saw around 10 per cent shut downs so far on franchise front. Stating the reason, Sodhi says, "If the rent is high or you can't devote much time, then you are not in for the long haul." If somebody is not able to perform, the team helps them with more training. The brand's focus is pan India with major focus on Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, where the demand is more.

(This article was first published in the January issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Punita Sabharwal

Deputy Editor, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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