Bibingkinitan owner Richard Sanz is well aware that for franchise concepts marketing products that are “very local,” constant innovation is a must.
“Ever since, our competitors are foreign food, like doughnuts, French fries. But it has become more intense now, because of the arrival of new concepts, like ‘cronuts’ [croissant and doughnuts], there is always something new coming in and because of social media, once posted, a product trends. And for bibingka, which is a heritage product, we feel the competition, so we really need to keep innovating. Our latest innovation is Bsaymada and bibingka cheesecake. We need to stay relevant to our customers,” he emphasized.
Sanz also moved to extend the market of Bibingkinitan, taking the competition right at the backyard of his foreign counterparts.
Bibingkinitan now has three stores in Dubai, with two new branches set to open in Abu Dhabi in July, through master franchise agreements with Arab partners.
Bibingkinitan localized its offerings, with bigger stores selling not just bibingka but also rice buns. About 70 percent of the market is still Filipinos, but Sanz tweaked the marketing to attract foreigners. “We are also in talks with prospective partners in Thailand and Indonesia, both master franchise. The vision of Bibingkinitan to be a global brand is beginning to materialize, and this is where we are focusing now. On the domestic front, we are still strong, but we are very bullish on our international expansion.”
Aside from Bibingkinitan, Sanz also launched in the market brands such as OVN Bread Co (now 2 years old) and BBQ Shack. Bibingkinitan celebrated its 10th anniversary in April.
“Personally, I am an advocate of MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] development, because my very own company is proudly 100-percent homegrown, 100-percent Filipino, and I passionately believe that Filipino start-ups and companies can grow to be regional and international sensations, and compete successfully side-by-side with foreign companies on an international level and scale,” the president and CEO of Philippine FoodAsia Corp. (PFA) said.
“We can see this with how Philippine homegrown concepts, like Jollibee, Max’s and Goldilocks, are very successful in expanding to other countries, not only among Filipinos, but also to the mainstream local markets. And this is my point—not only the large Filipino companies are successfully expanding internationally—small format stores, like Potato Corner, Bibingkinitan and Fruit Magic, are operating multiple stores in the US, Middle East and Asia, and are on full-expansion mode due to the success of their international models.”
The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Sanz added, is ready to work hand in hand with “friends and partners, namely, Secretary Ramon Lopez and Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya of the Department of Trade and Industry; Joey Concepcion of GoNegosyo; Kat Luna and Gabby Cui of PLDT SMENation; and Cedoy Roces and Noel Altamirano of BPI Ka-Negosyo.”
Their initiatives will focus on:
- First, empowering and supporting our MSME member-companies go up to the next level (micro becomes small; small becomes medium; and medium becomes large). PFA regularly conducts a number of regular learning sessions for its members (one to two events in a month), like the general membership meeting, wherein experts and specialists are invited to speak and share their expertise. Kapihan sessions is a smaller group that meets every month, wherein “large” and established companies share industry best practices to the MSMEs, and once a year, PFA holds the biggest franchise event in Asia, Franchise Asia Philippines Conference, wherein more than 80 esteemed international and local speakers from the best of their fields share and discuss ideas with 700 participants.
- Second, PFA aims to encourage more MSMEs to consider and try franchising as an effective expansion tool. It does this by having regular monthly learning sessions, like “How to Franchise Your Business,” and very soon the PFA is launching its very own Franchise Incubation Center (FIC), which is a brainchild of Sanz and is envisioned to be an incubator of start-ups and accelerator of MSME’s through franchising. The FIC will be offering short accelerator courses for entrepreneurs who are already in the franchising business; and its main program—a six-month Basic Entrepreneurship course that combines the basic know-how in running a business, like accounting, marketing, operations management, human-resource management, logistics, in a lecture-type classroom session then to be followed by group roundtable-mentoring session by an esteemed mentor.
- Third, the PFA also educates individuals who are interested in entrepreneurship by conducting regular monthly seminars, like “How to Find the Right Franchise For You,” etc.
“As you can see, each individual franchise unit is a micro or small enterprise. And the more that we have more successful franchisors, there will be more franchise units. And each franchise unit will need employees, suppliers, landlords,” Sanz stressed.
“Therefore, that is why the PFA, through the FIC, is focused on empowering and supporting MSME franchisors, because of the multiplier effect—for each successful franchisor, a minimum of 20 to 50 stores may be put up. Imagine the additional employment and trade that will take place. This is the inclusive growth that we are looking for. And if successful with this, we are envisioning to set up the FIC in every region of the Philippines for an even faster multiplier effect that will hopefully be the catalyst for an entrepreneurship boom.”
“We are also hoping with our joint efforts, more overseas Filipino worker’s can explore entrepreneurship as an alternative to working abroad, and instead go back here to be with their families.”
Sanz is the overall chairman of the Franchise Asia Philippines 2016, slated from July 20 to 24 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The 2016 edition of Asia’s premier franchising event comes with the theme “Building Inclusive Growth Amidst a Hypercompetitive World” to highlight the need of disruptive strategies and technologies to raise the global competitiveness of Philippine franchising.
Organized by the PFA and co-presented by PLDT Smart SME Nation and BPI Ka-Negosyo Franchising Loan, Franchise Asia Philippines 2016 kicked off with a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) Program on July 18 and 19, followed by a two-day International Franchise Conference on July 20 and 21, and a three-day International Franchise Expo, from July 22 to 24, and will feature a good mix of the country’s established franchise brands, and international and emerging concepts.
The international expo will also feature educational seminars on “How to Invest in the Right Franchise” and “How to Franchise Your Business.” The former is aimed at educating the public on wise franchise investment, while the latter is intended for business owners who want to look at franchising as a strategy to grow their business.
Seminars and business-matching opportunities will also be available at the Master Franchising 101, which is targeted at entrepreneurs who want to open an international franchise brand locally.
Entrance to the expo is free for those who will preregister online.
For inquiries about Franchise Asia Philippines 2016, visit https://franchiseasiaphl2016.com.ph. You may also download the Franchise Asia Philippines 2016 app from App Store or Google Play.