- 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
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
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.
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.
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.