Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Malaysian International Franchise Fair

Last week, a Malaysian International Franchise Fair was held at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC). At the same day and same venue, there were also a PC Expo and 2 other exhibitions. So, there was quite a fair bit of crowd at PWTC over the weekend.

I played tag along with an ex-colleague who is keen to venture into her own business after being tired of working for others. Basically, it was a visit to the fair with an intention to source for something interesting and worthwhile exploring further. Franchising a business can be said to be a safer bet to start off a business since the brand and the business has already being established. There is already a market for the business and potentially ready clients.

Upon arriving at PWTC, we followed the directional sign and headed to third floor where the fair is supposed to be. When we wanted to enter the fair, we were stopped by the security personnel for not having a visitor's pass (doh!). We were intucted to head to ground floor and register ourselves in order to get a entry pass. While filling up the form, I realised that I ran out of my own business card. Luckily I have 2 of my suppliers' cards. I passed on my supplier's card as mine and gained myself an entry pass (hehe!!). "Hello Mr Hong!", my partner to the fair teased me.

Once we have stepped into the fair, we were quickly disappointed. We were expecting a big show but the number of participants for the fair were really pathetic. There were so few exhibitors to be really calling this an international franchise fair! What happened to a few notable franchisors? I did not see Old Town Cafe, 1901 Hotdog or even Nelson Corn-in-a-Cup! All I see were some lesser known or second tier franchisors' booths.

Consumer Tribunal staff ready to advise those who wants to know more

Anyway, since we have arrived at the fair, we took a tour round the exhibition hall and visited the booths there. We stopped at a frozen yogurt franchisor's booth since healthy food stuff like yogurt is an "in-thing" now. A few frozen yogurt operators have been operating in town lately. Tutti Frutti is one of the bigger frozen yogurt chain in town. I was surprised to know that the Malaysian franchise for this American yogurt brand was secured by NAZA Group. I have tried a few yogurt outlets in Klang Valley, namely Froyo, Snogurt & Tutti Frutti. I must say that I simply love this healthy dessert but the price in rather on the high side in Malaysia.

Marry Brown's booth

DSC01886 Daily Fresh's van is doing brisk business while looking for potential franchisee

Daily Fresh set up a van selling its food & beverages while inviting potential visitors to enquire about their franchise scheme.

Moving around the hall was not an issue since it was not drawing huge crowd. I bet the PC Expo a floor below attracted more visitors that this fair. Overall, I estimated that there were less than 100 exhibitors in the fair, probably closer to 70. What also surprised me was that except for 1 banker, no other banks took part in this fair. I would have thought that banks would be interested in extending loans and financial services to those who are keen to take up a franchise. Also missing were agencies who could provide foreign workers' services to the franchisee. Would it not make sense to have an agency who can provide manpower solution to the franchisee to be at this fair? I am STUMPED! Were the exhibitor or the relevant ministry not putting enough effort in getting quality exhibitors?

Anyway, visiting the fair was a good experience for me since I managed to get some information pertaining to franchise as well as brochures on information for intellectual property. Will definitely take some time out to read those leaflets before they start to collect dust ;-)

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