Brand Licensing in India - Rishabh Singla from LicenseWorks

Today's show is a result of a phone call that I got after one of our listeners heard our Business Munchies episode. As we got talking, I realised his line of work is extremely interesting and operates in a niche. As our regular listeners might know, we love NICHE businesses. As they say, Niches build Riches.

Finding the Brand Licensing Business Model

Around 2009-10, Rishabh & Pranav wanted to start an Electronics Accessories brand and upon more research, they realized it was difficult to compete with existing brands without a solid marketing budget. That's when they came across the idea of Corporate Brand Licensing.

What is Brand Licensing?

Under this, an existing brand licenses its name to other companies that are creating products that can serve as an extension to the brand's current products. For example, JCB makes construction and mining equipments. A natural extension to it would be Hand and Power Tools. Now, JCB could invest capital, do product development for this new line of products, OR it could tie up with an existing manufacturer of power tools and lend them the JCB Brand by doing a brand licensing agreement. Under this agreement, JCB gets certain % of the revenues. This is a win-win for both the partiers as JCB didn't have to invest and do product development and the manufacturer builds credibility by using the JCB Name. 

This model is extremely popular in the western markets and is estimated to be a market of 280 Billion Dollars. This is primarily dominated by Entertainment and Films, Fashion and Corporate brands.

Building LicenseWorks

Rishabh and Pranav saw the opportunity back in 2011 and co-founded LicenseWorks.They pivoted from their orginal idea and started An agency that helped brands match with manufacturers in India. Clients of Licenseworks were able to generate $70 million in revenue in 2019. 

In our show today, we host Rishabh and talk to him about the Brand Licensing Market and the workings of it. If you're manufacturing products out of India, you HAVE to listen to this to understand the opportunity that it presents. They've had multiple success stories in India where companies were able to double the turnover in a couple of years.

The Success of LicenseWorks

In fact, LicenseWorks is now one of the Top 25 Global Licensing Agencies (on the basis the revenue generated for its clients), and the only agency from India among the top 25 global agencies.

LicenseWorks represents a wide range of International brands including leading Corporate trademarks, Electronics, Fashion and Sports brands such as Stanley Black & Decker, JCB, Schneider, Kodak, Thomson, Blaupunkt, Carrera Jeans, Karl Lagerfeld, HEAD Sports, Harvard, Santa Barbara Polo Club etc.

At the same time, several Indian companies also approach LicenseWorks with specific brand requirements. In such cases, LicenseWorks team works with them and helps them identify suitable brand licensing opportunities relevant to their categories, which could help grow their business.

Rishabh's email address: