Dr Nader Atmeh
Offering an eco-friendly waterless car wash is Keenwash, looking to extend its footprint in Middle Eastern countries. Dr Nader Atmeh, Founder & CEO, Keenwash shares the expansion plans of the company in the Middle East.
Namita Bhagat (NB): What is 'Keenwash' all about? How has the concept been received by your clientele so far?
Nader Atmeh (NA): The concept of Keenwash was launched in 2008 in Jordan. We at Keenwash have introduced the Keenwash shop and wash concept at shopping centres in the capital city Amman. Shopping mall customers in Jordan can now have their cars washed while they shop. Our Keenwash Mobile Cars zip off to perform on location waterless car washes according to bookings made by phone and the Keenwash website. Finally, Keenwash offers bulk washing services for company fleets, with clients ranging from Mercedes car dealership to the American embassy.
NB: How and when did the company opt for the franchise model for its expansion?
NA: Our initial plan was to start franchising our concept after three years but we sold our first franchise after only one year.
NB: Currently, how many franchise/own locations do you have in Jordan and Middle East for your brand? Has the company been able to achieve the targeted traction via franchising till now?
NA: Currently we have franchises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine and we are in negotiations with Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Switzerland and the United States of America.
NB: Could you provide an insight to the brands’ expansion plans in the Middle East?
NA: Keenwash is now a registered trademark in most of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We are currently planning to expand to the United States after being featured in this month's edition of the American Business Week Magazine.
NB: What is the start up cost of franchise outlets of your company in Mid East in terms of space and money? What are the selection criteria for your franchisees?
NA: Our franchise costs from 25,000 to 1,50,000 US$ depending on the area of the franchise or whether the contract is for a single franchise or a master franchise. Our franchisees must be ambitious entrepreneurs that share our vision of spreading the waterless car wash concept.
NB: How do you support your franchisees and what kind of training is given to them for doing business?
NA: We provide them with a full training program for a whole month on how to detail a car from inside and outside. We also offer franchise manuals, DVDs, reservation software, graphic design support & 24/7 help for all problems that they might face in detailing cars.
NB: What is your take on the issue of competition from other global/local brands operating in your business space?
NA: As Keenwash is only service provider that manufactures its own products. We can offer our franchisees the best products with the lowest cost. Especially in the Arabic region since there are no customs for Arabic manufactured products.
NB: What advice would you like to give to the local or regional businesses and investors seeking expansion in the Middle East via franchising?
NA: Look for previously established franchises and study your local market before entering a new venture.
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