South Asia Franchise Trade Mission 2016


U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to India & Sri Lanka

The U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to India and Sri Lanka will feature stops in Delhi, Mumbai and Colombo.  The mission is brought to you by IFA and Franchise Times and is designated as a Certified Trade Mission by the U.S. Commercial Service.  From December 4th through 9th, 2016, a select group of franchise companies will receive valuable briefings, research and the opportunity to meet potential franchisees in these markets. Itinerary items include one-on-one matchmaking meetings with pre-screened local investors, country briefings with U.S. Embassy officials and U.S. Commercial Service officers, briefings from local commercial and legal experts, site visits and networking receptions.  IFA encourages all interested franchise companies to apply to join the mission by October 14th. Trade mission participants will have the option to travel to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata before or after the Trade Mission for Gold Key matchmaking service for a fee for $700 per city.

U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to India & Sri Lanka           

Who: 10 franchise companies            

When: December 4 - 9, 2016   


  • Delhi, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka 

Why: To explore these markets and investigate franchise partnership opportunities   

Cost:  $6,950

  • Each additional executive traveling with a participating firm: $750     

Application deadline: Close of business, ET, October 14th

Trade Mission price includes:              

-   In-country transfers and transportation to/from airport and special events (does not include airfare or hotel) 

-   Briefings, selected PR events and site visits, US. Embassy hotel rate, refreshments/Coffee Breaks/Lunches during meetings, consultations, one-on-one meetings.


Agenda (TBC):

Monday, Dec. 5, 2016

Delhi, India
-              U.S. Embassy Briefing
-              One-on-one matchmaking meetings 
-              Evening Networking reception hosted by Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016   
-              Morning - Site Visit to a Franchise Outlet or to an upscale mall that houses numerous U.S. Franchise outlets
-              Depart New Delhi and arrive Mumbai 
-              Evening Networking reception hosted by the U.S. Consul General
Mumbai, India 
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
-              Morning U.S. Consulate briefing 
-              One-on-one matchmaking meetings 
-              Depart Mumbai for Colombo 

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016
             Free Day
 Friday, Dec. 9, 2016
-              U.S. Embassy Briefing
-              One-on-one matchmaking meetings organized in association with AmCham, Sri Lanka
-              Evening Networking reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador (TBC)
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Delegates depart per individual itineraries.

Download the Trade Mission flyer

Download Application Form

Please download the application and email the completed application as an attachment to Josh Merin at, Director, International Affairs at IFA. If you submit an application and do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, please notify Josh MerinThe application deadline is close of business, ET October 14th.

The Commercial Service posts will review the applications after the deadline. IFA will be in touch as soon as the Commercial Service posts have made decisions. 


Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka occupies a strategic position in South Asia and is open for U.S. business. U.S. exports to Sri Lanka, is approximately $310 million and is growing. The Financial Times boldly calls Sri Lanka “Asia’s next tiger.” Sri Lanka offers abundant market opportunities in the Franchise sector due to the increase in tourism and expansion of the economy.  Major U.S. franchise brands present in Sri Lanka include TGIF, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Burger King and McDonald's.  Many local companies have expressed interest in sourcing internationally recognized franchise brands.

Sri Lanka is building several new luxury hotels and upgrade existing ones to meet ambitious goals for increased tourist arrivals.  Tourism has recorded rapid growth from 500,000 tourist arrivals several years ago to 2 million (approximately) in 2016.  Sri Lanka offers a mix of attractions including beaches, wild life parks, rain forests, tea plantations, ancient ruins, Buddhist cultural sites, and festivals.  According to industry experts, there appears to be an emerging tourism trend, where there is a large influx of tourists, seeking a more authentic experience, rather than the conventional tourism offering.  Several international and regional hotel chains have begun building or operating hotels in Sri Lanka, including Marriott, Shangri-La, Six Senses, and Movenpick Hotels.  The increased expansion of the hotel sector, upgrading of current properties and construction of international hotel chains, and tourism provide significant prospects for U.S. Franchisors. In per capita terms Sri Lanka compares favorably with the region. A GDP per capita of $4,000, expanding middle class with a packaged goods market of around $2 billion forecast to reach $3 billion in 2018, a consumer electronics market of around $1.5 billion and rapidly expanding modern trade are some of the indicators of consumption growth in the country. The hotel and restaurant sector’s contribution to GDP increased by 11 percent in 2014, the highest growth in the services sector, and is forecast to further expand in the medium term.   


Franchising as a concept has been prevalent in India for a long time. Shifting consumer trends, including growing preferences for branded products; global exposure and use of international brands is driving meteoric growth in franchising.

According to a recent KPMG and Franchise Association of India (FAI) report, the India franchise economy has a potential to triple over a five year period. The franchise industry is expected to contribute almost 4 percent of India’s GDP in 2017. Increasing consumption, willingness to spend, growing preference for branded products, global exposure and use of international brands is driving the demand side of franchising. This growth has increased the set of opportunity-driven competent entrepreneurs and has grown the awareness of franchising as a business opportunity and its relatively low risk profile. This is driving the supply of new franchisee units. Franchising contributes to the economic growth of a nation in multiple ways such as job creation, access to necessary goods and services and expansion of a country's tax base. The concept of franchising in India has been growing at an impressive rate, as risk-averse Indian entrepreneurs consider it to be the most viable option to tap the nation's vast consumer market.

India is witnessing a huge demographic transformation fueled by a consumption boom. This transformation has led to a population of over 250 million middle-income Indians with high disposable incomes, changing lifestyles, mounting aspirations, appetite for Western goods, international exposure, options for quality retail space and greater product choice and availability. The greater demand for goods in India is in turn generating a greater demand for U.S. franchises.

The United States is a key player in India’s franchise boom. Indians with growing incomes are demanding high quality products and services, which can be delivered by U.S. franchises. Simultaneously, India is witnessing huge growth in entrepreneurial energy and talent, and most franchisees are in their first decade of operations and are very receptive toward American franchises. In India, there are no laws in place with the sole purpose of regulating the growing business of franchising. When franchisors enter India, they are governed by a number of different national and regional statutes and codes rather than a single comprehensive law. The applicable laws can vary by region and should be considered before engaging in any franchising venture in India. Since economic liberalization in 1991, India has witnessed huge growth in the number of new businesses. As a business model, franchising is ideally suited for Indian entrepreneurs. India has a vast pool of entrepreneurial energy and talent and a pressing need for increasing self-employment and other employment opportunities. With the Indian economy recording a sustained annual GDP growth rate of 6 to 7 percent and the burgeoning Indian middle class promising to drive up nominal retail sales by 10 percent per year until 2020, the market is ripe for a franchising boom. The top prospects for franchising are: education, food, health, beauty & wellness services and retail. Other industry sectors with potential are apparel franchises, travel and tourism, and business/financial services. Despite potential challenges such as high real-estate prices, complex legal framework and regional differences, numerous U.S franchisors have been extremely successful in India. Most of them have adapted their products and services to local market preferences and have pursued effective market entry and expansion strategies. 


Additional resources: 

India Franchise Market Report (2016)

Profile of franchise law in India 

Access US Commercial Service Country Commercial Guides 




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