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

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Passing the Baton: Francorp’s Next Generation Managers

Nearing its 20th year in the country, Francorp, or the International Franchise Corporation of the Philippines, has successfully transferred the reins of management to a new breed of young professionals who, like the founders, share the passion of upholding franchising as a key player in advancing business in this part of Asia.

 

In 1996, when founding fathers, Samie Lim and Manny Siggaoat, and mother of Philippine franchising, Bing Sibal Limjoco, established Francorp after returning from the United States where they learned the rudiments of franchising from their guru Don Boroian of Francorp USA, they were filled with great hopes that franchising will be the solution to growing businesses faster from one to many, with lesser capital on the part of the franchisor, and use of other people’s expertise, which in this case is the franchisee partner. With a proven business model that was to be replicated by their franchisees and a success rate of 90% if the system was followed, many brand owners were expertly advised by Francorp that franchising can be their route to success.

 

Two decades after and more than 300 brands assisted in different stages of their development, Francorp’s founders are ready to pass the baton. The transition has been smooth because the equity of this franchise consultancy business and the responsibilities attached to it were readily embraced by the scions, Sam Christopher “Chris” T. Lim, and Manuel “Noel” V. Siggaoat Jr., as well as the career manager who experienced the consultancy company’s rise to its position of leadership in this industry, Joselito “Lito” G. Samson.

 

With these three holding the reins, but still guided by the visionary Samie Lim, the retired but quiet inspiration Manny Siggaoat, the indefatigable Bing Limjoco, and supported by the team of dedicated consultants and staff, Francorp is brightly looking forward to the decades ahead when franchising will still be a prime contributor to economic growth.

 

SCL

A whiff of fresh air wafted through Francorp when the Father of Philippine franchising, Samie Lim, sent his son, Sam Christopher, to head Marketing and Strategy. In a business world that’s changing so fast, Francorp must keep in step. The inputs, therefore, of one so abreast in global trends come at a most opportune time. And it also helps that he is a millennial, technology savvy, and in touch with what’s up-to-date in places that matter. His stints as senior global brand manager for the Unilever offices in Bangkok, Shanghai, and London have given him the valuable marketing experience he needs to raise the bar at Francorp.

 

Chris Lim’s academic background is just as stellar. After earning the highest award in Management Engineering at the Ateneo de Manila University, he went on to the National University of Singapore, and finally, to Oxford University in England where he graduated with distinction. While earning his post graduate diploma in Strategy and Innovation, he was also awarded the Young Market Masters Award.

 

Chris says that “having lived abroad for over a decade, I’m convinced that Philippine brands can compete internationally, but what we need is to make sure we have strong systems in place, invest in professional branding, and have a clear franchise entry strategy.” That’s why, concurrent with his Francorp position, he is also president of U-Franchise Sales and Management Inc. where he helps connect franchisors with franchisees both locally and internationally. In addition, he is also a Director in A.S. Louken Philippines, an international branding consultant that has helped brands such as Bread Talk and Charles & Keith gain international prominence. And to continue pushing brands to grow through franchising both in the Philippines and across ASEAN, he is chairperson for ASEAN Integration at the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) where he is very active in promoting the Nextgen Program.

 

 

MVS

Noel Siggaoat heads the consultancy team. With emphasis on franchise strategy, he leads development work for Francorp clients which entails diverse areas of franchise finance, strategy, operations, marketing, and sales. Noel learned the ropes in franchising from the founder and Chairman of Francorp USA himself, Don Boroian, whom he trained under at Francorp’s worldwide headquarters near Chicago, Illinois.

 

A Certified Franchise Executive, Noel earned his MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top American universities for business and technology. Soon after his masters, he went to New York City where he joined firms such as the Union Bank of Switzerland and Exis Consulting. Prior to graduate school, Noel worked as a management consultant for the SGV Management Services group in Manila. He obtained his IndustrialManagement Engineering degree fromDe La Salle University where he was a consistent Dean’s Lister and a Gold Medal recipient for Best Thesis in IME.

 

Noel says, “It’s very rewarding to help small companies break through and transform from being a start-up business into a national chain through the power of franchising. Small companies are able to leverage other people’s money, time, and personnel to compete with the bigger players. Part of the reason I came back from a lucrative career in the U.S. was to do my share in helping the Philippine economy grow. Franchising allows me to achieve this because of its multiplier effect; it helps companies grow quickly and successfully, and in the process creates many entrepreneurs – franterpreneurs (franchisee-entrepreneurs), who then employ thousands of workers. That gives me a great sense of fulfillment!”

 

He is excited about the next frontier of Philippine franchises: International Franchising. Through his guidance, Francorp has already assisted a few homegrown companies break into the international scene. “In the next few years, instead of Filipino OFWs, we will be exporting more and more Philippine businesses because of franchising”, Noel claims proudly.

His idea of relaxation revolves around sports and fitness. A former varsity football player at DLSU, Noel is currently into endurance sports. As a runner and triathlete, he has completed grueling marathons and Ironman races.

 

 

Lito samson

A Certified Franchise Executive and Serv Safe Executive, Lito Samson is behind the franchise programs of most of Francorp’s clients in the food, retail, and service industries. Trusted by management and clients alike, Lito travels the Philippines to ensure that business owners nationwide who engage Francorp’s expertise get the best personalized and customized service when it comes to documenting their operations. His goal is to come up with a viable operations manual, a necessary component of an honest-to goodness franchise system.

 

He is the go-to person whenever franchise operations is concerned because he is backed up by a solid 25 years of experience honed by work stints, first, in McDonald’s, where he attended Hamburger University in Australia. Later, he was store and training manager for companies like Carl’s Jr. and Jollibee. He also worked for a Japanese restaurant and was the Profit Center Manager for the Burger Machine chain, handling 70 to 100 outlets in various Metro Manila locations. At Francorp, since 2005, he spearheaded prime projects for operations manual development and services, and has guided many of our top clients in the field of quick-service food, retail, and service.

 

Being one of Francorp’s top speakers on franchising, he represents the company as a resource person in various local and international conferences and trade shows. Because his travels have given him a grasp of the developments of franchising abroad and in the country, he hopes to see Francorp play a stronger role in the industry and eventually, be a major player in ASEAN franchise consultancy services. Lito says, “Francorp can provide the services that can answer the demands of the growing ASEAN market. Hopefully, we evolve to become the preferred franchise developer in ASEAN.”

 

Sharing an interesting observation, Lito states that “franchising in the Philippines is maturing in the sense that franchisors now are more careful in building and strengthening their franchise support systems, as well as having a more stringent franchise recruitment process. Franchisors understand the value of investing in the “right franchisee”. They have come to realize that by doing so they will have better operations and improved earning potentials which are, in the long run, good for their brand.” On the franchisee side, Lito says “franchise investors are more conscious of the long term aspects of the offering such as Return on Investment (ROI), franchise terms, and the potentials for investing in additional units.” Another positive development he cites is the presence of a growing crop of “professional franchisees” or businessmen who invest and operate several franchise units and/or brands.

 

When on a break from work, Lito unwinds with his hobby – photography. He is a devoted dad to 2 teenagers, a daughter and son.

 

Francorp Philippines has developed over 400 franchise brands in the Philippines, and continues to deliver international level franchise development standards across the Philippines. It is a one-stop shop franchise development consultant that helps business develop franchise business strategies, operations development, franchise legal agreements, and franchise marketing & sales strategies. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise

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NxtGen entrepreneurs bring new levels of ambition and purpose to franchise industry

“What sets these next generation apart is their ambition and purpose.” With this, Sam Christopher Lim, project lead for NxtGen, opened the night for the first ever “NxtGen in Franchising Award.”

Led by the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), the “NxtGen in Franchising Award” seeks to promote franchising as a tool to accelerate business growth and recognize the brands and businesses that can scale up through franchising. It seeks to recognize young entrepreneurs who can be the next franchise leaders in the industry.
“When you look at businesses today, they look at hundreds to thousands of stores, and look at their market not in terms of the hundred million in the Philippines, but the hundreds of millions in ASEAN and internationally,” Lim said.

This ambition was seen in the night’s overall winner, Agri, a one-stop agriculture shop, represented by its owner, Mr. Joseph Calata. With over 100 stores, it continues to use franchising as a tool to accelerate their growth nationally. 360⁰ Fitness Club, a locally developed fitness club concept aims to conquer Southeast Asia through its fun, fast and effective fitness work outs. “We’ve started to join international shows and events and plan to expand first into Thailand and then to the rest of Southeast Asia,” said Joanna Pinon, co-owner of 360⁰ Fitness. While Homer Alvarez, owner of BluNektar, started as a bartender on a cruise ship and used his experience in creating concoctions to offer unique cake shakes. He dreams of catapulting his brand to be a recognized and respected beverage chain in the country.

But what sets these next generationentrepreneurs apart is their sense of purpose, of truly doing something to improve their customers’ lives and the community where they operate. They have a social mission that is integral to their business, and is not just embarking on another CSR project. Happy Helpers is a social enterprise that provides reliable and quality home cleaning services and at the same time, provides livelihood opportunities to women in living in Gawad Kalinga communities. The Paper Stone uses eco-friendly materials with the cheeriest, liveliest, and cutest designs for stationeries, journals, pens, and other quirky items. Another finalist, a high quality, but affordable skin andbeauty service center, aims to ensure that “that feeling and becoming beautiful is not a privilege but a right,” saysJasmine Sarmiento, owner of Beauty & Beyond from Cebu.

With the next generation’s continued sense of ambition and purpose, the Philippine Franchise Association hopes to continue to inspire more entrepreneurs to use franchising a tool to expand both nationally and internationally, and to follow the footsteps of Jollibee, Max’s, Bench, Goldilocks, and put more Filipino brands on the global map.

The NxtGen in Franchising Award is the first phase of the global search for the next generation of franchisors. To join the international contest and get a chance to win a trip to the United States together with an opportunity to network, make a pitch, and promote their ideas and concepts at the Next Gen in Franchising Summit to be held in the U.S., apply at http://nextgenfranchising.org/. Deadline is on October 30, 2015.

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BENCH

Beginning in 1987 with a small store selling men’s t-shirts, Bench has grown to include a ladies’ line, underwear, fragrances, house wares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products, with the distinction of being present in virtually every retail space in the Philippines, and with a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the United States, the Middle East, and China. There are a total of 678 stores nationwide. Spreading out its wings has been continuous owning to the viable franchise partners they choose – people who really understand business and are knowledgeable about the same industry. “It was Francorp,” according to Mr. Chan, “who legitimized and gave credibility to the business concept of the Bench franchise. Francorp & its team of franchise consultants also helped professionalize the franchising industry.”

To boost Bench’s growth, it pioneered in the use of celebrity endorsers, television and giant billboards to create awareness for a fashion brand that offers premium quality products at affordable prices.

Ben Chan is the man behind the Bench brand, founder of what is now the Philippines’ largest clothing chain, under Suyen Corporation. His style is world class fashion and his work ethics impeccable, after learning the definition of “hardworking” from his Chinese forebears.

Because of his vision and aggressive but strategic moves, he has expanded the Philippine clothing chain into international markets. Bench is in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xian, China; Kuwait; Bahrain; and Los Angeles, California.

To learn more about how to franchise your business both in the Philippines and internationally, attend a How to Franchise Your Business Seminar or take a free franchisability quiz.

 

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Emerging Trends in Franchising

By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

The secret to choosing a good franchise is finding businesses that are in sunrise industries. But choosing industries that are addressing long term trends and needs and not just short term fads is challenging even for the most experienced entrepreneurs.
From interviews with Samie Lim, the Father of Philippine Franchising, who correctly predicted the growth of franchising in the Philippines 20 years ago, and discussions with other entrepreneurs both locally and internationally, here are 3 trends that will shape the Philippine franchise market:

    1. Increased demand for work-life balance
      Keywords related to home – based businesses get over 17,000 searches monthly on Google, and it continues to rise. With more people looking for work-life balance, most have started to look for businesses they can start and run from inside their homes. This trend has already taken markets like Europe by storm where franchise shows have seen an increase in home – based franchises businesses. Companies such as Tutor Doctor from the US and Crest Clean from New Zealand are just some great opportunities that allow entrepreneurs to start a business, while being in the comfort of your own home.
    1. The rise of Retirement Resorts
      Aging is a fact of life. The stigma of retirement homes as pseudo prisons is now changing with the entry of retirement resorts around the Philippines. Here, parents and grandparents can relax and enjoy socializing with peers while getting the best medical care, should they need it. Retirement resorts such as Life Care from Cebu have been an early player in this segment.
  1. Tourism Boom requiring new services and workers
    With the Philippine targeting to double tourists to 10M by 2016, and the Philippines having some of the best tourist spots around the world, we can expect more tourism dollars coming into the country. With this, there will be in increased need for tourism infrastructure such as good quality branded hotels that deliver value and reliable service across the country. In addition, tourism schools such as the Canadian Tourism & Hospitality Institute have started to use international standard curriculums to train more and more tourism professionals to prepare for the influx of tourists.

Buying a franchise can be a very profitable investment, but it’s important to choose businesses that will benefit from long term trends in the country. This will assure you that your franchise business will be profitable for decades to come.

Franchise Talk is a content partnership of ABS-CBNNews.com with Francorp Philippines. For more on franchising, contact Sam Christopher Lim at franchisetalk.ph@gmail.com or visit www.francorp.com.ph
About the author:
Sam Christopher Lim is the Senior Vice-President for marketing & strategy at Francorp Philippines. He has over a decade of global marketing experience from Bangkok, Shanghai and most recently London. He is a multi-awarded marketer who graduated with distinction from Oxford University and was awarded with the Young Market Masters award. He is also currently Chair for ASEAN integration for the Philippine Franchise Association.

 

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Emerging trends in franchising

By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

The secret to choosing a good franchise is finding businesses that are in sunrise industries. But choosing industries that are addressing long term trends and needs and not just short term fads is challenging even for the most experienced entrepreneurs.

From interviews with Samie Lim, the Father of Philippine Franchising, who correctly predicted the growth of franchising in the Philippines 20 years ago, and discussions with other entrepreneurs both locally and internationally, here are 3 trends that will shape the Philippine franchise market:

1) Increased demand for work-life balance
Keywords related to home – based businesses get over 17,000 searches monthly on Google, and it continues to rise. With more people looking for work-life balance, most have started to look for businesses they can start and run from inside their homes. This trend has already taken markets like Europe by storm where franchise shows have seen an increase in home – based franchises businesses. Companies such as Tutor Doctor from the US and Crest Clean from New Zealand are just some great opportunities that allow entrepreneurs to start a business, while being in the comfort of your own home.

2) The rise of Retirement Resorts
Aging is a fact of life. The stigma of retirement homes as pseudo prisons is now changing with the entry of retirement resorts around the Philippines. Here, parents and grandparents can relax and enjoy socializing with peers while getting the best medical care, should they need it. Retirement resorts such as Life Care from Cebu have been an early player in this segment.

3) Tourism Boom requiring new services and workers
With the Philippine targeting to double tourists to 10M by 2016, and the Philippines having some of the best tourist spots around the world, we can expect more tourism dollars coming into the country. With this, there will be in increased need for tourism infrastructure such as good quality branded hotels that deliver value and reliable service across the country. In addition, tourism schools such as the Canadian Tourism & Hospitality Institute have started to use international standard curriculum to train more and more tourism professionals to prepare for the influx of tourists.

If you’re lucky enough to be in these industries, it may be time to see if your business can tap this trend and grow through franchising. Francorp has been franchise consultants to over 3,000 brands internationally and can help navigate businesses, small and large, through transitioning into a franchise business.

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The Next Kings (and Queens) of Kiosks

By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the concept of a kiosk or food-cart was not considered to be big business. But when brands like Potato Corner, Fruit Magic, Candy Corner, and Andok’s began to gain in popularity, strength, and number, it soon became apparent that it was as valid a way to achieve business success as investing in a full-line store or restaurant. Now, a new wave is on the horizon and up-and-coming brands are aiming to take their place as the new kings of kiosks and carts!

The Lollicake Factory – Question: What looks like a cute lollipop but tastes like a moist and scrumptious cake? Answer: A lollicake from THE LOLLICAKE FACTORY! Actress LJ Moreno Alapag started this previously home-based business back in November 2010 after first tasting a cake lollipop in Long Beach, California while preparing for her wedding. When she returned to the Philippines and got a craving for a cake pop, she was dismayed to discover that no local bakeshops sold the novelty treat. As a skilled cake decorator and pastry chef herself, she decided to make her own, all the while applying her own special and unique style and taste. Word-of-mouth soon spread, and LJ’s “lollicakes” became popular enough that she was able to open her own storefront last September, 2011. Last year, THE LOLLICAKE FACTORY has opened itself to franchising, the better to help spread the love for exciting, fun, and great tasting lollicakes throughout the country!

Inihauz Your Roast Specialist – It is said that the strength of a brand is measured in the loyalty of its customers. If that’s the case, then INIHAUZ YOUR ROAST SPECIALIST is a strong brand indeed. First established in March 2003 as D’Champ (Lechon Manok atbp) by Mr. Conrado Posadas, it grew over a period of ten years into six successful branches around Marikina City. During this time, Mr. Conrado’s son Arthur was an active participant in the business. When Conrado turned over the reigns of the business to his son in 2013, Arthur decided to take the business to the next level. With the help of his wife Lirio and his friends William and Sherielyn Riego, one branch of D’Champ was renovated with a new look, new concepts, but with the same great taste that made D’Champ so popular. Thus the first INIHAUZ YOUR ROAST SPECIALIST was opened, and it stood as a testament to the quality of their product that despite the change in name, they not only retained their previous patrons, but gained whole new ones with their expanded range of product offerings. Soon enough, the inquiries for franchising came in, and after consulting with experts, INIHAUZ YOUR ROAST SPECIALIST is proud to announce that it is now open for franchise!

With their entrepreneurial spirit, unique concepts & ideas and world-class advise from franchise consultants such as Francorp, these home-grown brands are continuing to grown and become the next Kings & Queens of Kiosks.

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The best business defense is a good franchise offense

By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

It is a well-known strategy in basketball that the best defense is a good offense. As dozens of global name brands sprout out in Metro Manila – the likes of Uniqlo, Cotton On, Forever 21, Miss Selfridge, Superdry, American Eagle Outfitters, H&M and Sperry Top Sider are taking prime spots high-end and mid-end malls. While a lot of local apparel brands have started to defend their market, some have taken the opportunity to prepare to go on the offense and look to expand into international markets.

The entry of international brands have challenged our local apparel outlets to level up and because Filipino consumers love design and quality which are both present in global and local brands, they are willing to purchase both. And with the growing consumer power and fashion-conscious outlook of the middle class, especially the young professionals, apparel will always enjoy capturing a sizeable chunk of the market.

According to the Euromonitor International Report, though online retailing of clothes is getting to be popular, buyers still want to go to stores and experience fashion for themselves. Department stores or boutiques are still the destination if one wants clothes, sportswear, and footwear.

Retail Franchise, Fashion Franchise, How to Franchise your business

With a rosy outlook in the fashion industry, many Filipino brands are confident about their prospects. One of them is Pois Belly and Kids which houses three fashion-niche brands – Pois, Belly Maternity, and Great Kids . Pois Belly and Kids is committed to building a world-class brand and continuously cater to the dressing needs of fashionable tykes and ‘tweens as well as expecting moms.

From a home business in 1999, selling a maternity line called Great Expectations to friends and family, it gradually expanded into girls’ wear. In 2004, in view of the demand for good quality and stylish fashion clothing for children, the Great Kids brand of apparel was conceived to cater to mini fashionistas aged 2-12 years old who look up to and want to emulate their stylish mothers. Great Kids was a hit for parents and their girls as the brand not only provides an extensive range of choices but also boasts of quality and comfort (clothes are mostly made of imported, high quality, breathable cotton and bottoms have adjustable waist systems).

Rowena Velasco, president, explains that in 2006, the brand Pois was conceptualized after much demand from loyal customers who have “graduated” from the Great Kids children’s sizing. Pois is a play on the English word “Poise”. Without the “e”, the name evokes curiosity and reflects a playful and yet sophisticated touch – apt for ‘tweeners who are enjoying the in-between years of childhood to womanhood. Pois is a range of pretty and fun fashion that reflects the light-hearted mood of the ‘tweens and teens.

Now, with the help of Francorp, Pois Belly and Kids is “poised” for greater growth through franchising. With over 33 stores, a franchise program developed by international experts and world-class franchise operations manuals, Pois Belly and Kids plans to continue expanding locally & internationally through franchising, Pois Belly and Kids will continue delivering a stamp of unique beauty and craftsmanship that only a Filipino apparel boutique can boast about.

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3 Secrets of Successful Franchise Businesses

By Sam Christopher Lim, Senior Vice President, Francorp

The Philippines is one of the most developed franchise markets in ASEAN. Most franchises have brought great success to both their owners and franchisees whether they are in the food, spa, salon, retail, education or services sector. Though all the success stories are varied, here are 3 success secrets from the spa industry that can be applied to any other business.

1)      Unique business and concept

The term unique selling proposition is commonly used in the marketing of brands and products, but it also applies to your business. With the crowded market of spas offering Thai, Swedish and Shiatsu massages, Dr. Nol Montalbo decided to start a unique massage business inspired by the centuries old “hilot” tradition. MONT ALBO MASSAGE HUT is the first ever Filipino-inspired spa with “hilot” as the main offering. With Filipino inspired interiors and quality “hilot” services, MONT ALBO was able to carve a niche that is now a multi million spa enterprise with global ambitions.

2)      Simple, easy to replicate

The best franchises focus on what they do best. If you’re a restaurant with 100 items on your menu, choose the 10 that you think will make customers keep on coming back before franchising.  For his spa, Dr. Montalbo spent 6 months working with external franchise development consultants to upgrade, simplify, and document his system so that he can easily train franchisees to run his business. The core of the franchise business is a simple, well documented operations manual that anyone can follow and operate.

3)      Win-win franchisee-franchisor partnership

Franchising is a partnership. For it to work, both partners should be happy and profitable. VIBES Massage (Visually Impaired’s Brotherhood for Excellent Service) is a massage service that excels in a win-win partnership. It employs visually impaired masseurs and combines their heightened sense of touch with one year of professional training to give a massage that’s been cited in European tourism journals as “one of the world’s best.”

With their belief that “it’s good to earn while caring,” VIBES hires and trains blind masseurs for the franchisees and provides continued marketing support to ensure that every business is successful. Their constant support and professionally developed franchise business model builds a win-win relationship that gives franchisees a stable, profitable business while continuing to employ visually impaired people. When the win-win scenario is reached, the business grows exponentially.

Franchising can accelerate the growth of any business, but only if it is done correctly from the start. So take the time to evaluate your business and ensure that it’s unique, simple to replicate, and creates a win-win partnership.

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