Month: July 2018

Shakey’s opens in Dubai, targets Filipino community in UAE

SHAKEY’S Pizza Asia Ventures Inc., the company that owns the American pizza restaurant brand in the Philippines and parts of the region, on Tuesday said it opened its first store in Dubai, expanding its footprint in the Middle East where it is leveraging on the large population of Filipinos living and working in the area.

The new store represents the first for franchisee Aljeel Capital, a Dubai-based group. It is committed to open nine more in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a span of five years, the company said.

Everything on the menu is halal-certified, the company said, as this is in line with Dubai’s Islamic culture. The company said, the key features and flavors that make for a Shakey’s trademark taste are kept intact. Marinade, breading, dough blends and spice mix for the pizzas, chicken, and spaghetti are all flown in from the Philippines.

“Dubai, UAE, and the rest of the Middle East are great markets for us. Aside from the strong and welcoming Filipino communities which really love the Shakey’s brand and are excited about experiencing it away from home. Shakey’s is also a Western concept with Western menu—thus giving us tremendous growth opportunities within the mainstream markets there,” Vicente L. Gregorio, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The said store is located opposite Burjuman Mall and just a few steps from Exit 4 of Burjuman Metro Station, one of the busiest stations in Dubai.

It features the familiar store environment of a Shakey’s pizza parlor in the Philippines and offers the many iconic products which many Filipinos liked.

The company said the restaurant drew a huge number of patrons in Dubai, with long lines and guests patiently waiting close to an hour to enter.

As of end-March 2018, the company had a total of 212 stores locally. The store in Dubai is the second international store for Shakey’s Philippines, a company led by the Po family and owns the perpetual rights to the Shakey’s brand for the Middle East, Asia, excluding Japan and Malaysia, China, Australia, and Oceania.

With two area development agreements already signed up, its total international pipeline is currently at least 20 outlets over the next few years.

*This article was published on Business Mirror last July 18, 2018. This can also be accessed online at

Jollibee celebrates 25th listing anniversary

Jollibee Foods Corp. marked its 25th year as a listed company with a special bell ringing ceremony at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Shown in photo are (from left): PSE director Alejandro Yu; JFC independent director Monico Jacob; JFC director and former chief justice Artemio Panganiban; Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat; JFC director Antonio Chua Poe Eng; Jollibee Group Foundation Inc. president Grace Tan Caktiong; JFC chairman Tony Tan Caktiong; PSE chairman Jose Pardo; DBP chairman and former senator Alberto Romulo; PSE COO Roel Refran; JFC director William Tan Untiong; JFC director Joseph Tanbuntiong and PSE director Emmanuel Bautista.

*This photo is published on The Philippine Star last July 20, 2018 and is available online at

7-11 operator expands footprint

 / 05:18 AM July 20, 2018

An affordable franchising package pilot-tested by leading convenience store operator Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC)—one that requires only P300,000 in investment—has generated strong interest from Filipinos who want to run their own business.

Apart from expanding its franchising deals, PSC, the local franchisor of the 7-Eleven 24/7 convenience store chain, is continuing its nationwide expansion and is likely to hit close to 3,000 stores by the end of next year from 2,386 as of end-March this year.

But for some of its mature corporate-owned stores, PSC is offering a franchising arrangement wherein the franchisee could take over operations for only P300,000 in cash outlay and a commitment to directly manage the store in exchange for a fixed share of earnings, typically averaging at around 7 percent of sales.

The cash outlay is effectively a deposit that could eventually be returned—like a bond of commitment. The company waives utility charges but the franchisee shoulders the cost of labor and inventory losses.

“We have a long list of applications,” PSC president and chief executive officer Jose Victor Paterno said in a press briefing at the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting yesterday. “We’re going slow as we test it under fire. It’s a big change and we lock it under a three-year contract.”

PSC has so far awarded 80 of these low-capital franchising deals and expects to choose 100 more franchisees by the end of this year, Paterno said.

Under this franchising package, only one site is awarded per person, except for “exceptional performers,” Paterno said.

About 53 percent of PSC’s network represented franchised stores but earlier franchising packages required much higher capital.

PSC lowered the entry barrier for the latest franchising package, which, however, requires the franchisee to be hands-on in running store operations.

This year, PSC has budgeted P3.5 billion to support its store expansion strategy. The bulk of this amount is allocated to new store opening, store renovation and equipment acquisition.

Last year, PSC began its digital journey.

Its e-commerce platform CLiQQ Shop is now available in 1,700 stores in Luzon and will be rolled out to other parts of the country.

CLiQQ PAY, the company’s closed-loop wallet, was also soft-launched at the end of last year.

“We are not only capitalizing on revenue opportunities presented by the payment and logistics needs of digital players in an emerging market, but we are cautiously becoming a digital player ourselves, in the belief that a hitherto unproven model combining online and offline assets will result in a digital business ecosystem, with both low acquisition costs and superior unit economics, perhaps leading to entirely new businesses in the medium term,” Paterno said.

*This article was published on Philippine Daily Inquirer last July 20, 2018 and is available online at

Finding purpose in business

By: KATLENE CACHO | July 24, 2018, SunStar Cebu

IF there’s one thing Steve Benitez has known all these years, it is that his coffee business would work.

True enough, his over 20-year-old coffee venture has become home to 700 direct employees, excluding farmers, social entrepreneurs and other community organizations his coffee business has helped along the way.

Steve is the youngest in a brood of five. He took up management economics in Ateneo de Manila University. He grew up in a family that was already business-inclined, running Ric’s Barbecue since 1968.

“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. In fact, I was already entrepreneurial at a young age. I befriended salesmen so I could ask for promotional toys and sell it to my classmates,” he said.

Steve is one of the Cebuano personalities instrumental in bringing the coffee experience in Cebu beyond offices and homes. He helped introduce a new way of catching up with friends, conducting business meetings, and studying over a cup of coffee that is sourced locally.

Although Bo’s Coffee competes against a number of coffee giants, Steve is confident in Bo’s own healthy growth story, one that offers a distinct Filipino experience.

Looking ahead, Steve wants his business to be more than just profit-oriented.

“I have something in my hand. Something powerful that can help change more lives,” said Steve, referring to his newfound advocacy on social entrepreneurship. He said that if Filipinos would only work together to help uplift the communities in the grassroots level, the country wouldn’t only be rejoicing in the success of a few, but an entire community.

“Any business is powerful only if you know the purpose in the first place. I know mine. Money is just a fuel, not my destination,” said Steve.

What was your first job?

I pursued law after college in Ateneo de Manila University. But I took a job on the side as a corporate card consultant at American Express. There, I was exposed to the corporate culture.

It was a short stint, though, because on my third year in law school, I took a leave to take over the family business, Ric’s Barbecue along Ramos St. My parents that time were retiring and they wanted to close the business, so I decided to run it.

What inspired you to get into business?

Drinking coffee has fueled my late-night study sessions in law school but what made me fall in love with coffee and its culture were my travels abroad.

I began traveling abroad since 1993. I liked the idea of exploring and seeing new places. In fact, I used to tell my mom when I was kid that I wanted to become a pilot.

That never happened, but the love of traveling led me to a different pathway. I spent longer hours sitting in coffee shops- enjoying my coffee, talking and meeting new friends. Coffee shops, in other countries, became a venue to close business deals, nurture relationships, and simply became just a meetup place. This then inspired me to bring the same concept to Cebu.

All I had then was the guts to start the business. I pitched it to my family and friends and everybody said it was not going to work. In fact, two months before the opening of my first coffee shop in Ayala in 1996, my two business partners backed out. I was left alone to open and run the business. Back then, going out to drink coffee wasn’t popular in Cebu but I took the risk. I priced my brewed coffee at P15 and my cappuccino at P25.

When did you realize this was what you were meant to do?

I studied the coffee industry and the business for two years. I traveled abroad to join expos. I also did a lot of market surveys and feasibility studies only to find out the Cebu market wasn’t really ready for the coffee shop concept. Cebuanos weren’t willing to pay but it was my unrelenting spirit that pushed me to still pursue the business idea. I was stubborn. Entrepreneurs are stubborn.

Until I attended a coffee expo in Singapore and I saw a lot of people drinking coffee despite the hot weather. So I thought if this worked in Singapore, which has the same weather with the Philippines, the coffee concept would work. It may take a matter of time, but I knew in my heart it would work. So I bought my first coffee machine there in Singapore at P65,000.

The first few months were a bit difficult. Sales were low but it took off during the sixth month and during the eighth month, I opened my second branch in SM City Cebu. Fast forward, I now have over 100 coffee shops spread across the country. We are aiming to hit a total of 200 branches in the next two years and, two months ago, we opened our first international outlet in Qatar.

Why did you pick this type of business or industry?

Besides my love for coffee, a new inspiration has sprung up. Looking at it as an industry, coffee is one of those that generates livelihood to farming communities. We attribute our growth to the brand’s strong positioning, being a homegrown brew. We source our coffee beans from the highland farmers in Sagada and Benguet in Mt. Province, Mt. Kitangland in Bukidnon, Mt. Apo in Davao, and Mt. Matutum in Tupi, South Cotabato. There’s much uplifting to be done in the coffee farming community to achieve self-sufficiency.

We have also transformed the way we engage in business. In 2012, we opened Bo’s outlets to become the launching pad for social entrepreneurs to market their products.

By tapping Anthill for the fabrics of our chairs and sofas, it opened Bo’s to a higher level of community involvement. We realized that the grassroots have to grow with us.

How many times did you fail before you succeeded?

Entrepreneurs need not to be afraid of failures. You have to embrace them and take each misstep as an opportunity to learn.

My Bo’s franchise in 1999 in Manila was a failure because it was done in a rushed manner. We all got excited, overwhelmed to bring the business to Manila. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. But I did not allow this experience to affect my long-term vision for Bo’s.

The experience allowed me to work harder and perfect the business system. I did not return to Manila (for business) until 2003 when the brand was all set to serve more customers.

*This article is available online at

Shakey’s Dubai breaks records

05:10 AM July 18, 2018

The country’s leading pizza parlor chain operator, Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc., sizzled in Dubai as the opening of its flagship store in the United Arab Emirates broke records on its debut.

The new store in Dubai— Shakey’s second in the Middle East after opening in Kuwait— is the first restaurant of franchisee Aljeel Capital, a Dubai-based group, which has committed to open nine more in the UAE in five years.

The Dubai pizza parlor drew a huge number of patrons, with long lines and guests patiently waiting close to an hour to enter, the company announced. Strategically located opposite Burjuman Mall and just a few steps from Burjuman Metro Station, one of the busiest stations in Dubai, the store attracts good traffic and high brand visibility.

“We are excited to have more stores in the UAE, with our flagship Dubai restaurant finally open and with the overwhelming turnout we had during opening night,” Aljeel chief executive officer Firas Hurieh said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are proud to say that our store broke several Shakey’s records on that day— the highest total net sales during opening day and the largest number of presold loyalty program ‘Supercards.’”

Everything on the menu is halal-certified, in line with Dubai’s Islamic culture. However, the key features and flavors that make for a Shakey’s trademark experience are kept intact.
“We are bringing Shakey’s to Dubai and we assure Filipinos living there that all of their favorites will be the same as it is in the Philippines,” said restaurant manager Alfie Alcazar.—DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

*This article was published on Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 18, 2018 and is available online at

Chris Lim: From selling shampoo to creating jobs through franchising

Jennylei Caberte (The Philippine Star) – July 16, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former expatriate Unilever senior global brand manager and current U-Franchise Sales and Management president Sam Christopher Lim has what it takes to lead the country’s bid to market and establish the Philippines’ franchise brands in the global market.

Still young at 36, Lim is already stacked with a wealth of knowledge and experiences on how to compete in the international market. He had spent over 10 years as regional brand manager of Unilever Thailand and Unilever China, and as senior global brand manager of Unilever United Kingdom.

His enviable positions gave Chris (as his family fondly call him) and his wife Gift, also a former Unilever executive with their two kids, a relatively comfortable life but when his home country beckons for service, he obliged despite the sacrifices and challenges that lie ahead.

“Honestly, it was not an easy decision because I was making good money in Unilever. I was an expat there and life was comfortable. You could spend weekends in Paris if you want. But my wife was pregnant and well, we thought it was time to settle down after working 10 years overseas,” he shared in an interview.

A BS Management Engineering graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, Chris now wears several hats. He is the president of U-Franchise Sales and Management, the largest franchise-matching company in the Philippines that is a joint venture with the Singapore-based Astreem Consulting Ltd. The company has an excellent track record, having worked with major brands, such as Jollibee, Max’s Group, Inc., Bench and various Philippine franchise brands to help them expand globally.

Lim is also the chief marketing officer of Francorp Philippines which specializes in preparing businesses to grow through franchising. “My life now revolves on franchising. I was lucky enough that I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Apparently, we were born to be involved in business and become entrepreneurs,” he said.

Lived and breathed entrepreneurship 

Even as a child, Chris already lived and breathed entrepreneurship. His summer vacations were spent in their grandfather’s Automatic Centre office filing invoices with his brothers. During break time, they play with their family computers in the selling area so they can also demonstrate the units for customers. Lim recalled having sold cassette tapes to his friends and classmates in Xavier School. During weekend, he and his brothers sold juice to customers in their warehouse store.

He cites his Jesuit education as a major reason why he opted to return to his country. “Because of his Jesuit education also from Ateneo, my father instilled in us a sense of service, of being ‘men for others’. He used to tell us that the Philippines has been good to our family and it’s important for us to give back. Some people join the army to be of service to the country, but our skills are in business, so we serve by ensuring our business contributes back to society, and this is especially true for franchising,” he explained.


Chris Lim with the Philippine Franchise Association board officers (from left) vice chair Robert Trota (Max’s Group), vice chair Yvette Pardo Orbeta (Wendy’s Philippines), director Sam Christopher Lim (Francorp/BLIMS Lifestyle Group/ La-Z-Boy), Sen. Migz Zubiri, chairman Alan Escalona (Fruit Magic), chairman emeritus Samie Lim, and director Sherill Quintana (Oryspa) presenting the plaque of appreciation to Sen. Zubiri as guest speaker at the Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 International Conference.

Chris’s father is Samie Lim, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Franchise Association and Philippine Retailers Association, and the universally acknowledged “Father of Philippine franchising.”  The older Lim is also the chairman of BLIMS Lifestyle Group and Canadian Tourism Hospitality Institute and the former president and current director for tourism of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business organization.

Aside from the values learned from the Jesuit’s men for others mission statement, he also had been exposed to mathematics-centric subjects that stress logic and things that are measurable.

Lim graduated with honors in Management Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University, studied in the National University of Singapore and pursued post-graduate studies in Oxford University, UK where his project on ‘Franchising: An Innovation Strategy Perspective’ helped him graduate with distinction honors.

He was awarded the Young Market Masters Award for his role in growing brands in the Asian region, the International Master Franchise of the Year at the Franchise 2017 Franchise Excellence Awards of the PFA and is a regular columnist in

Overall chair of Franchise Asia Philippines 2018

Right now, Lim is preoccupied in promoting franchising in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region. Along with other officials of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) – the country’s pioneer and premier franchise organization – he eagerly looks forward to the forthcoming Franchise Asia Philippines 2018 slated from July 18 to 22 at the SMX Convention Center in Manila. “We want to create a more dynamic and inclusive franchise show,” he stressed.

As the Overall chair of Franchise Asia Philippines 2018, Chris who’s also the current PFA chair for ASEAN, said the Franchise Conference is veering away from the traditional setup of gathering people in one big room listening to speakers for two days. Instead, there will be panel discussions and 14 different breakout sessions focused on various concerns, including digital transformation, marketing operations, human resources, finance and even halal products.

The event will also have over 20 roundtable sessions to enable networking among the participants, and learn from sharing their experiences. Lim said PFA gives a 50 prcent discount to provincial delegates to encourage broader participation.

“Our focus before was Metro Manila to promote inclusivity. Four years ago, five percent of the clients come from Metro Manila. Now it is 40 percent,” he said.

To spice up the event, Lim said PFA is organizing a ‘great debate’ to determine whether social media influencers or celebrity endorsers are more effective in building up brands. The audience will decide and track the change in the opinion room.

The conference will also have a nextgen program to enable young entrepreneurs to pitch their project to an audience of 1,000 franchise leaders. The community will determine the winner by their votes.

For the Expo on July 20 to 22, Lim said PFA expects over 700 brands to join the event, and more than 52,000 attendees.

The expo, he added, will conduct over 10 different seminar-sessions for owners and investors.

With the capacity of the exhibition area doubled from last year, he expects the food park this year to showcase new franchise brands from around the country.

For people interested to go into franchising, PFA will put incubation booths to guide aspiring entrepreneurs. PFA will likewise put up regional pavilions for micro entrepreneurs across the Philippines so they will be noticed by consumers and businesses alike, both local and international.

Create more jobs through franchising 

Lim spent over a decade growing brands globally as senior global brand manager Sunsilk for Unilever UK from 2010 to 2013, where he engaged in innovation development, leading a cross functional team to develop concepts, packaging, advertising and 360 degree launch plans for Unilever’s largest hair brand.

He was regional brand manager Lux China, Japan and Northeast Asia in Shanghai for Unilever China from 2008 to 2010 where he led the brand relaunch of Lux Japan and China.

He was also regional brand manager Sunsilk Asia from 2006 to 2008 for Unilever Thailand where he handled the Southeast Asia and South Asia regions.

Lim is bullish and optimistic about the country’s franchising industry. He said the Philippines has a lot of potential in the industry, and PFA sees a conservative annual 10 to 15 percent growth of the industry this year until 2020.

“Franchising creates millions of jobs. I decided to leave selling shampoo and pursue creating jobs, developing entrepreneurs and developing the economy through franchising. I decided to continue building the foundation with the help of my dad, Tita Bing (Limjoco, the current president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and the PFA team,” he said.

“It is time indeed to return home and bring back the skills I learned from abroad and take franchising to the next level,” he said.


*This article is copied and originally  published by The Philippine Star   on July 16,  2018 and is also available online at

From Mang Donald’s to Bigg’s: Bicol restaurant chain has big plans ahead

By: Jeeves de Veyra | Jul 01 2018 10:14 AM, ABS-CBN News

NAGA CITY — Big plans and big dreams. That’s what the Bicol-based Bigg’s Diner group has in store for the next two years.

Bigg’s Diner is the brainchild of three enterprising ladies — Teresa Buenaflor, Maricar Manjon, and Nena Centenera Bichara — back in 1983.

It started as a small kiosk called Mang Donald’s that served burgers and fries in a movie house.

“You have to put it in the context of the ’80s when the fast-food revolution was happening. There was a burger and fries thing happening all over the country and all over the world. That’s why the three ladies decided to come up with their own version of burgers, fries and spaghetti,” Adolf Aran Jr., chief operating officer of Bigg’s Diner, told ABS-CBN News.

This was a blessing for Bicolanos who didn’t have to travel far for American cuisine anymore.

But eventually, the ladies had to adopt a more distinct identity which became Carl’s Diner in 1990. Then in 1994, Carl’s Diner evolved into Bigg’s Diner.

Opening day at the first Bigg’s Diner branch at Naga People’s Market in October 1984. Handout

“Bigg’s stands for beautiful intelligent gorgeous girls,” Aran joked. “It also stood for brilliant innovations and God’s gift.”

The latter was an apt alternate meaning as this was what the restaurant eventually became to Bicolandia.

The diner concept was a logical progression for Bigg’s. Customers were looking for something different so fried chicken and baby back ribs were added to the menu. Rice meals featuring Bicolano classics like laing and pinangat followed soon after.

There was also a need to feature uncommon international dishes like the Pork Cordon Bleu.

“Bigg’s Pork Cordon Bleu became so iconic that when people talked about us, people would remember either a burger and fries or the cordon bleu,” remarked Aran.

Freshness and fast service may seem contradictory but Bigg’s Diner makes it work. Unlike other fast-food restaurants where food is pre-cooked and sits under heaters waiting to be bought, Bigg’s Diner only cooks food after a customer has ordered it.

This is no easy feat considering the variety of items on the menu, not the one-dimensional fast-food offerings where everything is fried or cooked on a griddle. Burgers, sandwiches, rice toppings, ribs and the other items are prepared using different cooking methods.

Bigg’s Diner is thus really more of a casual dining restaurant with the speed of a fast-food joint.

Bigg’s Diner is really more of a casual dining restaurant. Jeeves de Veyra

Bigg’s customers are a good mix of locals and transients. Visitors to Bicol for tourism or work come to Bigg’s because of word of mouth. As expected from an established brand, the chain gets a lot of second- and third-generation customers. Some customers were just babies being carried by their parents during their first trip to a Bigg’s branch.

“Naga in particular is at the brink of culinary breakthroughs – new concepts coming up left and right. It so happens that Bigg’s Diner is right there. The brand loyalty is very high and we’d like to capitalize on it,” Aran said.

Besides coming up with Que Pasa, a one-off Spanish concept in downtown Naga, the group is planning to open 10 to 15 branches in the next 24 months.

And together with the current expansion are plans to modernize the diner’s look. The Bigg’s branch at Ayala Malls Legazpi epitomizes the new interiors. It has none of the cool blues and checkerboard traditionally associated with Bigg’s. Instead, the branch is airy with industrial concrete design sensibilities while still retaining knick-knacks from its diner origins.

“Bigg’s is definitely going to go beyond the borders of Bicol to Manila within the year. We’ve signed up a couple of new partners already. In terms of locations, there are a lot and it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones,” Aran said.

“We’re confident because of our history of being able to do something for the past 35 years. We have managed to elevate the dining experience of those looking for good food in a fast manner.”

*This article is also available at

Jollibee makes debut in Macau

July 11, 2018

The popular Filipino fast food franchise Jollibee has opened its first restaurant in Macau.

Long queues are seen from as early as 7am outside the Jollibee Macau store, with many of those in line being Filipino nationals. A large Jollibee mascot entertained diners as they waited to be served.

Macau has a strong population of Filipinos working in the casino and f&b sectors.

The company opened its first restaurant in Milan earlier this year, and also added a venue in Canada where the brand has plans to open 100 stores within five years. Further expansions into the UK, Malaysia, and Indonesia are also in the works.

Jollibee currently operates in several countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as well as Hong Kong and the US.

*This article is also available online at

Franchise Talk: 8 Reasons to Join the Franchise Asia Conference 2018

The annual franchise conference has something for all business owners

By Sam Christopher Lim  

Some of the speakers scheduled to appear at this year’s Franchise Asia Conference include (top row, left to right) Patrick Cua, Francis Kong, William Edwards, Bernie Liu, (bottom row, left to right) Anton Diaz, Gino Borromeo, Pinky Yee, Merlee Cruz-Jayme

Filipino business owners and professionals are lucky that one of the world’s largest franchise conferences and expos happens yearly in the Philippines. Franchise Asia is one month away and this year’s edition boasts a world-class International Franchise Conference on July 18 and 19 and an International Franchise Expo on July 20 to 22. Franchise Asia’s theme this year is “Be The Boss” and promises to offer opportunities to learn from the best in the business and also find new opportunities and partners.

Here are eight reasons to join this year’s conference:

1. Hear the latest economic and retail trends that will affect your business

This year’s keynote address by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez is on “Pump Priming the Economy and its Effects on the Business Sector” and Patrick Cua, executive director of The Nielsen Company, on “The Future of Retail.”

2. The great debate: social media influencers vs. celebrity endorsers

Get insights into one of the hottest topics in boardrooms and marketing departments across the world. Hear Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Gino Borromeo of McCann World Group share the strengths of tapping social media influencers to grow your brand, and debate with the ‘Celebrity Endorser’ panel led by Pinky Yee of Goldilocks and Merlee Cruz Jayme of Dentsu Jayme Syfu.

3. Learn to be a good leader-entrepreneur

Be inspired by Francis Kong’s latest talk, insights and stories about what it takes to both be a strong leader and entrepreneur.

 4. Be prepared for digital transformation

Local and international experts share best practices on digitally transforming your business. Speakers like Dr. Donald Patrick Lim of Dentsu Aegis Network Phils., Paolo Lacuna of Oath Singapore, Arlene Padua of the Philippine Marketing Association and Joval Gan of Advocado Singapore will discuss digital transformations in marketing while Zwee Wee of Savant Degrees International and Philips Yu of 7-Eleven will talk about how to transform your backend operations.  

 Franchise Asia’s theme this year is “Be The Boss”

5. Learn the secrets of managing family business dynamics

With family business dynamics being a crucial component in franchising and business in general, experts and practitioners in the field will share their experiences and insights on this highly relevant topic. Speakers include Johnlu Koa of The French Baker, family business adviser Prof. Enrique Soriano III, Bobby Claudio of Toby’s Sports and Pilar Tolentino of the Ateneo Family Business Development Center.

6. Hear the success strategies of growing internationally

Panelists include Bill Edwards of Edwards Global Services US, Bernie Liu of Golden ABC (makers of Penshoppe), Ybhg Datuk Radzali Hassan of the Malaysia Franchise Association, Chris Grandpre of Outdoor Living Brands US, Kathryn Manalo of Potato Corner and Benjamin Litalien of Franchise Wells US.

7. Sharpen up your operational and financial controls

Learn best practices in organizational development with award-winning global executive coach Bjorn Martinoff, Linda Castro of Jollibee Worldwide Services, Pocholo Domondon of PwC Philippines and Audrey Santos of the Figaro Group.  

8.  Learn from colleagues in the industry through business solution round tables

With over 1,000 top business leaders and managers in the industry, this unique format allows participants to network and discuss specific issues with both an expert moderator and fellow conference delegates to get practical tips based from experienced individuals.


Franchise Asia Conference 2018 will have 50 speakers, dozens of simultaneous sessions and is expected to attract over 1,000 local and international delegates, helping turn it into a major business forum for owners and managers to learn and sharpen their skills.


The Franchise Asia Conference will be held in SMX Mall of Asia on Jul 18 & 19, and will be followed by the Franchise Asia Expo on Jul 20 to 22. For more information visit or contact the Philippine Franchise Association at (SMART) 0999-8833732 |(SUN) 0932-8792732 | (GLOBE) 0917-8320732 | (+632)687-03 65 to 67)

*This article is copied and originally  published by Entrepreneur Philippines   on June 11, 2018 and is also available online at

Franchise Talk: How a Pharma Salesman Became a Pharmacy Chain Owner

Once an ordinary employee, Roderick Battung now has 90 outlets of his pharmacy business

By Sam Christopher Lim


Franchising allows you to escape the “corporate world” and become an entrepreneur that helps creates jobs and, eventually, wealth. It’s not always easy, but the rewards both financially and emotionally are immeasurable.

Owning over 90 branches of The Generics Pharmacy (TGP), Roderick Battung has not only proven to be a very successful franchisee, he has also generated hundreds of new jobs. Roderick was an employee of pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Xeno Pharmaceuticals before he decided to “get out of the corporate world.” He wanted to augment his income as well as help provide employment for friends and relatives, so he naturally turned to franchising.

Like most potential franchisees, he started looking at various industries from food, water refilling stations and gas stations. But after a long search, he decided to go into The Generics Pharmacy because he saw “the potential of the pharmaceutical retailing industry and also felt the sincerity of Mr. Ben Liuson (founder of TGP) in helping franchisees.”

“The business concept has a ‘heart’ and it caters mostly to low income earners, so I saw great potential in this business,” he added.

Decisiveness is key in business, especially when you are franchising a brand that you just know will do well. “One day, a TGP Franchisee (Jojo Macua), who was working at our pharma company, showed me his drugstore located in Tondo. I was amazed to learn that he has more than one branch and was managing it while working. He intimated that aside from profits, the smile they bring to customers buying low-priced medicines gives him much joy. Immediately, I asked my mother to spare me a space in her rented place in our hometown. Jojo helped me accomplish the application at TGP. In a few weeks, the approval came. We immediately recruited a pharmacist, started renovation of the site and prepared our staff.”

Ricky Battung’s TGP branch in Aparri

From the first store, Battung opened numerous branches in Cagayan Valley. When he heard about a franchisee selling a few of her branches in Laguna, he immediately grabbed the opportunity. From there he has since expanded to the Ilocos Region, Laguna, Leyte, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Agusan Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, Davao City and other cities.

Being in a franchise that has a very well advertised brand name, steady supply of stocks and low-priced products that caters to many Filipinos in the province, Battung has truly enjoyed his franchise experience with TGP. But of course there are also challenges, so for would-be franchisees, he has a few pieces of advice:

– Go into a business you know and love

– You must be willing to do your share and not rely only on the franchisor. Use your time and energy and talent and capability to make the business grow. Success is not automatic, nor assured. You need to put good business sense into it.

– Choose a franchisor you can trust, and one who genuinely looks after your welfare, wanting you to succeed, and not just interested with your franchisee fee or purchase of their products.

Franchising has helped Battung and many others like him transform from being an employee to being an employer, become more aware of economic conditions of many Filipinos, especially in remote areas, and most especially, have more time for family and personal activities. He now employs over 360 working in the company, many of whom are preachers of the Good News who are able to financially support their ministry through (part-time) employment with the company. And when asked whether it has been profitable for him and if he plans to open more stores, he gives an emphatic “Yes!”


Time to Be the Boss! Find over 700+ franchise brands in the Franchise Asia 2018 Expo on Jul 20 to 22 at the SMX Mall of Asia. Contact the Philippine Franchise Association at (+632) 579-4841,  0917-8320732, or visit 


*This article is copied and originally  published by Entrepreneur Philippines   on Jun 4, 2018 and is also available online at