Q&A with 7-Eleven PH President Victor Paterno on Franchising

Q&A with 7-Eleven PH President Victor Paterno on Franchising

Franchising, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Your franchise package used to cost P3.5 million, then P1 million, now at P300,000. Briefly, what are their differences in terms of risks versus rewards? What is the insight behind P300,000? A1: To clarify, the P3.5m package is still around, available for new stores, and it still makes up most of our franchises. We call it the investor package, because it's high risk, high return. The lower risk, lower return industrial partner package has been replaced with the 300k-500k package (depending on sales volume). The idea was to make it more affordable to franchisees willing to be store managers of their own stores, where they are expected to report a minimum of 40 hours a week. To do that, we rethought the entire package. Profits are tied closer to…
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Q&A with Abenson’s Founder Wilson Lim on Growing from Core to Adjacencies

Q&A with Abenson’s Founder Wilson Lim on Growing from Core to Adjacencies

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Wilson Lim is founder of the Abenson Group of Companies (Abenson, ElectroWorld, Walter Mart Supermarket, Walter Mart Mall, distributorship of SB and Habitat furnitures, and Ascott BGC, among many others) that he and his team built from scratch. An unassuming businessman with a big heart, he shares his insights about growing businesses from core to adjacencies. Q1: You have been successful in various companies you built (Abenson, Walter Mart, etc). What criteria do you consider before you invest or expand in a business? A: I am always guided by our company’s vision of Bringing the Good Life to More Filipino Homes. We study the industry and assess it based on the size of the market, the growth potential, the players in the industry and determine whether there are opportunities for…
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Q&A with Potato Corner President Jose Magsaysay Jr. on Championing Entrepreneurship

Q&A with Potato Corner President Jose Magsaysay Jr. on Championing Entrepreneurship

Franchising, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Potato Corner started in 1992 as a side business of partners wanting extra income. Today, it is the undisputed leader in the french fries franchise with some 700 local stores and 145 international stores, breaking one sales record after another the last few years. Potato Corner president Jose Magsaysay Jr shares with us why and how they are encouraging entrepreneurship through the Potato Corner franchise. Q1: Did you expect Potato Corner to grow this big and even internationally? A: When we started Potato Corner, I never thought it would be this big and were all so surprised at the current growth trajectory for the last 5 years. All me and my partners, when we started was just to have a side-line as we all had our own full-time jobs. Q2:…
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Q&A with Robinsons Retail President Robina Gokongwei-Pe on Strategy

Q&A with Robinsons Retail President Robina Gokongwei-Pe on Strategy

Business Strategy, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Robina Gokongwei-Pe is the President and COO of listed Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., the second biggest multi-format retail group in the Philippines with revenue expected to be over P100-billion in 2016 from approximately 1,500 stores, complemented by the 1,900 store network of the recently-acquired chain TGP (The Generics Pharmacy). She has recently been identified by Forbes Asia as one of the two power businesswomen of the Philippines. She shares her insights about strategy. Q1: There are so many new projects and acquisitions within your group since 2012, will there be a major priority shift in your bread and butter business or format within the next ten years? A: The supermarket business currently accounts for nearly half of the total sales of Robinsons Retail. I believe that it will remain as…
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Q&A with Samie Lim on Opportunities and Challenges in Retailing

Q&A with Samie Lim on Opportunities and Challenges in Retailing

Franchising, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Samie Lim has a unique gift of visualizing the future economic development of our country, and the talent for harnessing the bayanihan spirit of business leaders by making things happen. He focuses on building unorganized business segments into strong industrial sectors with his mission 'to serve the greatest numbers of people.' He has spearheaded the movement to modernize our retail trade in the early '80's and in the mid '90's. Moreover, he promoted franchising as a tool to create thousands of SME's and millions of jobs. By the turn of the century, he has successfully developed the template to double our tourism arrivals and tourism receipts. He has led several local and international trade associations and was elected President of PCCI in 2007. He also served as Undersecretary of Department…
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Q&A with SEAOIL CEO Glenn Yu on Combining Innovation and Integrity

Q&A with SEAOIL CEO Glenn Yu on Combining Innovation and Integrity

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: SEAOIL is the largest independent fuel company in the Philippines and is now one of the top 60 corporations in revenues. Can you share with us the major challenges you encountered as a new entrant in the retail business in 1997 and how you overcame them? A: When we started the retail business, we were aware that we will compete with industry giants who have been in the business for decades. We needed to create our own niche to secure a sizeable share of the market, so we leveraged on lower pricing to attract customers. True enough, price-conscious motorists, specifically the PUV drivers, became our frequent patrons. Long lines of jeepneys were a usual sight at our stations. However, when the bigger oil players started to feel the pinch they began matching our pump prices. We realized that pricing alone cannot be relied upon as a competitive advantage in this industry…
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Q&A with Habitat Philippines Walter Lim on New Venture Introduction

Q&A with Habitat Philippines Walter Lim on New Venture Introduction

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Congratulations on the opening of Habitat in the Philippines. Can you tell us what is good design in the brand DNA of this European furniture brand? A1. Thank you. We are very excited with the opening of Habitat Manila and are very thankful to the positive response of the market. At Habitat, good design means beautiful, functional and affordable products. Habitat founder, Sir Terence Conran, revolutionised home furniture and decor 50 years ago with its first store, and today Habitat Design Studio continues to live by this design ethos. Each Habitat product must not just be a beautiful addition to your home, it has to be functional and improve your everyday living. This design philosophy can be seen in our furniture, lighting products, tableware and even accessories. Even the…
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Q&A with Walter Bread President Walter Co on Entrepreneurial Challenges

Q&A with Walter Bread President Walter Co on Entrepreneurial Challenges

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Niche Marketing, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: You ventured into manufacturing bread immediately after college in the 1980's. After two decades, you launched the first two of a series of innovations, namely the Walter Sugar Free Bread in 2005 and the Double Fiber (wheat plus apple) Bread in 2006. What was the turning point for the sudden change of direction? The market was getting crowded with competition so I had to scan the horizon for new spaces and opportunities. There was a gap in the healthy bread category: no delicious healthy breads catered to those who wanted to live a healthy lifestyle and stay fit.The only breads considered to be healthy in the market before were whole wheat bread and multi-grain bread which usually taste like cardboard, smell like feeds (darak) and were either bland or…
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Q&A with ABENSON Managing Director Winston Lim on Appliance & Gadget Retailing

Q&A with ABENSON Managing Director Winston Lim on Appliance & Gadget Retailing

interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Retailing appliances has many pain points where customers go through a process of information search, face-to-face inquiry, product demo, delivery and after sales. How is Abenson addressing customer irritants and annoyances? ​At ABENSON, our mission is to bring the ‘Good Life’ to every Filipino Home. In our 45 year history we have seen how differently our customers’ priorities have changed, both in the level of sophistication of the products that they buy - and in their expectations of what the Good Life is. Appliance and gadget shoppers want to bring home the best products that fit their lifestyles in the fastest, easiest and safestway possible. Our newest channel is on the Internet - abenson.com.ph - offers the same products and services nationwide to those who now prefer to shop…
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Q&A with Uniqlo Philippines COO Katsumi Kubota on International Brand and Business Development

Q&A with Uniqlo Philippines COO Katsumi Kubota on International Brand and Business Development

interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Can you describe what the Uniqlo brand is all about? Other than being of Japanese origin, how different or similar is it with say Giordano or Gap in terms of fashion or customer base? We consider UNIQLO as LifeWear, which means UNIQLO is complete when it is worn and become a part of our customers’ Life. We are not trying to differentiate from other brand, rather, we keep focusing on customers’ Life, how they appreciate clothes every day. Q2: Uniqlo is an international company, how do you maintain the standard of customer service and communicate the brand consistently worldwide, including the Philippines? We try to offer kind and courteous service in any part of the world. Key is how to share the meaning and joy of doing so with…
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