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Saturday October 27, 2012

Big brands in Malaysian franchising named at awards

Recognition: (From
left) Abdul Malik,
Datuk Seri Ismail
Sabri Yaakob,
Minister of Domestic
Trade, Cooperatives
and Consumerism,
presenting the
‘Franchisor of the
Year’ and
Franchisor of the
Year 2012’ to
DÍSilva. Recognition: (From left) Abdul Malik, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, presenting the ‘Franchisor of the Year’ and ‘International Franchisor of the Year 2012’ to DÍSilva.

MALAYSIA’S largest white coffee cafe chain, OldTown White Coffee, was adjudged Franchisor of the Year

and International Franchisor of the Year 2012 by the Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA) at the recent Malaysia Franchise Awards ceremony.

First established in Ipoh in 1999, this homegrown brand grew its business from manufacturing beverage products to currently operating over 200 caféS in Malaysia and other parts of the region such as Singapore, Indonesia and China among others. OldTown White Coffee is best known for its own unique 3-in-1 white coffee blend, a favorite in most local households.

Currently, Old Town White Coffee is Malaysia’s largest Halal-certified white coffee café chain with 60% of its outlets certified. It plans to achieve 100% Jakim halal recognition and certification by the end of this year.

Revenue for OldTown White Coffee’s café chain operation has increased close to 269.9% over the past five years and has grown at compound annual growth tate rate of 38.7% over the past four years as the company embarked on aggressive franchise expansion plans.

The number of stores also increased by 11.7% year-on-year as there were 188 outlets in operation by the end of September 2011 compared to this year’s total of 210 outlets across the region as at the end of September 2012.

“In a world full of global giants, we take great pride in the heritage of our brand right down to our brand values. Being recognised for our contribution in the franchising industry and how much we’ve grown in the past years are things we are grateful for.

“We believe the secret to our success is that we have an in-depth knowledge of what our consumer wants.

“It also helps that we have long established presence as a trusted brand and have created a strong emotional bond with our loyal consumers,” said Clarence D’Silva, executive director of Oldtown Bhd, and chief operating officer of the F&B division of Kopitiam Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd.

The MFA Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises the critical roles that local businesses play in the franchise industry and in growing the business sector. It also remains unparalleled in its efforts to identify excellence in entrepreneurship through franchising.

The winners of this year’s Malaysia Franchise Awards, including OldTown White Coffee, were put under a stringent judging process and were assessed by an esteemed panel of judges comprising representatives from SME Bank, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd and MFA.

“Franchises have been proven to be a key factor in boosting economies around the world and this is why we wanted to promote the idea of franchising to entrepreneurs. In the past few years, we’ve seen a growing list of impressive and strong local franchise players.

“This year, OldTown White Coffee made it to the top because of its continuous business model improvement efforts and the positive contribution it has made to the economy and business sectors as a local company,” explained Abdul Malik Abdullah, chairman of MFA.

“The franchise business remains one of the fastest growing business segments and will continue to be a strong driver in the success of our local economy.

“The future of the franchise industry looks bright thanks to Malaysian brands that have strong brand equity such as OldTown White Coffee that remain true to their heritage and roots and focus on excellent products and services, making them appealing to a lot of franchisees,” said Syed Kamarulzaman S.Z.K. Shahabudin, managing director of Perbadanan Nasional Bhd.

PNS is an agency under the Ministry of Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism, whose main objectives are to encourage more entrepreneurs to invest in franchises by making all relevant resources available to potential investors and to ensure that more local products are marketed abroad.

“OldTown White Coffee will continue to work on its expansion plans in the coming year to expand our regional base. Our plan includes increasing the number of our outlets and to export our instant beverages to a more extensive market,” said D’Silva.

He added: “We encourage budding entrepreneurs to support local businesses and consider buying a franchise because this opens up better and more financial opportunities and freedom for them.

“The best advice we can give these interested and future franchisers is to identify a business they are passionate about, research well and speak to fellow franchisees, and have enough patience. Success will then be on its way.”