How InXpress chief leads change in the franchise

By Sarah Stowe | 14 Jun 2019 View comments

Marcel Lal is in the top 10 leaderboard of the Top 30 Franchise Executives for 2019. As GM for InXpress Australia he led a management change plan that has brought about significant results across the network. Today he heads up the six-country-strong Asia Pacific region for InXpress.

Lal took time out of his busy CEO schedule to chat with Inside Franchise Business about leadership and change.

In this podcast Lal shares his perspective of what leadership looks like in a franchise network. He talks through how he implemented change throughout the business and the most effective strategies to help franchisees face change.

Lal also explains the measures used to evaluate the viability of new initiatives, which may be generated by head office or franchisees.

Four pillars of business ideas

There are four areas that InXpress focuses on for new initiatives:

  1. Technology
  2. Innovation
  3. Marketing
  4. Training

Lal reveals how finance has been added to the pillars to boost franchisees’ financial management skills. The goal is to get franchisees to identify potential pitfalls, and to be generating profitable revenue.

Leadership strategies

Lal believes there are four elements to successful franchise leadership. So what does good leadership look like?

  • It is consultative
  • There is a long term vision backed up with shorter term plans and actions
  • Integrity is paramount
  • It focuses on increasing brand value, including the value of individual franchise units

Franchisee profitability

To achieve a sustainable and profitable business InXpress measures growth through margins, rather than revenue. Important to this is boosting field sales activities.

It also looks at compliance across the network to ensure ethical business practices and brand integrity is maintained. 

InXpress plans

Lal wants the business to be a progressive franchisor and this he equates to a focus on people, processes and franchise support.

He says it’s about looking inwards, and at new services, including e-commerce product evolution.

InXpress franchisees are small businesses helping other small Aussie businesses to grow and Lal is ambitious about customer retention. Right now the B2B brand retains more than 70 per cent of customers but the target is 80 per cent.

“We know that means good long term sustainable business for our franchisees,” says Lal.

The CEO of the Asia-Pacific business he is facilitating growth not just in Australia and New Zealand operations but with country team partners in Vietnam, India, Hong Kong and South Korea.

There are 50 franchises in Australia, and more than 100 in the Asia-Pacific region, and this footprint will grow further. Globally the brand is in 14 countries and Australia, as the third largest operation, will be at the forefront of business development.