Franchising is the best business model

Column box-Dr. Carl E. Balita-Entrepreneurs’ Footprints

“This pandemic is a perfect storm for the new generation of franchises.” This is the optimistic view of Dr. Samie Lim who is regarded as the Father of Philippine Franchising. Dr. Alegria “Bing” Limjoco, regarded as the Mother of Philippine Franchising, asserts that when the economy is down, entrepreneurs go up.  Both of them are evidence-based optimists who are speaking from vision, history, lived experiences, and objective data. They have seen in history how franchising picked up the opportunities out of the past economic crises and recessions.

Why the Golden Age of Franchising

The system of franchising uses time, money, connection, experience and market base of the person to serve a particular target community. The two critical requisites to expand a franchise are people (who are the franchisees) and place (a location) where the franchise will operate.

Samie Lim believes that there is an abundant pool of prospective franchisees that emerge from the pandemic. These include those who retired and they surely have the financial resources and may have the intention to invest. Also in the list are the many Filipinos who lost their jobs, including the Overseas Filipinos who were repatriated, hopefully with savings and intention to explore the entrepreneurial route instead of finding local employment. There were also thousands of entrepreneurs who had to strategically close business because they happen to be in the wrong business for the pandemic and post-pandemic new normal. Lastly, the quarantine has transformed many “mom-preneurs”—the happy housewives who accidentally shifted to become entrepreneurs with a eureka moment that they are capable of doing business. This dopamine-induced happiness derived from the self-actualizing business experience has an addicting effect, which will drive entrepreneurs to take greater calculated risks. 

These are the potential franchisees that Samie Lim refers to as ideal for having the time, money, connection, expertise and market base to serve a market. 

The place to locate and grow business, the second requisite in expanding a franchise, is now widely available and very affordable because of the many businesses that have closed. Lessors in crisis are bound to lease out locations at a good bargain. Both the disruption, which results to a changing consumer behavior, and the health paranoia of the market have pushed a renaissance where business and commerce will be better located in the new normal. And bringing the products and services closer to the consumer favors franchising because of the brand leverage that entrepreneurs benefit from the franchise model.

Samie Lim envisions that the years 2021 through 2025 have the most favorable conditions that will make franchising ideal.  He prophesizes this period as the Golden Age of Franchising.

Philippines as the Franchise Hub of Asia

The idea of franchising was incited by Mr. Sergio Ortiz Luiz Jr. who, in 1993, presented to the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) a USAID study citing that franchising was then the business model of the fastest growing businesses. In the same year, the International Franchise Association based in the United States sent 10 franchise experts and brands. The First Franchise Conference subsequently happened in 1994. It was in 1995 when the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) was born, with Samie Lim as Founding President and former Secretary Jose T. Pardo as Chairman. 

In 2001, PFA hosted the World Franchise Council Meeting and the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation meetings in Manila. In 2002 and first in Asia, the PFA brought to the country the Certified Franchise Executive  Program from the US-based International Certified Franchise Executive, which annually brings to the country franchise experts to train and certify not only Filipinos but also executives from all over the world. And in 2011, the international franchise meetings were once again hosted by the PFA making the Philippines as the Franchise Hub in Asia.   

PFA is currently the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation and a member of the Working Committee of the World Franchise Council, whose task is to create activities that will advance franchising globally. 

Why is Franchising the Best Business Model?

Franchising is the most resilient business model according to Potato Corner Co-founder Jose Magsaysay, which 7-11 Corp. President Victor Paterno describes as more efficient and flexible business model. Such resiliency must have come from what McDonald’s President Kenneth Yang cites as having the brand and the franchisee support each other.  Farwa Hombre of Farron Café illustrates franchising like a well-oiled machine with reliable structure and system that work and replicated for success aligned with high level of brand awareness, which is derived from the synergistic relationship within the franchise system. This is what Dina Stalder refers to as the track record of the franchisor, which is reason enough for the franchisee not to reinvent the wheel. 

Franchise Asia Expo Chairman Federico Moreno shares that if the franchise business model can survive this pandemic, there is a high probability that it will weather all other challenges in the future. 

The Biggest Franchise Show in Asia

The Philippine Franchise Association presents the biggest franchise show in Asia this September. It will showcase a wide variety of franchise investment opportunities as well as learning sessions for franchise industry practitioners. The Virtual Franchise Asia Expo will be on September 8 to 11 while the virtual Franchise Asia Conference is scheduled on September 21 to 23. Registration to the Expo is free.

With the theme, Igniting Recovery, Franchise Asia Philippines 2021 is designed to inspire the Filipino nation to rise up from the challenges of the pandemic and pivot to where the opportunities lie. PFA Chairman Richard Sanz acknowledges that the past two years have been difficult, but he rallies entrepreneurs to not let these difficulties weigh them down. PFA President Sherill Quintana encourages everyone to keep their dreams alive and points at the many opportunities that are still out there.

The Virtual Expo is a one-stop shop of franchise and other business investment opportunities for aspiring franchisees who dream of becoming their own boss or seasoned entrepreneurs and investors who want to diversify their investments. The said event will also feature the webinars on How to Invest in the Right Franchise, How to Franchise Your Business, and the Five Ways to Grow Profits.

The Franchise Asia Virtual Conference, meanwhile, will feature more than 20 curated sessions, more than 10 area-focus tracks and more than 30 international subject matter experts. It is designed to help the delegates prepare for the future of franchising. 

One of the most awaited sessions is the C-Suite Forum, which will feature some of the big names and thought leaders in the franchising sector and related industries. Among the topics that will be discussed are Staying Competitive While Managing Cashflow, Shaping the Future of Work, Growing Your Brand Globally, The Future of Supply Chain, Franchise Development in the New Normal: How to Succeed, Developing a Growth Mindset for Franchisees, and many more.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat will be the keynote speakers during the event.   

Franchise Asia Philippines 2021 is made possible through the support of BPI, PLDT Enterprise, InLife Health Care and other partners.

Interested parties may please e-mail or visit

For feedback, please send e-mail to


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