Soon, the city may be home to many international brands

The city is already home to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and if efforts taken by US Consulate General’s office in Chennai and Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry fructify, it may also be home to Burger 21, Russo’s New York Pizzeria and many other international franchise brands not only in the service sector but in a variety of other businesses.

In an effort to promote the International Franchise Expo 2013 slated to be held in New York from June 20 to 22 and to encourage businessmen in Madurai to explore opportunities of partnering with global brand owners, the US Commercial Service at the Consulate General’s office had extended an invitation to delegates from TNCCI to visit the show and interact with the exhibitors.

The expo promises the delegates of over 400 franchise opportunities which include even educational institutions such as The Goddard School and PRIM Rose schools. Apart from well known American brands Marilyn Monroe Café and Great American Cookies, the expo would also provide opportunities for partnering with European, Chinese and South East Asian companies.

Consul General Jennifer A. McIntyre and Principal Commercial Officer James Golsen met the TNCCI office-bearers and members here on Thursday and urged them to visit the expo in large numbers as it offered opportunities ranging from US $ 5,000 to 50,00,000. Seventy seminars, in-depth symposiums and legal and financial advices were the other features of the expo.

VIP treatment

Mr. Golsen told the TNCCI members that each of the TNCCI delegate would be treated as a VIP in New York and all their needs would be met by the US Commercial Service. Asking them not to be worried about logistics, he said: “When you land in JFK, you can be ready to hit the show… We got such a great hospitality in Madurai and we’ll show up same kind of hospitality in the US,” he said.

He also promised to arrange for one to one meetings with business leaders in the expo if members of the TNCCI delegation insisted on such interactions. Stressing on the importance being accorded by the US Commercial Service to businessmen here, he pointed out that the first American Business Corner (ABC) in India was established in Madurai 14 months ago.

The ABCs were established in partnership with various business chambers in order to reach out to the business community in tier II and tier III cities where the US Commercial Service did not have a physical presence.

Two ABCs

“We now have two ABCs in Tamil Nadu, two in Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan… It all started here in Madurai,” Mr. Golsen said amidst thunderous applause.

TNCCI senior president S. Rethinavelu said this would be the first time since its inception in 1924 that the chamber would be taking a trade delegation to the United States. “It has been our dream for long and it has come true now. India, with 300 million middle class people who do not mind spending money, is a largest market for franchise business. So, we must grab this opportunity,” he said.

He also urged businessmen here to dare to think beyond their conventional business practices.

TNCCI president N. Jegatheesan and secretary J. Rajamohan also spoke.


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