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The Franchise Fortune
Monginis bakeries are set to double the number of franchisees in the next two years based on smart branding and innovation.
Spring decorations in bright pinks and yellows line the walls of Zamalek’s Monginis bakery on Ismail Mohamed Street. Just inside, visitors are almost overwhelmed by the breadth of products available, from ready-to-eat pizza slices and chocolates, to Monginis-brand breads and oriental sweets. For more colorful occasions, customers can order any of the bakery’s gourmet handmade cakes that often require hours of careful crafting to from your favorite Disney characters or video game scenes.
The India-based Monginis chain came to Egypt in 1978 and started out as a single bakery on Salah Salem Street in Heliopolis. But serving customers and overseeing the day-to-day operations of a small bakery shop was not the ultimate dream of owners and brothers Idris Husain Khorakiwala and Quresh Husain Khorakiwala. Starting Small: “As we say in India ‘the fruits of patience are sweet’. My knowledge of the (Egyptian) people, language, taste and culture was almost zero. So getting a team of managers who could help me understand this was a priority,” recalls Idris.
Quresh says many did not believe that the small bakery would succeed, since it only sold one product- a small cake called slice cake- and the brothers didn’t boast experience in the Egyptian market.
“Most people believed that we would soon close down because it was rare that factories run by foreigners could succeed at the time, so all who came in contact with us ‘took us for a ride’, “he adds.
“But despite the numerous setbacks, we had a vision to open a chain of franchise shops selling fresh and value-for-money baked goods all over Egypt.”
Slowly, but surely , they began to license storefronts and find like-minded Egyptians looking to start a business, but wanting the support of a branded franchise that already had a foothold in the market. And the rest is ‘baking’ history, according to Idris’ son and Monginis director, Adnan Khorakiwala.
The difference between Egyptian and Indian palates is that Indians love a lot of spice in their food. Egyptian (on the other hand) has very discerning tastc palates. They are able to tell if there is milk powder or cinnamon in products, even in very small doses.”
He says Egypt was a great expansion because Egyptian love food, and sweets in particular. “Egypt is a food-loving country. The correct product mix and prime spot locations mean we all selling Monginis products like hotcakes “, adds Adnan. Their palates are also sensitive due to a lack of spicy foods in Egyptian cuisine, which make it easy to figure out what will appeal to their sense and what may not do as well.
The difference between Egyptian and Indian plates is that Indians love a lot of spice in their food, Egyptian (on the other hand) have very discerning taste plates. They are able to tell if there is milk powder or cinnamon in products, even on every small dose.”
And it’s that kind of understanding that has brought the chain success. The brand now has around 50 stores across Egypt, with another 50 or so planned in next two years, but only if the right kind of franchisees step up to the plate. Adnan does not actively seek out people to set up new branches. Instead, he uses word of mouth from his current franchisees to sell the idea of opening a monginis bakery. He also counts on his current franchisees to expand on their own achievements by opening more shops. Karim Zohny, franchisee and manager, own three Monginis shops, two in Shobra and one in Pyramids Gardens,n and is thinking of opening more. He says it takes dedication, amenities and training in order to make a successful go of a franchise.
“the main thing is to choose a good location, with a large population and to target the right segment of people.” he says. “I talk to customers whenever I am in the shops. You must also find staffs who love the store.”
The supply chain game: Adnan says it’s not just having an interest and a decent location you have the funds to buy into the franchise( LE 25,000), with enough left over to purchase the necessary baking equipment, refregerators and air conditions. Totally renovating and outfitting a store can cost around LE 250,000 which is a considerable investment.
Although getting the store fixed up and equipped may be a challenge, the supply side couldn’t be simpler.All Monginis products come from factory near sixth of October city. There, a staff of hundred the clock mixing dough, breads and sweets for morning delivery and Egypt’s earliest risers. This is also where all custom order cakes on the Monginis website or in a shop and then pick them up at the store of their choice.
But Monginis is not resting on its laurels. Adnan that the baked goods market has taken off in recent years, with dozens of new entrants catering to all market segments. This is prompting the brand to innovate, with several products set to launch this year for its primarily middle-class customers.
Following similar healthy eating trends in India, Monginis is developing sugar-free oriental sweets for diabetics and people worried about their sugar intake to debut before Ramadan.
The company is also betting that Egyptian will become more comfortable using credit cards and online shopping, which could mean the brand’s one-of-a-king cake website could take off in the near future.
- Community Times Magazine / December, 2012 issue (click here to see the main artical)
Celebrate with Monginis 3-D cake
Monginis bakery shops in Cairo are now offering three dimensional cakes to add an extra fun element to any celebration.
Monginis specializes in custom orders.Decide on what colors and special inscriptions are needed and Monginis will use your ideas and its chef's imagination to creat anyyhing from Play Staion to ipad and from Angery Birds to Spiderman.
Check out the set of delicious, hand-baked and decorated cakes at any of their shops or gift one online at http://www.monginisbakery.com
Al Sharq Al Awsat / 8-12-2012:
- Lady Bird / January 2013:
- Community Times / January 2013:
- Daily New / 4-3-2013:
- Al Shomus News, 16-12-2012:
- Amieinfo , 16-12-2012:
- Totally Egypt, December 2012:
- Eventus , December 2012: