GB Singh- Director of Global Franchise Development

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Tell us about yourself & about your Business?

 

GB Singh

Sharpening Operational Performance, Driving Global Standardization and Curbing Costs as Executive Business Leader Focused on Long-Term Viability.

An International & Multi-Channel Executive with a Stellar Record of over 20 years’ experience in Franchise Management and Expansion in USA, UK, Australia & India in achieving revenue, profit & business growth objectives within turnaround environment. A proven track record of multitude of successes with Driving Performance, Improvements Signature Strength Sales, Innovation & Execution, and Leading High-Performance Team is what with Mr. Singh bring with him.

Core Competencies

Multifaceted Catalyst, who aggressively faces challenges, quickly assesses situations and develops/implements action plans to drive profitable financial performance under corporate objectives and plan of action.

  • Brand Leadership, Value Proposition
  • Strategy Planning, Prioritization & Execution
  • Global Franchise Lead
  • Strategic goals, financial & actionable plans
  • Process Engineering, Performance Scorecard
  • Coaching, Implementation & Team Development
  • Operations Analysis / Process Redesign
  • P&L Responsibility, ROI Model, EBITDA
  • In-Store Sales & Same Store Growth Program
  • Product Development & Menu Innovation
  • Digital Marketing & Social Media
  • Advertising, Media & Cost-effective tools
  • Turnaround / Change Management
  • Collaboration / Relationship Building
  • Logistics and Supply Management
  • M&A, JV, Collaborations

What is the story of your business?

  Mr. Singh began his career as Investment Banker at Head Office Foreign Exchange, New Delhi and served in London Office. During his association with banking and trade, he facilitated the launch of various M&A and Business Acquisitions and assisted to set up manufacturing facilities for exports which saw an increase in business from $ 20M to $ 300M.  During 1990’s, Mr. Singh joined an international sportswear company, New York as CFO and implemented operational programs servicing major national department, specialty and chain stores In USA, UK, Canada, South America, Mexico and European Countries. He had set up manufacturing facilities (worth $ 200M) in Bangladesh, China, and Thailand.  Since, 1995, Mr. Singh has been associated with diverse International brands and Franchise Management and Business Alliance, M&A served as CEO and Board Member with multi-unit/multi-brand QSR’/CDR chains.
Equipped with Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, University of Delhi, a Master’s degree in International Trade and Taxation, Delhi School of Economics, a Top Rank - an International business-focused MBA from FMS, University of Delhi in directing International Marketing, E-Commerce, Investments, he propelled B2B & B2C operatives for multimillion-dollar organization in Europe, USA, Australia and in India for Fortune 500 business leaders. His specialties include multi-disciplinary International brands. Franchise Development, Product Development, Supply Chain & Logistics, Digital Marketing, QC Circles, HACCP quality check, Process Re-Design and Profitability both quantitatively and qualitatively. Since 1995, Mr. Singh is associated with diverse International brands including F&B, QSR’/CDR/FDRs’. 

Locations: USA, Pan India, Australia, Fiji, UK, Dubai & Europe

F&B Brands

Brands:, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Dominos, McDonalds, Subway, Nando’s, Fast Trax,, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Jim boy’s Tacos., Eagle Boys, 7-Eleven Food Chain,  Subways’, Nathan’s Famous, Carvel Ice-Cream, Popeyes, Arby’s Dunkin Donuts.

Tell us about your achievement you are most proud of?

                       

Notable Achievements

  • Awarded Entrepreneurial Operations Head of the Year 2011 from National Restaurant Association
  • Negotiated for Business Planning & Acquisitions worth $500M in support of annual revenue generation of $200M
  • Anchored international alliance resulting in revenue generation of $250M & profit enhancement by 400% in 5 years
  • Increased market penetration by 200% by formulating and implemented marketing plan in international market
  • Increased 300% revenue along with over improved EBITDA by 30%
  • Turned Around the franchisee operations and steered company growth revenue by $400M
  • Recognized as a brand change agent and established franchisee network for multi-unit/brand operators

What were the difficulties that you face and how did you overcome them?

There were many situations and challenges countered in business and managed successfully and overcome the difficulties:  Some of the key examples are given as under:

Made “the impossible, possible” for number of challenging situations.

Case-1

Diagnostics: Strategy, Social – Media Marketing, Franchise Development &  Financing

Situation:

One of the leading franchisees of International QSR brands planned to expand further in North-East market. To ensure success, the company hired me to provide necessary marketing, financial models and develop the market.

Action:

Developed a comprehensive business plan in terms of acquisitions of multi-unit, multi-locations, multi-brands – 200 locations and led the team from the front for site selections, preparing SOP’s. Prepared financial models and projections to obtain $120M financing for business acquisitions and real estate.  Prepare marketing tools to accelerate social media tools and mobile ordering tools and techniques. Arranged financing and motivated the team. Consistently revitalized and leverage marketing tools and financing to accelerate growth.

Success formula for excellence in execution:
80% Execution (do it), 15% Position (stick to it) 5% Strategy (plan it)
Guided by the this formula, Mr. Singh has led companies to breakthrough results, highlighted by the followings:

FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT: Expanded franchisee network from to over 200 units.

MARKET ENTRY: Assisted franchisees to arrange funding worth $ 350 M for diversified clients, eclipsed largest competitor, driving organization from # 2 to #1.

Impact & Analysis:

Revenue of this franchise operations soared from $4M to $250M in about 18 months and turned a profit during its fiscal first year. My principal and secondary mandates were huge and I took it them very seriously. During this period, I was literally working day and night to make sure at challenges were met and I was able to influence to the stakeholders and my team members for the same.

Case 2   - From Archive file

Tools utilized to develop the model

Case 3 – From Archive file

Case 4

Case 5 – Due Diligence

Case 6 – Due Diligence

How difficult is it to stay in this industry nowadays?

QSR’s/CDRs and FDR’s are now tough businesses to operate, even in the best of times — 60 percent fail within their first year, and 80 percent within their first five.  I am fully aware of the current lock-down situation in India due to Corona-Virus and not appropriate to comment at this point.  However, I would brief my discussion and observation (based on current US market scenario)  for the food franchise industry in particular as follows:

  1. There are lots of reasons for that high failure rate: changing consumer preferences; thin margins in the best of times; a workforce with a high turnover rate; the wrong location; and in the era of smartphones and apps, a poor digital experience for consumers.
  2. In the last three weeks, restaurant owners added another reason: the abrupt lack of consumer demand brought about by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus; the forced shuttering of restaurant dine-in establishments in many states; and a work-from-home workforce that has all but eliminated the lunchtime crowd for traditional restaurants and quick-service restaurants (QSRs).
  3. We see it in the data. According to the latest edition of PYMNTS’ COVID-19 Brief Series, the share of consumers dining at sit-down restaurants had declined 85.2 percent since the pandemic began, dropping 52.3 percent in 11 days. Thus far, that marks the largest behavioral shift observed in our data. And the same data set notes that traffic isn’t merely shift to take-out — only 16 percent reported they were ordering in more to replace eating out. 
  4. One of the leading firm provides technology services to about 30,000 restaurants nationwide, said that over the course of about three days, he saw the industry essentially grind to a halt and simultaneously try to turn on a dime to figure out how to add curbside pickup and delivery, turn their kitchens into ghost kitchens and make meal kits — in short, how to pivot their way through this.
  5. Adapting, all agreed, is the only option open for eateries today. They can’t change the crisis, the closures or the course this is going to take, but they can and have shifted their operations and will likely continue doing so long after this pandemic has passed.
  6. While the restaurant industry as a whole has been affected by recent events, the panel noted, the real impacts can be hard to measure because the effects have been far from evenly meted out. The pizza industry, for example, is actually growing because pizza is affordable and pizza firms have spent the last several decades perfecting delivering it in 30 minutes or less. There are also minimal touchpoints between the time a pie goes into the oven and the time it goes into a box and then sent out for delivery.
  7. The experience for Zoku Sushi, Yi noted, has been quite different. The company has been forced to shutter its doors. Yi said the impact of COVID-19 caught Zoku Sushi “completely flat-footed” by the nearly overnight shutdown that came to its base of operations in Midtown Manhattan.
  8. The same holds true for Bamboo Asia, an establishment that operates throughout San Francisco’s financial district, said van de Rijt. He has also seen his company’s customer base largely disappear. The pivot to order-ahead and pickup or delivery lasted about two days as it just wasn’t workable for Bamboo Asia’s operations. Instead, van de Rijt said the company pivoted just this week to something else entirely: meal kits for a population of people who’ve suddenly discovered home cooking.
  9. For restauranteurs changing, modifying and updating their operations by the hour, there are just too many unknowns right now to be making specific forecasts for the future.
  10. Will COVID-19 be over in six to eight weeks, or will there be waves of this for the next year while a vaccine is being developed? Will consumers hungry for contact with the outside world rush back to restaurant dining rooms the minute they open, or will they be a bit wary of being in closed crowded spaces from now on? Will workers begin going back to work soon, or will employers be extremely conservative about opening their office spaces?
  11. But what the panel was universally sure of was one thing: The restaurant industry as we have known it will probably never return to the previous “normal.” Delivery, once something whose path to profitability was questionable, is now a permanent part of the landscape, and restaurants players and aggregators like GrubHub and UberEats are going to need to better define those relationships. And as delivery grows, Paytronix’s Robbins said, restaurants are going to face interesting questions about whether they want to work with the aggregators or focus on building out their own delivery operations.
  12. But food delivery specifically — and food choice in general — is becoming a whole new world in front of our eyes, the panel noted. That isn’t going to be a story about luxury, or a market defined purely in terms of convenience to consumers anymore. The future, Robbins noted, is one where delivery is necessary, safety is a baked-in concern, and the ability to scroll through a wider portal of multichannel offerings will be the baseline to be part of the marketplace.

What are the guidelines that you follow with your clients?

Current Challenges :

As with all businesses, franchise systems are dealing with challenges from COVID-19 that are new and unexpected. Franchisors and franchisees will have to work together, communicate and support each other to overcome these challenges and allow their restaurants to survive and thrive in the future. Below are some of my key considerations for both franchisors and franchisees as they move forward into uncharted territory.  

Importance of leadership and communication

Franchisors need to formulate a vision and proactive strategies to help franchisees address their day-to-day survival, as many restaurant franchisees will be forced to close their location or significantly modify their product and/or service offering to customers. In addition, franchisors that show empathy and provide transparency as part of an overall communication plan that includes frequent updates are more likely to have engaged franchisees that are willing to keep moving forward. It’s also important for franchisors to be willing to consider ideas from franchisees that might help the entire franchise system. Franchisors may be able to work with their franchise advisory council or franchisee association to facilitate communications with franchisees.

Brand protection

As always, restaurant franchisors must protect the value of their brand by communicating with customers of the brand through social media and other outlets and by ensuring that its franchisees continue to uphold the brand standards. Fortunately, both the Lanham Act and most franchise agreements provide franchisors with the ability to protect their brand and trademarks by modifying their brand standards and specifications to adapt to these changing and uncertain times.  

Compliance with government requirements

As we all know, it is critical for franchisees to know and understand the public health and safety and other legal and governmental requirements associated with COVID-19, and these requirements are changing on almost a daily basis. Franchisors should be ready to provide assistance and resources to franchisees to help them comply with these requirements. Franchisors should also be ready to enforce the obligations of each franchisee to comply with these requirements in order to prevent adverse impacts on the brand related to non-compliant franchisees.

Operations issues

Most restaurant franchisees face a whole new environment in operating their franchised businesses. Many of them are being forced to temporarily close their locations and may receive media inquiries or have other public relations issues related to those closures. Franchisors should be ready to assist franchisees and provide resources to help them address these issues.

Franchisees will also have employment-related issues that arise, and franchisors should be careful not to intervene in those employment relationships in a manner that creates additional risks of joint employer status or vicarious liability. Franchisors should continue to encourage franchisees to seek counsel from their own attorneys on all employment matters especially since employment laws vary from state to state.

Unit economics

Franchisors must be ready to work with franchisees to help them address the new environment franchisees face in operating their franchised businesses, including cash flow constraints. Franchisees will likely need relief from royalty payments and other restaurant franchise fees in the form of deferrals, waivers or reductions, and franchisors will need to balance the franchisee’s unit economics with their own need for royalties and fees to continue to support the entire franchise system

Sanitation

In the food business, cleanliness is next to “godly sales” and is one of the main factors that determines your growth potential. Many customers head to the restroom shortly after entering a restaurant, where they judge how clean the business is based on bathroom conditions. Keeping your whole restaurant clean allows for comfortability and retains customers for a longer period of time.

Profit-Driven Menus

As restaurateurs and foodservice entrepreneurs, it can be easy to get caught up in the emotional side of what’s on your menu. Don’t fall into the trap of keeping duds on the menu that are there because it’s Grandma’s recipe. Take a hard look at what moves and what the customer wants, then make sure it’s profitable. After you understand what makes you the most profit and where your bottom line comes from, advertise and promote those items above ones that do not. Your ability to scale hinges on a keen eye for expenses and cost management in your corporate and franchised stores. Understand the financial implications of your menu, and you will be poised for growth through franchising.

Amazing systems in place

There are countless examples of restaurant and food service businesses out there with great success stories in single instances. Good restaurant operators can “work” their way through bad brands and a micromanaged system. If you haven’t already, invest in systems and technology for your restaurant business and you will realize the potential of scale. This means POS systems, inventory management systems, and online ordering systems—all of which can be integrated with one another to manage your daily business.

How helpful is social media for your business?

Social media is a crucial part of running a modern business. Whether or not your restaurant is currently active on social media, you can be sure that your guests are tweeting, posting, and Instagramming about your business online. You’re much better off, for many reasons, if you join the conversation proactively. 

For many restaurant operators, managing social media profiles is just another item on their ever-increasing list of to-dos. For others, social media is a priority in their business development and something they have built into their marketing plan.

 Nowadays, it's important to keep in mind that whenever someone visits your social media pages, it’s like they’re peeking into your restaurant and having a quick chat with one of your staff. 

Whether you manage your restaurant’s online presence yourself, you’ve delegated the task to a dedicated team member, or you’ve hired someone to be a full-time marketing manager for your restaurant, it's always helpful to get inspiration from other restaurants who are killing the social media game.

How has the market changed in past 5 years?

Of course,  the market has changed drastically in global market, especially in India. Some of the key highlights are given hereunder:  However, post Covid 19,  there will be drastic changes in the market behavior and in the industry. Some of the key challenges are given in my next point as futuristic approach.

Due to Coronavirus epidemics, some of the followings figures are not relevant now>

Indian fast food market was expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent by 2020 due to changing consumer behavior and demography.

Fast food market in India was expected to be worth US$ 27.57 billion by 2020.

About 10 percent of the fast food market in India is organized. NOVONOUS estimates that the organized fast food market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27 percent by 2020.

Vegetarian fast food constitutes of around 45 percent of the whole fast food market in India and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent by 2020.

Fast food Casual dining restaurants (CDRs) market in organized fast food sector in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 27 percent by 2019-20.

Non casual dining restaurants (NCDR) or fast casual dining restaurants have gained tremendous market share in the last 10-15 years. Non-Casual dining restaurants (CDRs) market in organized fast food sector in India is also projected to grow at a CAGR of 27 percent in next 5 years.

Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) market in organized fast food sector in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20 percent by 2019-20.

Millions of people eat ethnic fast food every-day from pani-puri to vada pav to dosa. To leverage the growth of ethnic fast food market many players are entering this market in an organised way.

Ethnic fast food market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 31.95 percent by 2019-20.

Do you plan to grow your business by including more verticals to it?

Futuristic and Careful approach – post COVID-19 will forever change the foodservice industry

Social-distancing, coronavirus and Covid-19 are three phrases now permanently etched into our lexicon. After speaking to numerous foodservice leaders over the past few weeks, I believe it is helpful to spend some time looking forward for discussion because predicting the long-term impacts can help us better prepare our companies, processes, portfolios and employees for success.

Consumers

The long-term impacts of the coronavirus on Foodservice consumers will be seen in seven key transitions. Some of these changes are already taking shape as consumers struggle to adjust to their new environment while others will emerge over time as we move to post-Covid world.
Overall, the seven metrics for change include:

Increased use of delivery as a percent of total foodservice sales:

Food-safety-first mentality: Consumers are developing a dramatically heightened sense of what they view as safe food handling practices and an increasing desire to know where their food came from, how it was grown, raised and processed. We see this continuing into a post-COVID environment as consumers’ focus on how their food was handled has been exponentially amplified.

Expanded sanitization behaviors: The increased use of sanitizers, wipes and hand washing will likely continue. More consumers will carry sanitizers and wipes and also expect restaurants to supply them. Self-sanitizing of dining room seating and tables will become routine for many.

Curbside pick-up will become more popular: Curb-side pick-up offers the best of all options. It’s convenient, the food is hotter and fresher than delivery and there is no delivery person handling it. We see curb-side and other minimal-touch pick-up options increasing in popularity.

In-store self-ordering will be reinvented to a no-touch solution: Consumers have been trained to order using digital pads in restaurants. Operators have cut back on cashiers as a result. We are quickly moving to a no-touch world and digital ordering solutions need to evolve to allow this.

Improved take-out/delivery packaging: The slow crawl to better take-out and delivery packaging is about to change. In our new post-COVID-19 world, packaging will need to be tamper-evident and maintain the food’s temperature, moisture and presentation.

Expanded take-out/delivery for fine-dining/chef-driven brands: Chef-driven food is what many consumers want, but many of these restaurants have traditionally done little take-out or delivery.

Operators

Foodservice operators now have the tall task of adjusting to the behavioral changes that COVID-19 has brought upon the consumer. Some of these adjustments will become more permanent and will force the operator to adapt. In addition, while consumers are struggling to adjust, Foodservice operators will need a seismic shift in their operations, as well in their overall business. We believe there are 13 areas of operational shifts that will occur as operators adjust to the new post-crisis environment.

Manufacturers 

As consumers and operators shift their buying habits and operational structures, manufacturers must accelerate their focus on supply chain transparency and contingency planning. Operators will be looking for partners who can work collaboratively in a solutions-based relationship. Operators will not have the time or patience to withstand a traditional sales approach by a supplier. Clear expectations will be set, and suppliers will be able to build better strategic partnerships if they are able to meet or exceed these expectations. Manufacturers and operators must now work more closely together to ensure everyone is safe and protected. 

In times of rapid and drastic change, those who are quick to adjust will lead the way for the industry to follow.

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