M'sian chain Marrybrown to add two more countries to make it 20

Tee (fifth from right) with Marrybrown Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Lawrence Liew (third from right), Nancy Liew (left) and other guests at the opening of Marrybrown’s 17th franchised outlet in Urumuqi, China.

URUMUQI (Xinjiang): Malaysia’s quick service restaurant (QSR) operator Marrybrown Sdn Bhd is expanding its presence internationally with outlets to be opened in Iran and New Zealand.

Founder and managing director Datin Nancy Liew said its first franchised outlet in Iran’s capital Tehran would open for business by the end of the year followed by another outlet in Auckland in the first half of 2018.

“Franchising system is the way forward for the company to bring and introduce Malaysia’s household QSR brand in the global market,” she said.

Liew said this after the opening of its 17th franchise outlet here in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region capital by Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.

Tee was leading a tourism and trade delegation with officials from Johor State Investment Centre, Johor Islamic Religious Council, Johor Tourism and PIJ Holdings Sdn Bhd on a week-long visit to Xinjiang and Gansu.

The two regions are located on the northwest of China.

Xinjiang is home to 25 million people of which 60% are Muslims and Gansu has 23 million people with a big Muslim population.

“We are the first Malaysian-based QSR operator to open the halal-certified QSR outlet in China in 1992 and which is also the first country we expanded our franchising business to,” she said.

Liew said the company which was founded 36 years ago took a risk when it ventured into China about 25 years ago as not many Malaysian companies were willing to do so at that time.

Presently, the company has 450 outlets in 18 countries with all outlets outside Malaysia franchised under the master franchisees in the respective countries and 80% and 20% in Malaysia franchised and company-owned respectively.

The outlets are in Azerbaijan, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand and Middle East countries.

“Africa is going to be the next big market for us with good growth prospects and business opportunities due to its huge population base.

The African continent is like a rough diamond waiting to be cut and polished for the shine and sparkle to emerge,’’ added Liew.

There are 47 countries on the African continent and Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent in the world.

Based on the latest statistics by the United Nations, the current population in Africa as of August 23, 2017 is 1.25 billion people and 40.5% of the total population are living in urban areas.

On the home front, she said the company planned to open about 100 outlets in Malaysia within the next five years.

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