Franchising industry needs to embrace digital shift

This is a repost from the original article written by Jennylei Caberte of the Philippine StarI believe this news is important to those who are planning to invest in a Franchising Business or to those who already have their own Franchise and wanted to expand their marketing strategies in the Digital Age. For me this is also important since my Business is Digital Advertising and so therefore I will have potential Clients that I could serve who wanted to avail my Digital Marketing services. I have intended to repost this info to spread the news to my readers.

MANILA, Philippines - The franchising industry will see itself shifting into the digital realm, and companies must take a pivot to the online world if they want their businesses to continue flourishing.

Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) president Dr. Alan L. Escalona said the business landscape is currently at a rapid pace of migration as customers’ needs and wants are now a quick click away. Adoption of new technologies, hence, should be on the list of franchise businesses so that they may not be left behind by budding tech-enabled companies.

“In the past, it takes about a year or two before technology changes. Now, it’s just three to six months, and if you don’t respond to this, your business plans will be delayed,” Escalona emphasized. “Landscapes change faster than before.”

Because of this, PFA – the country’s premier franchising organization will give primary focus on promoting the use of new technologies to keep pace with the demand of the digital world.

“More and more innovative technology will come out and if you are not fast enough to react, if you don’t have enough information up your sleeves, you will be left behind. Eventually you’ll see yourself catching up with the competition,” Escalona pointed out. Also, he said, “it is expensive to play catch up.”

The PFA, he said, would like to ensure that this does not happen to any of its members. Members, Escalona added, have benefited from previous gatherings, one of which is the biggest confab of franchisers all over Asia, the Franchise Asia Philippines.

Escalona, who is president and chief executive officer of Fruit Magic Co. Inc., considers himself fortunate to have been born into a Filipino family who placed equal importance on education and business sense. For him, business training came very early in life.

“My parents would always tell us when we were young, to always keep our eye out for business opportunities, even if they allowed us to work elsewhere temporarily. Since they were in the garments business, they always really encouraged us to help them during our spare time and on weekends. That means that even on school days, if we have no classes, they insisted on taking us to the factory to help out. They frowned on idling our time aimlessly at home. Looking back now, I realize that these are the values that are very dear to me,” he said.

After completing his medical course at 21 from Our Lady of Fatima University, Quezon City and pre med course of Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Santo Tomas, and entertaining the idea of settling down, Escalona realized his priorities have changed. Instead of concentrating on his medical practice alone, he decided he also wanted to put up his own business, with which he could raise his own family.

Thus from the 1980s to the 1990s, Escalona, like his parents, went into the garments business. With his business acumen and access to special machines from his many years of working in his family’s garments business, the business was able to supply lingerie, baby clothes and jackets to various companies in the US including brands like Victoria’s Secret.

In the early 2000, he tried other business ventures including supplying tuna to hotels and restaurants. Later on, a family friend approached him, upon the advise of his sister, to buy a fruit juice business. Taking interest in the venture, he went into the business and learned its ropes.

Challenged by the prospects of his new business, Escalona went to the US to study the fruit bar business. He learned more about juicing and found it was more to his liking since it combines medicine or a health-related field and business.

Today, aside from presiding over his thriving business, Escalona has become a strong advocate for Filipinos to go for fruit juices, one cup at a time. He has been juicing for over a decade and still plays basketball with young fellows in their 20’s and takes the upper hand in their games.

Doc Alan as he is fondly called by friends is also currently the president of Boracay Fruit Juice Venture Inc., North Triangle Fruit Juice Venture Inc., Green Mango Yogurt Venture Inc.,  A. M. Escalona Corp.and director of Terp Asia Construction Corp.

PFA has organized the 24th edition of the franchise show, the Franchise Asia Philippines 2016 slated for July 20 to 24 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City with the theme “Building Inclusive Growth Amidst a Hypercompetitive World” which aims to highlight the need of disruptive strategies and technologies to raise the global competitiveness of Philippine franchising.  

“We at the PFA have created thousands of entrepreneurs and millions of jobs – that might be our most significant contribution to the economy. We’re still hoping that the government will really recognize the efforts of the franchising sector, which is up for multiplicity,” Escalona said.

This year, Franchise Asia Philippines Expo 2016 will feature country pavilions from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Franchise Asia Philippines 2016 is co-presented by BPI Ka-Negosyo and PLDT Smart SME Nation, and in partnership with DTI, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine Retailers Association. For more information, call the PFA Secretariat at (632) 687-0365 to 67.

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