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Interviews

Nirav Parmar

Nirav Parmar, Founder & CEO, UniqueBrew Café
Nirav Parmar, Founder & CEO, UniqueBrew Café

1. What is the story behind Uniquebrew Cafe? How it started and what is the inspiration?
a. Well, I was employed at _North Hills Golf And Country Club, Newyork, in the US where the culture of cafés and organized restaurants inspired me to head back home and start a fresh concept altogether. This is how I came back to my hometown and started UniqueBrew Café with the same fresh and unique concept of giving an authentic café feel to the business with an organized business model and strategies focused at diversity and range.

2. What are the services and products that Uniquebrew Cafe deals in?
a. UniqueBrew Café is a quintessential café with elements of a coffee shop, fast food joint and a pizzeria combined in to one hot shot business model. We have a total of 4 different business models catering to various kinds of market and the same reflects in our strategy for expansion as well.

3. What strategies you employ to maintain the standards of your company?
a. The first thing that we did before opting for the franchise route was to organize a business model with the proper fashioning of the various product lines and operation lines of the business model to create a concept that is viable and subtle in its approach to the investors that take up the franchise of UniqueBrew Café.

4. What are the future expansion strategies?
a. We had decided from the initial stage of the business model creation that we will be focusing on the right layout of the stores and the right expansion strategies that will create a network that will ensure the financial as well as operational feasibility for all. The strategy is to select the appropriate business model for various kinds of markets as well as to be able to give a degree of customization and unique appeal to all the stores to cash in on the market potential of the various locations that we open in. For example, the strategies that are effective in North India do not necessarily guarantee success in the Southern parts of India. This is what we learnt from the roll out as well as the feedback from many other café and coffee based chains from India and put to use in a very effective way during the design stage of our business model.

5. What motivated you to go for franchise route for your business expansion?
a. Firstly, the whole concept of franchising has fascinated me. The way franchise systems are built and operated across the developed markets is a thing to watch. Secondly, we had skills to our advantage that enabled us in empowering our franchise network to be self sustainable and effective in their operations in the best possible manner. This gave the basic framework to the school of thought where franchising seemed just right. Over and above the fact that division of the skills and resources in the most effective manner leads in the building of a successful chain. So, Franchising came to us almost naturally.

6. How many outlets of Uniquebrew Cafe are currently in operation, and how many of them are running through franchise?
a. As of now we are really fresh in our ground work and we have opened 2 stores out of which one store is a franchised store. Further, we are in final talks for around 5 – 6 potential locations. We have also just opened up for Master Franchise options for regions other than the West.

7. What are the basic requirements to become a franchise partner of Uniquebrew Cafe?
a. The best part of the UniqueBrew Café Franchise system is that it is highly adaptable. We have business models starting with investments of 8 Lakh and above and the space requirements of just 500 Sqft and above. The upper end of the franchise system has no particular restrictions. The highest business model costs around 1.25 Crores and needs a space of about 3000 Sqft.

8. What kind of support and training you offer to your franchisees?
a. We provide extensive support and training for all our franchisees with staffing support as well as an organized SOP (Standard Operations and Procedures) Manual along with the training for the employees with live clientele.

9. How does the brand’s franchise model could benefit aspiring entrepreneurs?
a. The biggest advantage we would say of taking up the UniqueBrew Café franchise system is that the business model as well as the operations model is highly franchisee friendly. We give a lot of freedom to our franchisees in terms of the choice that they have and enable them to be able to run the business model with virtually zero stress as there are organized systems and financial audits of the business done by external agencies for our franchisees and the whole system of problem reporting is reversed as the regular data and feedback that in incorporated directly in our operational systems ensures smooth and effective planning as well as implementation.

10. How do you analyze this sector?
a. The Indian Café sector is the biggest potential market available in the organized F & B Industry of India. Largely due to the fact that cafes are highly simple to operate and the financial feasibility is one of the biggest factors favoring the café industry. Large Café giants like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and now Mc Donalds (Mc Café) are seeing and cashing in on the café sensation so we believe it is the best time to own a café franchise.

11. What kind of opportunities and challenges are laying ahead in this sector, considering the franchise sector, which is getting bigger with time?
a. The biggest challenge any business faces is the ineffectiveness of the business model and the lack of creativity in the day to day operations. The Food business is a highly dynamic business and variety is the only thing constant here. So, the practical challenge that we think is faced is uncontrolled and rapid expansion without the proper focus on the grassroots of the business model.

12. The future plans for next five years?
a. We have a very clear strategy, open more cafés and build an operations structure that is unmatched by any other competitor. The best part about the business structure and the model is that we have not kept any specific rigidity in our mindset for the future. We have developed an evolving business model in an ecosystem of business where it will thrive on natural stimuli. The strategy is simple. Expansion and Operations will be going hand in hand to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

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