now reading The Interview: Bill Edwards, Edwards Global Services

The Interview: Bill Edwards, Edwards Global Services

The Interview: Bill Edwards, Edwards Global Services

report by
Ross Gilfillan

estimated read time
in 4 minutes

When considering expansion to Southeast Asia it’s more than helpful to speak to someone with experience of franchising in this part of the world – and you can up your game considerably by opening a dialogue with a franchise consultant who advises brands planning such a move.

Edwards Global Services (EGS), publisher of the GlobalVue country ranking tool, is well placed to assist. We asked CEO Bill Edwards why brands should think seriously about expanding here.

The Interview: Bill Edwards, Edwards Global Services

What makes South East Asia a good bet for expanding fitness franchises?

BE: India, Indonesia, and China represent 2.8 billion (40 per cent) of the world’s population, with 600 million (21 per cent) middle or upper class consumers today. Nearly 90 per cent of the next one billion people to attain middle-class status
will be in Asia.

The newly middle class in Asia are focused on education for their children, healthy, safe food and better health for them and their families. This last desire leads to the growing fitness craze across SE Asia. The rapidly-growing middle class in SE Asian countries is becoming increasingly health conscious. They are seeking a structured fitness program from a well-known brand that they can trust.

Which sorts of fitness franchises are popular in which countries?

BE: The standard large-format gyms are present. Kickboxing, boxing, yoga, pilates, spinning and similar boutique fitness brands are also starting to draw consumers. Asian consumers like to try new and innovative concepts but also tend to move on to newer ones when they enter a country. Beware of being considered a fad.

The Interview: Bill Edwards, Edwards Global Services

In what ways do fitness franchises have to adapt themselves to local preferences?

BE: International fitness brands must adapt to the operating hours, the consumer age and buying power and trends of the local Asian consumer. Asians often like to do things together in a group so fitness concepts with group exercises like Orangetheory have considerable potential in Asia.

Probably the number one adaptation is a focus on social media marketing, especially Facebook.

How would an expanding Western franchise go about locating a master franchisee in their target country?

First determine what are the requirements of your brand’s international licensee. What type of companies or entrepreneurs are the best fit for your specific fitness brand? How much investment will be needed for a local investor to acquire your country license and build out your fitness centers?

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