NEW regional franchise hopefuls are looking at expanding in Metro Manila and in markets overseas, banking on a boom in the Philippine franchising industry.
“We believe franchising is the best vehicle in expanding nationwide and internationally,” said Eufracio Ocampo, president of Sitsirya Sari Sari Inc., which sells locally made products under the brand Sitsirya Sari Sari.
“The more provincial franchisors, the better. We would like to expand all over the country first, then eventually in the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region,” Ocampo said at the Franchise Asia Philippines 2015 on Friday.
Ten local and regional franchise players are setting sights on expanding in Metro Manila, then nationwide, an on to markets abroad, with the Philippines being labeled as the “regional hub of franchising in Asia.”
Apart from Sitsirya, the other franchise newcomers are health and wellness expert RaphaHealth, baking needs supplier Chefs & Bakers, pastries and cafe Sans Rival and Caffe La Tea, arithmetic tutoring specialist Mathemagis, and restaurants Choobi Choobi, LC BigMak, Eduardo’s PeriPeri and Roy’s Bistro.
The plan is to grow nationwide, in line with the significant gains and opportunities in the franchise business to double the number of stores and centers in the coming years.
But Sans Rival Managing Director Trinidad S. Bustamante said there are challenges that tend to slow the bid by small time franchisers in the region to expand across the Philippines.
“The challenge is really in the logistics segment. We need support from the government because the transferring of materials and products from one place to another is really expensive,” Bustamante said.
“Either we build a commissary in the places we want to expand in, or go with refrigerated vans to transfer goods,” she added.
If these businesses plan to expand overseas, Mathemagis Chief
Executive Officer Ina C. Sehwani said Filipino franchisers have a competitive edge that sets them apart from their regional counterparts.
“Filipino franchisers have a very caring and approachable nature. And I think that is one of the traits that sets us apart from the rest of the franchisers in the region,” Sehwani said.