Our 2017 Franchise of the Year, talks about their franchising journey, after securing their third PACK & SEND Service Centre. Read more about their story below.
While working at The Nielsen Company and IBM we (Raman, Shankar and Uday) regularly got together to discuss work and life. We would often talk about leaving our jobs and buying a business together. Like most people, we dreamed of enjoying a balanced lifestyle.
After throwing around many ideas and exploring countless opportunities, we turned our attention to franchising. Getting into a business model where systems and products were proven and advice readily available from a network of franchisees who were doing it day to day, appealed to us. More so because the three of us had no experience running a business.
We quickly found the operating hours of food and retail franchise systems unappealing. We wanted to work business hours yet still be able to provide a level of service that would make us stand out and have some time for family as well.
As we went through the process of shortlisting each Franchise system, one stood out. The PACK & SEND Franchise model was perfect for what we needed.
The operating hours, closeness to customers and opportunity to provide value and service meant it fit our philosophy and drive. It gave us the perfect opportunity to push ourselves but still enjoy a balanced lifestyle.
We contacted the Franchisor and began the process of understanding the model. We also spoke with other franchisees in the network to get a clear picture of the realities of running a small business. We visited the Pyrmont and Castle Hill stores and when a greenfield opportunity in North Sydney arose, we knew it was time to take the leap. That was when Aikya Enterprises was born!!
After the sign up process and extensive four-week training, we were ready to start trading. We opened our first service centre in North Sydney in November 2010.
We made a few mistakes when we started. In fact, the first ever job we did, resulted in a claim from the customer!! However, we learnt from these mistakes as time went on.
After a slow start, we leaned on the expertise and support of the franchisor and other franchisees around us to grow the business in the local area. Perseverance, grit and understanding the customer brought success.
After 18-months and flush with confidence, we decided to expand. The Crows Nest acquisition was a perfect opportunity – close enough to manage resources effectively between two centres and creating continuity between locations.
By this time, Raman and I were working full time at PACK & SEND North Sydney and Crows Nest. Shankar joined us full time in 2014 which culminated in strong sales growth at both centres and a Franchisee of the Year award.
Both stores had grown far beyond our expectations and our personalised service for every customer was key. This winning formula and the success that came with it gave us the confidence to acquire a third store in June 2018 – Castle Hill, now run by Shankar.
With support from the PACK & SEND Head Office and the introduction of technology platforms like GMx, business systems and useful integrations such as MYOB, our business has gone from strength to strength. With new and innovative products in development, we trust that the PACK & SEND Franchise system will continue to evolve with us.”
The Franchisor’s continued investment in technology solutions really helps us to simplify our job management and optimise business operations on a day to day basis. Most importantly, it allows us to spend more time on meeting our customers’ needs. Our businesses have helped us achieve the balance we craved.
We see a bright future with the franchisor and our fellow franchisees. We are convinced the Franchisor is committed to growth and continued investments which helps us to run our business more efficiently. With new products and an evolving business model, we are confident that we will continue to be at the top of our industry.