Dhawal Shah and Kumar Mehta, Co-Founders, Way2Franchise.comTeam YS
Taking up a franchise is looked upon with a certain air of confidence. However perception and ground reality can differ with varying results. How do we know which franchise is actually worth its salt, and which ones are simply products engineered by spin doctors? Dhawal Shah and Kumar Mehta are two Young Entrepreneurs who can help you in this regard.
Way2Franchise.com is a comprehensive franchisee lead generation medium with quality editorial unbiased content for companies that are in the franchising business and also for entrepreneurs, traders, businessmen and students that are exploring taking up a franchise.
Yourstory spoke to the duo and they told us more about their venture saying “We provide them with the knowledge and contacts, and all of that for free. Franchising in India is not regulated and hence there are plenty of not-so-profitable franchise brands, I would probably say most of them that are not ethical in their approach.”
“Way2Franchise.com while providing quality information aims to solve this void. We have created several interactive groups for you on Facebook and LinkedIn to connect and network with experts not just in India or Asia, but globally. Gradually, we will provide the India Franchise Industry, through a simple click.”
They twosome are also hopeful about what the future holds for them. The growth of the franchise industry is the main factor for their confidence. They spoke about their expectations saying “We have a tremendous future to look forward to. Franchise industry is on a growth spree and we are excited about it. Way2Franchise.com is a medium to bridge the knowledge and contacts void between franchisors and franchisee. Franchisors benefit from affordable quality leads, in comparison to almost all mediums, whereas entrepreneurs benefit from high quality information, interviews and reviews. Currently we are reaching out to more than 8000 + prospective franchisees monthly. We have 200 + franchisors that get quality franchise prospects.”
Way2Franchise.com functions on the basis of ground reality. Their no hold barred approach to providing information makes them the most reliable source in the country. They spoke on the matter saying “What differentiates us is that we provide unbiased information for the Indian franchise industry. What you read in the popular press about franchising is all glorifications, which is not the true story, its all manipulated statistics. When a prospect is risking his life savings that will be Rs. 20 Lakhs / 2 Million / USD 40,000, he believes the magazines, newspapers and the trade shows. Since the popular media has franchisors as clients, they hardly convey, reality, hence at Way2Franchise.com you will realize that the content is fresh, with an analytical perspective and several industry first's break out.”
Any fears that they too might be propaganda peddlers in the guise of precise evaluators were laid to rest. Their business Model is based on lead generation for franchise brands but though the Business Development and Editorial Heads regularly interact, never does the Development team influence the Editors. Franchisors pay us them for generating leads on a PPC Model. They stated “We will be introducing several new innovations that will transform franchising. We are also launching www.FranchiseExpo.in which will bring in world class technology expertise for the Indian franchise industry.”
They revealed their plans for expansion saying “We will within a year reach out to more than 1000 + companies; we also have a target database of 1 Million Prospective Franchisees. This will help us ensure transparency in franchising, with high quality content and research. We will launch sector reports, franchisee surveys and many more. We will altogether elevate the standards of Indian Franchising.”
The double act also had their own reasons for becoming entrepreneurs, although their end goals were the same. Dhawal Shah spoke about his motivations saying “When last year, I was at a crossroads, I was tired of chasing targets and traveling endlessly, my previous job was a high profile job, requiring interaction with policy makers, legislators, and industry spokesmen. I really loved my job and I still miss those days, but I longed for days, when I would be an entrepreneur, with enough free time.”
“My job began at 9, but the day just never got over. Although challenging, I looked for entrepreneurial opportunities. Taking early morning flights, missing weekends with family and traveling abroad all the time, were a part of my monthly schedule; I flew more than 1 million kilometers. All I needed was a break, I traveled to various countries, relaxing and observing, at San Diego, I met the legendary founder of Subway, Fred De Luca and his advice made me take the plunge. As an entrepreneur, I currently operate from home, there is lots of free time, and also it allows me to concentrate better.”
Kumar Mehta spoke about his impetus behind starting up saying “I was always inclined to start something on my own and the options just multiplied after being associated with the franchise Industry. Discussions with Dhawal got us on common platform and here we are.”
The two are entrepreneurs not just for the money or the great ideas but because they actually love what they are doing. They spoke on this saying “The biggest challenge has been the mental roadblock of satisfaction. There is no point working hard and not being able to feel good about the difference that you are making. We also did not want to be a me-too player; we wanted to make a difference to franchisees at a much deeper level. That is where our motivation arises from. I overcome it by looking deeper, introspecting, relaxing and diligently making notes of all thoughts that crossed my mind.”
“As amateurs and young entrepreneurs, we got excited and avoided focus. We always used to feel, 'oh, that’s a great idea lets do it.’ We were spreading ourselves too thin and then we realized that this is only going to get us this far.”
They also acknowledged the support they have received from their close ones saying “Honestly, the seed capital was contributed by my parents, my salary and savings, my stocks and my Italian investors.”
Among their many achievements they regard inspiration as their biggest. They elaborated on it saying “Motivating myself and my colleagues, Passion is contagious, that is what inspires our clients to part with their money. We realized that people have to like you, apart from having a great product. Several of our clients that include professionals and entrepreneurs that we have transacted have been in a similar situation and hence, they can relate to us, which makes it much easier for us to transact.”
“The articles and information on our website is well accepted and appreciated by the industry professionals seeking for franchise information online. We receive positive feedback when we meet clients; we have been able to influence several of their decisions. Recognition while being important is not the reason of our existence. We have been criticized more often then being recognized, but what keeps us going is a simple quote by Mahatma Gandhi, First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, another recognition will be when we will be featured on YourStory.in”
Despite the uphill task and the criticism they have had to face, the duo are unfazed; they told us why they would never renounce entrepreneurship saying “Not even once, I am way too stubborn, I am slow to make up my mind, but once I do make my mind, it would take someone really persistent or some extremely awful incident to change my mind.”
“The opportunity, the market place and the people, add to it the positive feedback and constructive criticism we receive from our clients every day keeps us wanting to do things bigger and better.”
They have also aimed high and were unafraid to announce their goals which are “Way2Franchise.com to be the # 1, India Franchise Portal and the most referred site in Asia.”
They are no strangers to franchises either, Dhawal Shah related his most memorable personal experiences saying “I had a friend in college, we used to win most business competition and quiz in various management festivals. I have been invited by several exhibition organizers in India and overseas to share my perspective on franchising. I was also the first in India to receive the coveted Certified Franchise Executive title from the International Franchise Association, Washington DC, USA.”
Kumar also shared some insightful guidance saying “Don’t be too judgmental about your actions. Keep doing what you are and success shall follow. I also believe that Future belongs to those who believe in their dreams! Don’t let fear stop you; just put your heart and head behind your dreams & success will follow.”
Yourstory wishes Dhawal Shah and Kumar Mehta success and recognition in their chosen field and thanks them for giving us their time and patience.