News and Updates

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, Published July 23, 2017, 10:00 PM, Manila Bulletin

The Philippines as global franchising hub is now becoming a reality with international sourcing, concepts and branding converging in the country as it now hosts also the world’s biggest annual franchising event.

Samie Lim, the acknowledged franchising guru not just in the Philippines but abroad, said at least 150 foreign brands participated in the recently concluded Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 Expo with record breaking 40,000 delegates.

The Philippines has also produced a total of 150 Certified Franchise Executives, the largest number among countries.

“We are now the largest franchising hub and best attended. The Philippines as a franchising hub is now becoming a reality,” said Lim, chairman emeritus of Philippine Franchising Association, hosts of the annual Franchise Asia.

Some of the foreign franchise associations and consultancy groups also participated in the last conference and expo.

The World Franchise Associates with over 50 members had a big pavilion, while other consultancy groups from other countries, including the US, have brought in their own brands. For instance, Singapore has 8 same as Indonesia while Thailand has 6.

Francorp Philippines, the professional organization founded by Lim to help companies come up with their franchise systems, has already a total of 50 people helping various concepts turn into successful franchise modules.

Normally, Francorp conducts seminars for 200 people with 50 returning for consultations and perhaps half of them finally going through the franchising process.  Preparing the franchise system for a particular concept can be tedious, taking 6 months to a year.

The reason the Philippines is realizing the goal of a franchise hub is the ability of Filipinos to put up the concepts into actual franchise programs.

“Other countries are learning from us,” said Lim.

But among ASEAN countries, Thailand ranked best in terms of concepts, according to Sam Christopher Lim, chair of the Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 Conference.

“Thais are very creative but that is also a big problem because if you think you can do it better, you will not allow somebody to handle it or offer it via franchising, thus stifling that entrepreneurial drive,” he said.

“But Filipinos can learn, teach and still hold on to their entrepreneurial spirit,” said the young Lim, a former Unilever brand manager assigned overseas but is now being groomed to follow his father’s footstep in business.

Already, there have been a good number of Filipino concepts with successful franchises. In fact, as much as 40 percent of the franchisees of the more than 500 booths at the three-day expo were clients of Francorp.

Some of the successful brands under Francorp include Orayspa, The Generics Pharmacy, Potato Corner, and Reyes Haircutters, to name a few.

Three new local concepts on food, academic tutorial and cars detailing are going to the US to compete among other concepts.

“We are not talking here of 100 branches because the new generation come to us and are targeting 1,000 stores,” he said.

“We are moving closer to becoming the global franchise hub.”


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