The seven things you did not know about the “Father of Philippine franchising”, Mr. Samson “Samie”Lim are:
1. He did not know anything about franchising when he started.
When Samie Lim started in the franchise industry 20 years ago, he was already a seasoned retailer, but he recalled: “Everything I learned about franchising, I learned from someone else.” He not only brought the ideas of the world-renowned franchise consultancy firm Francorp to the Philippines but also its international franchising standards.
2. He is a franchisor and franchisee in his own right.
He is the president of home appliances store Automatic Center and lifestyle furniture store Blims Lifestyle Group. He is also a franchisor of living room essentials store La-Z-Boy Gallery. He is also the master franchisee of the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute for the Asian region. He is also a franchisee of French furniture brand Gautier.
3. He is also the “father” of Mother’s Day in the Philippines.
He is also credited for popularizing Mother’s Day. He pushed the members of Philippine Retailers Association and Philippine Franchise Association to offer Mother’s Day treats to their customers. “My greatest joy is the fact that I have made a difference in the lives of millions of Filipino families with the annual celebration of Mother’s Day,” he said.
4. He has a knack for uniting otherwise fragmented business sectors.
As a retailer, Samie Lim started in the appliance and furniture industry. Then, he moved to unite different retailers which gave birth to the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), and then the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) also followed. Now, he seeks to unite the tourism and/or the private education sector.
5. He once served as Trade undersecretary.
In 1999, Samie Lim served as the Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). During his term, he also became the general manager of the National Development Company, but he also served as the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in 2007.
6. He wanted to become Vice President of the Philippines.
Samie Lim had grand ambitions on how to build the nation and its industries, and he eyed the vice presidency. “However, the declaration of Martial Law crushed my dream, so I moved to Plan B,” he recalled. His Plan B was to strengthen the different industries by uniting business organizations.
7. He was born at home with the aid of a midwife
Samie Lim was born at home with the aid of a kumadrona (widwife) in a middle-class family in Tondo, Manila. He inherited his entrepreneurial trait from his family. As a kid, he was selling batteries to his neighbors! Thanks to an Ateneo de Manila University scholarship, he graduated cum laude.
Samie Lim is now living his dream because the Philippines franchising industry currently employs 1.2 million people across 130,000 outlets all over the country.