now reading The Interview: Albert Kong, Chairman of Asiawide Franchise Consultants

The Interview: Albert Kong, Chairman of Asiawide Franchise Consultants

The Interview: Albert Kong, Chairman of Asiawide Franchise Consultants

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Ross Gilfillan

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in 4 minutes

As CEO of a Singapore-based franchise consultancy, Albert Kong is well-placed to answer our questions about franchising in this dynamic and fast-paced country.

Singapore is a natural springboard for many foreign franchisors because of its strategic geographical locationAlbert Kong

How is franchising viewed in Singapore, both by businesses and by the government?

AK: Franchising is a popular method for Singapore businesses to
expand locally and overseas. The Singapore government continues to support franchising and provides several funding schemes to encourage franchise firms to go international.

What services are provided by your consultancy?

AK: At Asiawide Franchise Consultants we provide the following services: 1) Assist prospective franchisors to develop a strategically sound franchise package; 2) Help existing franchisors improve on their franchising via an operations audit; 3) Find suitable franchisees for franchisors (and help prospective franchisees find their suitable franchisors); 4) Promote franchising via the world’s only English- Chinese franchise magazine (published since March 1994); 5) Lecture, when invited, at tertiary

How long has franchising been practised in Singapore?

AK: Since the late ‘70s. Petrol companies were the earliest batch. Then came McDonalds and KFC. In the early and mid ‘80s, they were followed by local companies starting to franchise.

Why should foreign investors choose your country as a promising location in which to establish their franchises?

AK: Singapore is a natural springboard for many foreign franchisors because of its strategic geographical location – its sea port ranks among the top three, and Changi International Airport is renowned. Singapore is also trusted for its banking, logistic, intellectual property, legal, medical, and other services. In addition, the Singapore government provides a lot of incentives for foreign companies to house their regional headquarters in the country.

Which foreign brands are currently franchising in Singapore?

AK: McDonalds, YUM! (KFC, Pizza Hut), Subway, Tony Romas, Starbucks, etc. There are approximately 500 foreign brands operating in Singapore.

What have been the main challenges for incoming franchises?

AK: There have been three top challenges:
1) Small domestic market (but big tourist market);
2) High rentals;
3) Shortage of labor (waiters, cleaners, service staff).

What makes franchising in your country different from franchising in, for example, the United States?

AK: There are no franchise-specific regulations.

How do you see the future of franchising developing in Singapore?

AK: Franchising's future is bright indeed because of the increasing number of people wanting to become entrepreneurs, and the government’s continued support for the franchising fraternity.

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