Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder and MD Ferns N Petals, a first-generation businessman embarked his journey with the objective to provide first- in- India concepts of floral boutiques, deep inside he knew that one day he would change the facet of Indian flower industry, which he has proved.
Ferns N Petals started its journey in 1994, as India’s first floral boutique outlet. At that time the business of flowers was in a low phase. The reason behind that was non availability of skilled manpower, highly perishable nature of flowers which made distribution & retailing impossible. But VG’s iron will and inborn marketing skills helped him explore ways to not only sustain flower retail, but multiply the number of outlets.
He started sourcing flowers directly from the growers, so flowers remained fresh for a longer period. He made a team of skilled men and with their help further trained his manpower about flowers and shop management. Franchising was the only option to build and grow chain and so he adopted the franchising model in 1999. He deputed his trained and faithful people in the outlets and hence ensured quality control. The franchising model worked well and within 3 years the Ferns N Petals chain grew and moved to other cities as well. Today Ferns N Petals has 180 outlets across 72 cities in India.
2.Brief us on the growth strategy and franchise expansion of Brand.
After seeing the current positive response which we have received from tier II and tier III cities like Coimbatore, Tirupati, Nellore, Sangli, Surat, SIliguri, Meerut etc. we are encouraged to concentrate more on tier II & tier III cities and we are also encouraged to explore multiple outlets in these cities for e.g recently we have launched second outlets in tier II & tier III cities like Indore, Bhubneshwar, Manglore & Coimbatore. We plan to target extensively on these cities and plans to open 500 retail outlets in next 5 years.
3.How has been the brand’s journey so far?
Ferns N Petals (FNP) having pioneered the concept of social expression (Flowers and Bouquets) in the country today and has become a name synonymous with love, emotions and celebrations. Started with a single store in 1994 in Delhi, by the enterprising Mr. Vikaas Gutgutia, the brand today boasts of 180 outlets in 72 cities nationwide and delivers across 155 countries worldwide. Having pioneered the concept of branded chain of flowers, FNP has grown with the spread of modern culture, increasing urbanization and improving standard of living. With the boom in Indian online retail industry and the changing lifestyle of the people in bigger cities and smaller towns, FNP is consciously foraying into small towns and every nook and corner of the country to mark its presence. Today, Ferns N Petals Group encompasses of FNP Retail & Franchising, FNP E-commerce, FNP Weddings & Events, Floral Touch, FNP Select, The Flagship Store by Ferns N Petals, WDH (Wedding Design Hub), FNP Gardens, FNP Floral Design School, BAQAA FNP, and latest to the kitty is GBM (giftsbymeeta.com). It has become a one stop shop for everybody’s floral needs, be it buying flowers for occasions, floral décor for weddings, parties or just delivering fresh flowers to corporate not only in India but across the globe. It is the pioneer in the organized flower retail industry.
4.What is the specialty of Brand services?
Ferns N Petals, the only Indian name at par with the standards of international flower brands in quality and designs, caters to all your floral requirements. it is the country’s only branded chain of retail flower shops and online flower stores providing a one stop solution for all floral needs be it buying flowers for occasions, floral décor for weddings, parties or just delivering fresh flowers to corporate not only in India but across the globe. In less than a decade of its inception, Ferns N Petals Group encompasses of FNP Retail & Franchising, FNP E-commerce, FNP Weddings & Events, Floral Touch, FNP Select, The Flagship Store by Ferns N Petals, WDH (Wedding Design Hub), FNP Gardens, FNP Floral Design School, BAQAA FNP, and latest to the kitty is GBM (giftsbymeeta.com).
5.How many do outlets you have as of now and where you see your Brand in Next 5 years.
We have 180 outlets in 75 cities. We plan to extensively open 500 outlets in next 5 years.
6.What are the strategies that your brand adopted?
1.In the last two- three years, we have opened almost three outlets every month, which opened and presented opportunities to penetrate unexplored markets of Tier II and Tier III cities. This has majorly triggered the growth of the company
2.Training and introduction of latest trends in floral industry
3.Exclusive and standardised merchandise
4.Focus on Customer Delight
7.What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
Since this line of business is mainly based on personal relationships with the customers, so one of the main qualities we try to seek in the franchisee is his devotion of time to the business. But the most important quality is Passion for this line of business and understanding the importance of gifting. Moreover, if the person is tech savvy, it is an additional advantage. There is no specific qualification that is required for this profession.
In terms of investment, opening of FNP franchised outlet in Metro is 10-11 Lakhs where as in Non – Metro is 8-8.5 Lakhs
8.Kindly share the origin and concept of ‘Brand’?
Vikaas Gutgutia, a commerce graduate, came to Delhi in 1994 with small amount of money, Rs 5000 in his pocket, to meet his Girlfriend, his present wife, Ms Meeta Gutgutia. He wanted to surprise her with flowers but got a surprise back when he saw the quality of flowers which was delivered. Being disappointed, he felt a dire need for a florist in Delhi who is class apart. He decided to establish Delhi’s first air-conditioned flower boutique by the name of Ferns N Petals.
9.When and how did the brand enter India? What makes your brand promising for this market? Why did it choose for franchising route?
Ferns N Petals is an Indian Brand. Franchising started in 2004 and was the only option to build and grow chain. Trained and faithful people in the outlets were deputed and hence ensured quality control. Ferns N Petals chain grew and moved to other cities as well. Today Ferns N Petals has 115 pan India
10.Tell us about the brand’s product portfolio? What is the targeted clientele?
Ferns N Petals offers a wide range of fresh cut flowers and unique flower arrangements, artificial & dry flowers, and an exclusive range of object d’art such as scented candles, candle stands, imported Italian glass vases, exclusive gift accessories with intricate carving, photo-frames, perfumes, cakes, Designer gift items, exclusive incense range based on aromatherapy, potpourris and so on.
11.Kindly provide brand’s franchise facts. How does the brand train and support its franchisees? How was the idea of ‘BRAND’ conceptualized? How has been the journey so far?
Break even –three- six months
ROI- 12-15 months
Franchised centres- pan India
Year of inception of Franchising – 2004
Royalty – 12000+ service tax per month
Annual Turnover- 175 cr
Franchise fee- 3-5 L
Area- 250-300 sq feet
We have a detailed training programme for all our business partners wherein all the intricacies of running a flower business is taught to them. Apart from this we also provide trained & skilled manpower to our business partners who help them in day to day operations. We also help our business partners by transferring business generated through our website.
12.What is the brand’s potential in Indian market?
Retailing in India is evolving rapidly, with consumer spending growing by unprecedented rates and with increasing number of global players investing in this sector. Organised retail in India is undergoing a metamorphosis and is expected to scale up to meet global standards over the next five years.The floriculture industry in India is poised at about Rs 3,700 crore. Growing at the rate of 30%, this industry is expected to cross Rs 8000 crore market by 2015.
13.Are you also looking up for the International expansion, in which all countries?
Yes, Middle East and Europe for now.
14.Any advice for the coming up and potential Entrepreneurs.
As we are witnessing that the retail is being ruled by youth, we feel young entrepreneurs are more synchronized with the customer’s demands and they are ready to go extra mile to ensure delightful customer shopping experience. Our business model provides an opportunity to young professionals to become entrepreneur at a low investment. We have recently established a franchise model called FNP Express wherein we encourage people for entrepreneurship. For people who do not have high budgets to open a floral boutique, they can open a small scale franchisee model specially introduced to provide an opportunity to people who would like to join hands and become a part of FNP success with low investment option of 4-5L and have 100 sq feet of usable area.