Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines
Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines

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Things You Didn’t Know about Samie Lim, the “Father of Philippine Franchising”

Written by
Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines

photo-2As we celebrate Father’s Day today, allow me to write something in honor of my father, also the “Father of Philippine franchising” himself, Mr. Samson “Samie” Lim.

As a father, he continuously inspires me and my siblings to strive for excellence in our every endeavor. As a “father” to the local franchising industry, he also continuously inspires thousands of homegrown entrepreneurs to aim higher and push their brands to the global stage via franchising.

Here are some things you probably did not know about my father, the “Father of Philippine franchising”:

1. He is also the “father” of Mother’s Day in the Philippines.

Did you know that my father popularized Mother’s Day celebrations in the country? Back in the day, Mother’s Day treats (and even Father’s Day treats) were not yet common, and were usually left in the hands of greeting card companies and flower shops. But as one of the founders of both the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) and the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), my father pushed its members—which includes brands like Jollibee, Goldilocks, and Max’s Fried Chicken, just to name a few—to offer special Mother’s Day treats to their customers. “My greatest joy is the fact that I have made a difference in the life of millions of Filipino families with the annual celebration of Mother’s Day,” he says.

2. He didn’t know anything about franchising when he started.

Coming from a family of appliance and furniture retailers, my father already knew his way around business. However, he admits to not knowing much about franchising when he started in the industry 20 years ago. “Everything I learned about franchising, I learned from someone else,” he recalls. In order to learn more about franchising, and to also bring international franchising standards to the country, my father brought in the franchise of world-class franchise consultancy firm Francorp.


3. He is both a franchisor and a franchisee.

My father, needless to say, practices what he preaches as he is a franchisor and a franchisee in his own right. Aside from owning home appliances store Automatic Center and lifestyle furniture store Blims Lifestyle Group, my father is also a franchisor of the world-famous living room essentials store La-Z-Boy Gallery. He is also the master franchise holder in Asia of the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute and, more recently, he also became a franchisee of French furniture brand Gautier.


4. He has a talent for uniting people.

As a retailer, my father already knew that business was his forte. Later on, he realized that he also had a talent for bringing people together. He believes that there is strength in numbers, so he used this talent of his to build business organizations in different industries. He started in his turf, in the appliance and furniture industry. Then, he moved to unite different retailers in the country, giving birth to the PRA, which later on gave birth to the PFA. Now, he is focused on uniting the tourism industry and the private education sector.

5. He once served as Trade undersecretary.

My father’s expertise and influence in the business sector did not go unnoticed. In 1999, my father had the honor to serve 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, the government’s premier investment arm under the DTI. To this day, he still considers it as one of his greatest accomplishments, alongside the privilege of serving as president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in 2007.

vice-president6. He wanted to become Vice President of the Philippines.

My father has always been a visionary. In 1975, when he was just 25 years old, he already had great plans on how to build the nation and its industries. Back then, he wanted to enter the political scene and eyed a public office—the vice presidency. “However, the declaration of Martial Law crushed my dream, so I moved to Plan B,” he recalls. His Plan B was to unite different industries through strong business organizations, which he believes can help build the nation together.

7. He was born at home, with the aid of a midwife.

Being one of the country’s most successful retailers, one would think that my father has always had it easy. But did you know that he was born at home, with the aid of a kumadrona (midwife), into a middle-class family in Tondo, Manila right after the war? But his family has always been entrepreneurial, a trait which he obviously inherited—as a kid, my father was already selling batteries to his neighbors. Then, he was granted a scholarship in the Ateneo de Manila University, where he graduated cum laude. And the rest, as they say, is history.

All his life, my father lived by this motto: “to be the greatest service to the greatest number of people.” Today, I can proudly say that my father is living his dream, as he is also “father” to an industry that empowered thousands of entrepreneurs, and currently employs 1.2 million Filipinos across 130,000 outlets all over the country.

To all the fathers out there, may you all have a Happy Father’s Day!

For more information on franchising, contact Francorp Philippines at (02) 638-3149, email info[at], or visit

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Branding or Franchising: Which should come first?

This age old question plagues many of today’s small business owners especially those who are looking to grow their business quickly and reach out to more consumers in the most cost-efficient way possible. So they rush headlong into franchising without laying the groundwork for solid branding strategies. The truth is, it is hardly a chicken and egg question. Without a doubt branding should come first.

Your brand is your best asset as a franchisor. Branding is what reels in franchisees, it’s what franchisees pay a franchise fee for. A lot of entrepreneurs are on the look out for franchise options that allow them to maximize the equity of a well-known, trusted and established brands. Branding is what attracts customers. Their purchase decision is based on what they think, know and feel about your brand. A well-branded business makes for a stable and viable candidate for franchising.

Franchise Consultant Philippines | Franchise Marketing


Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all, let us first define what branding is. Typical business owners view branding as their logo, graphic elements and their store design. It is true that these are part of your brand, but true branding goes much deeper than that. Branding is also about how people perceive you, what they tell friends and family about you, it’s the purpose your brand exists. Branding is your personality, your values and your vision. Branding is what keeps your business not just successful but also sustainable.

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”.
Steve Forbes Author/Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Magazine

Branding creates a strong foundation for franchise success

Getting into branding at early stage allows you to establish systems as your business expands. As your business grows, so does the number of people involved in developing marketing and communications materials. This increases the likelihood of your communications and brand experiences being disjointed if guidelines are not in place. When this happens, brand management become all the more indispensable.

Brand recognition mixed with consistency is key
Confusion using different brand colors, fonts and logos have a negative impact on consumer recognition. Consistency, on the otherhand allows for immediate brand recognition.

Consistency also means that your consumers should be able to expect the same brand experience wherever they are, whether they’re in a different city, province or country – from the logo, to appearance, offerings, quality of products all the way to customer service.
When you find yourself in a Starbucks in Singapore, you expect to enjoy the same Caramel Macchiato you enjoyed in Seattle. You count on experiencing the same sights, sounds and smells that you’ve enjoyed in Sydney as you have in Manila. You go to a Starbucks in Vietnam and you simply take it for granted that they will call out your name when your coffee is ready as they will in Johannesberg.

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Postive perceptions = positive results
A lot of people realize McDonald’s does not exactly offer the healthiest food option out there, but why do we still see long queues in the fastfood franchise during lunch hour? Why do you think people still go to the stores to order Big Mac? That’s because over the years, the brand has created goodwill that has helped the company deal with sticky situations.
They have implemented several programs that support the youths and communities that generate a lot of positive feels among consumers. Ever heard of Ronald McDonald House?

Remember the line they made famous a couple of years back, “I’m loving it”? People across the world fell for it hook, line and sinker. They would often quote it to say it in their own language.

All of these factors coming into play is what branding is all about. This simply further underlines why there’s a need to evaluate where things stand in your company as far as branding is concerned before even considering franchising. So before you branch out, look from within. Take a step back for a moment, work towards strengthening your branding strategies and soon you will be moving ahead by leaps and bounds.


Take that first step to elevating your business into a brand. Be there when international brand strategist Melvin Ong talks about the transformative powers of branding on April 26, 2016 at the Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila in a seminar aptly called “Branding for Global Success”. Mark it on your calendars. For details call 634-3717, 634-0586 or 638-3149 to 50 or email


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Franchise Consultant Philippines | Franchise Success Stories | How to Create a Franchise Business | How to Franchise in the Philippines

Imagine earthly mixes of comfort, aroma, and exciting flavours rolled into one; a place where you can nourish and delight your senses, a place to connect, and a place where zen and happiness are served in one cup—discover Caffe La Tea!

Caffe La Tea is a fast-rising coffee and milk tea company from the progressive City of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. Established in 2012 as a homey cafe where people gather, dine, and unwind, it has already grown to be a household name in its hometown–synonymous to good food and good times.

With interiors inspired by the dark, rich color of coffee, balanced by the soft touch of cream and the calming touch of the teal and lime-apple green freshness and vibrancy of teas, Caffe La Tea has finally brought to life a new place where people can enjoy coffee and teas.  Their most famous milk tea line is brewed in-store, using only the finest ingredients from Taiwan, the birthplace of milk tea. Coffee is crafted from a tasteful mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, from foreign and local origins. This is complemented with tasty everyday staples like Pork Sinigang and Sizzling Sisig, to the more refined Pasta Espanola and Creamy Chicken Pesto.

At Caffe La Tea, all senses are waiting to be satisfied. Quench your thirst for good authentic Taiwanese tea, or delight your stomach with a sumptuous meal, reward your sense of smell with the aroma of a perfect brew, or merely please your eyes with the homey yet calming ambience—indeed, Caffe La Tea is a perfect place to relax. It takes pride in their tradition of the best gathering venue, and continuous innovation to bring fresh and refreshing products to customers,  all amidst classy, retro-modern interiors, inviting lounges, and hospitable staff, truly “Zen and Happiness in One Cup”.

In just three years, this admired Cabanatuan café slowly become a trademark, where people come home to. Today, the perfect brew of zen and and happiness is served in five more branches in Central Luzon.

Their vision to bring zen and happiness to everyone – family, friends, officemates, classmates, food or sports enthusiasts, geeks, photography junkies, pet lovers, travellers or whatever group , has spilled over to more people via new outlets where Caffe La Tea is now finally giving away more cups of happiness through franchising.

Want your own the perfect brew for that cup of success? Franchise inquiries are entertained at

Proudly developed by Francorp Philippines & its team of Franchise Consultants and Certified Franchise Executives. To learn more about how to franchise your business both in the Philippines and internationally, contact a Francorp franchise consultant or take a free franchisability quiz.

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