Globalisation … at a local level

It’s amazing what’s happening across the world of franchising as global markets experience their seismic shifts.

To be honest though, until this morning I had been too buried in the detail of my day to day work in franchising to really see what was happening. I was thinking about this week’s blog when I came across an article from India that explained about a year of franchise events to stimulate business in that massive market.

It was interesting in that there was a two pronged attack – encouraging local businesses to set up franchise operations and a special task force to help guide foreign franchisors through the intricacies of working in the highly complex Indian market place. The whole thing is tied together with a flagship event in November.

Okay, that’s a big thing for India and there’s obviously a recognition that franchising will suit the Indian way of doing business – lots of private enterprise, but perhaps with more structure than they are used to.

Where it gets really interesting is that I have been speaking with a Kuwait based business that is pushing franchising across the Middle East, where there is still the appetite for doing business, despite difficulties in Dubai.

Where it gets really, really interesting is that I have also had an approach from the Far East where franchising is also experiencing explosive growth. In each of these markets there is a desire to create a franchising structure that works for both franchisors and franchisees.

Now, as far as I know these markets, although they will be aware of each other, are not integrally involved. And yet there are some startling similarities about how they see a well run franchise industry supporting their economies as the world begins to come out of recession.

Similarity number 1: there is a recognition at government level that franchising has the potential to be a major contributor to GDP.

Similarity number 2: in each of these markets there is a desire to create a mixed franchising community of home grown and global brands.

Similarity number 3: in each case (although the level of involvement is different) government has recognised the need to be involved in shaping the market.

Similarity number 4: in each of the markets there is a desire to learn the lessons from around the world and apply them to the home market in order to create an environment that is conducive to franchising… that is to set up franchising in the right way.

For me there are a couple of things to be taken from this global emergence of franchising as a sustainable business model.

The first is that we, in the UK, would benefit from a shift in thinking about the franchise industry and what it represents in terms of the wider economy. I really believe that we would benefit from taking some time to think about and plan the next evolution in franchising and where it sits in the UK economy.

Secondly, there are some very real opportunities for UK based franchisors to expand their brands into these very important markets by taking advantage of the schemes that bring well run and well set up franchise operations to the fore.

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