Catching Up With...

Catching Up With Michelle Minieri

Bradford Licensing, a New Jersey-based global licensing agency, has inked a joint venture agreement with Franchise India Group to create Bradford License India. With India continuing to develop a fast-paced and aggressive economy, this collaboration will be focused on developing brand licensing in the Indian market by leveraging both companies’ strengths. Bradford Licensing’s president, Michelle Minieri, discusses building Bradford License India and the joint venture’s goals.

Paul Narula: Why is now a good time to move into the Indian market with brand licensing?

Michelle Minieri: We feel the timing is ideal to move into the Indian market. According to the BMI India Retail Report for the third quarter of 2010, total retail sales are expected to grow from $353 billion in 2010 to $543.2 billion by 2014. With the expanding middle and upper class consumer base, there will also be opportunities in India’s tier two and tier three cities. There is a dramatic and rapid shift from small independent retailers to large, modern outlets apparent in the upcoming mall developments through the country. Due to this expansive growth, we feel brand licensing is at the forefront in India. Consumers are looking for brand names within the new retail outlets.

P.N.: Why have you chosen to work with Franchise India Group?

M.M.: When we decided that our main focus for the future was India, we wanted to have immediate recognition to the business community. After meeting with Franchise India’s CEO Gaurav Mayra and his team, we knew the synergy between the two companies was highly apparent. We knew it would lead the new firm, Bradford License India, to rapid success. Franchise India has a very impressive infrastructure and its growth over the past nine years has made its value in the market extensive. From their strong relationships to market know-how, choosing to work with Franchise India was an easy decision.

P.N.: What steps are you are taking to establish Bradford Licensing India in this emerging market?

M.M.: We are building our newly formed company from both ends. One side is making sure we have the best and most desirable properties in the licensing world. The other side is working with the most qualified manufactures and retailers to match them with appropriate brands. In addition, we are developing and organizing educational seminars for local manufacturers, retailers, and property owners to help them become more acclimated with the licensing industry, its expectations, and possible outcomes. An educated audience will help the entire industry to flourish.

P.N.: What are the challenges in this market?

M.M.: There are always challenges in every market. In the Indian market we need to teach the concept of licensing to the business owners and show them how successful and lucrative licensing can be for their business. As mentioned above, we are organizing traveling seminars to work with companies and get them the information they need to make an educated decision.

P.N.: What do you see in the future for this joint venture?

M.M.: We are extremely optimistic about our joint venture. Both sides have different strengths. By combining our efforts we will be able to achieve success in terms of both developing the licensing industry in general in a new market, as well as bringing fruitful licensing programs to brand owners worldwide. BLI has a long-term commitment to be the top licensing agency in India in what we believe is the last great frontier for the licensing industry. By offering education, personalized service, and strong foundations for our clients, we feel we are already making steps in the right direction to accomplish this goal.