Local brands set to expand business in 30 countries

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 15 2012 08:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2012 04:56 AM

Franchise Industry BigWigs at the Franchise Asia Philippines 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino franchisers are eyeing at least 30 countries as “gateways” for their global expansion.

Philippine Franchise Association co-founder and chairman emeritus Samie Lim said these countries are “best staging points for Filipino brands” in the international arena. The 30 countries include South Africa.

PFA vice-chair and Francorp Philippines chief executive Ma. Alegria "Bing" Sibal- Limjoco said among the Filipino brands that are expanding overseas are: Potato Corner, Max’s, Crystal Clear, Pancake House, Generics Pharmacy, and Waffle Time.

“We can use [the countries] as gateways to their regions as much as they are using the Philippines as gateway to our region,” Lim said.

Lim, who is chairman of Francorp Philippines and president and chief executive of Blims Fine Furniture and Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute, said this expansion will help franchisers achieve its annual target growth of 30%.

The industry now ranks 10th in the world in terms of revenue at about $11 billion in 2011 based on figures from the World Franchising Council (WFC). This was a huge jump from only $3.04 billion in 2000.

In terms of job generation, the industry now employs about 1.1 million Filipinos. WFC ranks the Philippine franchise industry in third place globally, next to the United States and Japan in terms of employment generation.

The Philippines currently has about 1,300 franchise concepts, with 124,000 total franchisees, the fourth best in the world.

Local support

For her part, PFA President and Wendy's Philippines Chairman Elizabeth Pardo- Orbeta, however, said the local franchise industry is not getting that much support from the government as compared to their counterparts in Malaysia and Macau. There, franchisers are heavily subsidized.

“We should be growing a lot faster if we are getting support from the government. We believe that franchising is still the best way for us to grow our economy,” she said.

PFA Chairman and Max’s Restaurant President and Chief Executive Robert F. Trota, on the other hand, said that going global is much easier for them with the Philippines’ accession to the Madrid Protocol on the registration of trademarks.

Through the Madrid Protocol, Filipino businessmen only need to register their trademarks locally and they can already gain protection in all the 80 countries that have acceded to it.

“It is easier for me now to convince them to go global. There are good opportunities for Filipino brands. There are 13 million Filipinos abroad, and they are your brand ambassadors. They will patronize and endorse your products, and they are very good sales people,” he said.

Domestic front

Still, the franchisers are not giving up hope on the local front.
Fruit Magic President Alan L. Escalona said franchisers are looking to Visayas and Mindanao for expansion.

Fruit Magic is also now opening new branches in Bohol, Puerto Princesa in Palawan and Boracay.

Goldilocks and Wendy’s also earlier reported plans for expansion in the two regions.

Lin E. Deres, Goldilocks franchise relations head said the Philippines should emulate other countries that offer good incentives to their franchisers, including subsidies to trips abroad when they participate in expos and develop new markets.

“We need incentives to grow, especially those which are just starting up,” Deres added.

FAP 2012, billed as the biggest and grandest international franchise show in Asia, is slated on July 25 to 29 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Its components include the International Franchise Conference (July 25 and 26), the International Franchise Expo (July 27 – 29), the Educational Franchise Seminars, andthe Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) Program (July 23 and 24).