Edible Arrangements’ first location in the Republic of India opened its doors on November 10, 2011. Partners Hiten and Avinash signed a Master Franchisee agreement for the development of 20 units throughout India. In partnership with Ishna, Hiten and Avinash oversee development of additional stores in the enterprise while Ishna and her husband run the daily operations in the store.
Hiten operates a live communications agency in Dubai, UAE, that specializes in building brand visibility by producing distinctive, unique high-profile events for his clients. He decided to investigate the Edible Arrangements brand when he saw a van on one of the busiest roads in Dubai and visited a store. I have heard this more than once – that the eye-catching artwork that depicts our unique fruit arrangements attracts curious would-be customers – and the next thing you know, they want to buy not just an arrangement, but a franchise!
Hiten began his journey toward becoming the master franchisee for India by using Edible Arrangements’ services for corporate events for his clients in Dubai. When he saw the reception our products got in Dubai he knew instantly that the unique Edible Arrangements concept would work in India. India is growing at a rapid pace, and the Indian population is becoming increasingly global. He enlisted his longtime friend and associate, Avinash, a real estate developer, to join him in the venture. Together the two friends in Dubai met Ishna, who was interested in the Edible Arrangements brand, and the partnership was formed.
When discussing the culture and people of India, Hiten admits, “A book wouldn’t be enough.” India has 28 states and 7 territories and each of these has different languages, eating habits, lifestyles, dressing, ethnic groups and more. One common thread in India’s rich and diverse culture is the fact that Indians in general celebrate various festivals all year round, not just national or religious festivals but also personal celebrations such as the birth of a baby, a marriage, an anniversary, a housewarming – what we at Edible Arrangements call “the times of their lives.” Indians celebrate in a large lavish manner and the partners believe that this is where Edible Arrangements’ unique offerings will be a fresh change. Hiten adds, “Edible Arrangements provides something other than the usual sweets or delicacies when healthy living is becoming more of a universal change in India. Plus, anything new and unheard of or unseen always works and catches on like fire!” Hiten, Avinash and Ishna believe that establishing Edible Arrangements could result in a revolutionary lifestyle change for people to shift from their usual highly sugared desserts.
I’m excited about bringing the Edible Arrangements concept to India, and in fact, I am on my way to the grand opening celebrations for our newest store in Beijing, our first store in China. Coincidently, this master franchisee was also one who spotted our van when he was visiting in the US. He actually followed it back to the store to learn more about where to buy an arrangement, and after buying one to surprise his wife, she surprised him by suggesting he buy a franchise. Stay tuned for more about the China grand opening in the next week . . . .