The buzz all over the media wasn’t for nothing, something great was scheduled to happen in Lagos, Nigeria. Franchising was set to take a new turn with the Franchise Matchmaking Forum event set up by Franchise Business Development Services (FBDS). This event had CEOs of top local and international franchise companies (Franchisors) present their franchise opportunities to an audience of prospective franchise investors, (Potential Franchisees) who desire to have their own franchise business outlets under the represented brands. It was held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
With various speakers representing brands like House of Tara International, Best Choice; Curves International amongst a host of other speakers, the event was set to be an insightful one. Excitement filled the air mixed with a true quest for knowledge, as the program kicked off. For an event of this magnitude, there was an exhibition stand which showcased the various companies products and information, with representatives available to answer questions of the potential franchisees.
The national anthem was sung with smiles on the participant’s faces, signifying their strong faith and belief in Nigeria. Everyone was welcomed by Zubaru Kadiri (Brand Strategist, FBDS) as he was the anchor for the event. He enlightened the audience on Franchising being the next big thing and how it could grow the Nigerian economy.
The Technical Advisor to the Vice-President on MSMEs; Tola Johnson was also present at the event to give words of support, encouragement, and endorsement of Franchising in Nigeria, having seen how much SMEs have failed grossly in times past.
“I wish we thought of Franchising as far back as 10 years ago. The government is interested in playing their part in Franchising, once we play our roles, things will get better” he said.
Managing Consultant of FBDS, Chiagozie Nwizu pointed out how important it is to have an alternative source of income outside of the normal 8 am to 5 pm job. He added that “Buying a franchise is buying a system; it is building on the company’s loyalty and their experience in the market from day one to make progress”. He also showed trends of franchising in other countries and their successes.
CEO of Idashnaira, Hilary Nwaukor took time out to encourage people to step out of their realms of fear to accomplish something commendable through franchising. He said “We all have the spirit of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. We are hustlers in this nation. It’s time to step out! We need to look at the opportunities for increasing our businesses. We should think more towards Franchising and embrace it too”
Emma Esinnah (Country Director, Curves Fitness), gave insights into the Curves Fitness Franchise and how important fitness is to the world at large. “Over 300 million people worldwide are said to be obese. Nearly $100 billion yearly is spent on treating obesity. Curves Fitness is something every woman around the world will be interested in as it is fitness targeted at only women”
General Manager, Best Choice (Tolaram Group); Kunal Malhotra revealed that “Best Choice goal is become your neighborhoods favorite store as it currently has 127 stores and is projecting 500 stores by 2022”. Best Choice is an affordable grocery store targeted at neighborhoods with various household products. A current franchisee of the company was around to share how her experience has been seamless with Best Choice.
Wrapping up the event was House of Tara’s Tundun Aderibigbe; representing Tara Durotoye the MD, who gave an interesting statistic on the success of the brand and how it has evolved to franchising over the years. This she did as she presented the Franchise Prospectus to the listening potential franchise buyers. Some unique selling points of the company are the Fees structure, Retail support, Franchise Objectives amongst others.
The event concluded with the exhibition segment where interested franchise buyers had the chance to visit various stands of franchises that interested them to get more details and information.
Indeed it is the dawning of a new day for Franchising in Nigeria with companies like FBDS Nigeria championing the cause.
Now is the time to Think Franchise!