Conversion Deal Provides 52 Shops to Wi-fi Zone Footprint | Franchise Information

Wireless Zone

Wi-fi Nation just lately signed an settlement to be part of the Wi-fi Zone model and turn into a part of Verizon’s largest licensed franchisor.

For Joe Hathiramani and the three different homeowners of Wi-fi Nation, the choice to transform their shops and turn into Wi-fi Zone franchisees was a straightforward one.

“The reality is we wanted extra assist to scale, and the chance to do one thing like that is one thing we in all probability ought to’ve executed a very long time in the past,” mentioned Hathiramani, the CEO of Wi-fi Nation, an East Coast-based wi-fi retail enterprise with 52 shops in 5 states, the vast majority of them in Pennsylvania. Wi-fi Nation just lately signed an settlement to hitch the Wi-fi Zone model and turn into a part of Verizon’s largest licensed franchisor.

Working greater than 480 areas throughout 72 possession teams, Wi-fi Zone has made a serious push currently to make use of enterprise conversions to reinforce its footprint within the cluttered however quickly rising wi-fi retail market together with its sister firm, TCC. Wi-fi Zone has transformed 126 TCC areas underneath its umbrella since 2018. The take care of Wi-fi Nation and its 52 shops is its largest franchise conversion but.

“There have been plenty of issues that attracted us to Wi-fi Nation, with the primary promoting level for us was their measurement and what number of areas they operated. The opposite factor we favored about them is that they have been robust performers for plenty of years and persevering with to develop,” mentioned Keith Dziki, government director of improvement for Wi-fi Zone, headquartered in Fishers, Indiana.

Joe Hathiramani

Wi-fi Nation CEO Joe Hathiramani.

Wi-fi Nation’s journey from privately owned entity to the franchise mannequin started in 2007 when homeowners Ash Thakur, Harry Patel and Umesh Patel launched their enterprise as a direct wi-fi agent with Verizon. The journey continued after they transitioned their firm based mostly in in Bel Air, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, over to the seller program with TCC a number of years later.

Since leaving his place as vice chairman of East Coast gross sales at TCC and taking on as CEO and half proprietor of Wi-fi Nation in 2016, Hathiramani has helped the corporate greater than double its footprint, from 25 shops to 52 within the final seven years. Every of its areas supplies wi-fi service to six,000 to 7,000 clients on common, he mentioned.

However it wasn’t till Hathiramani and his companions realized they reached their capability for rising on their very own that they determined to pursue a franchise settlement with Wi-fi Zone.

“We have been in search of a long-term resolution for our enterprise, and what I imply by that’s our aspirations have been to construct a multi-generational firm and one thing that we may function profitably for a very very long time. And that is actually the place Wi-fi Zone type of got here into image for us and why it made probably the most sense” to hitch the franchise system, mentioned Hathiramani.

He famous Wi-fi Nation positioned itself for the deal by first buying one other Wi-fi Zone firm with 9 areas in western Pennsylvania in November.

Keith Dziki

Keith Dziki, government director of improvement for Wi-fi Zone.

Together with inheriting a robust model title and its help system, Hathiramani mentioned one other promoting level with Wi-fi Zone was the alignment of firm tradition.

“Like us, their focus is on the communities that they do enterprise with, and giving again to these communities they’re in,” he mentioned. “Wi-fi Zone provides their franchisees and our staff a chance to appoint native charities they wish to work with.”

Dziki mentioned final 12 months Wi-fi Zone donated $585,000 to native charities chosen by their franchisees.

Simply months after signing with Wi-fi Zone, Hathiramani mentioned he and his group at Wi-fi Nation, which numbers between 100 and 200 staff relying on the time of the 12 months, are already seeing the advantages of the franchise mannequin.

“The suggestions from our group has been nice. Anybody right here can just about name Wi-fi Zone’s IT help anytime and get the assistance they want,” he mentioned, including, “and that is an ideal worth that basically comes from the franchise system that, to be sincere, we type of underestimated earlier than making the transfer.”

Requested if he and his group had any issues about transitioning from impartial operators to franchisees, Hathiramani mentioned, “You already know, it’s the franchising mannequin and it’s rather a lot completely different than a license settlement and rather a lot completely different than another enterprise relationship we had previously. However we knew that when signed, the franchise settlement it will be a dedication for the lifetime of the corporate, and we’ve by no means seemed again.”

Hathiramani mentioned the change couldn’t have come at a greater time. The wi-fi telecommunications service trade, which reached greater than $328 billion in income in the US in 2022, in line with IBISWorld analysis, is poised for large progress within the coming years. The rollout of 5G services and products will possible velocity up that progress, he added.

“It’s simply exploding, what’s taking place within the trade, and with Wi-fi Zone we’re able to develop with that demand,” Hathiramani mentioned.

The fee to franchise a Wi-fi Zone location is between $160,000 and $414,400, with $175,000 cashed required, in line with its Franchise Disclosure Doc.