HONG KONG, Dec 9, 2019 – (ACN Newswire) – The fifth HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), concluded last Friday (6 December) on a successful note. This year’s event attracted more than 100 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions. On 5 December, a seminar titled “Expand Your Business Overseas – Cross-border Franchising Business” featured industry experts discussing new franchising opportunities across different markets for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Founded in 2011, Sprout Concepts International Co Ltd specialises in providing brand and product licensing consultancy services and helping brands break into Asian markets such as Japan, Malaysia and Mainland China. Speaking at the seminar, Johnson Lo, CEO of Sprout Concepts, said that some SMEs are looking to enter overseas markets with an aim to enhance brand awareness and establish local sales networks quickly through franchising. For this, several key factors need to be kept in mind, including the company’s financial position, the need to adapt to different tax and legal systems, and the distribution of similar products in the local market. Companies must also consider the market share of their products and whether staff are able to support business development in the target markets.
Mr Lo added that it is crucial for enterprises to undertake adequate preparatory work in the preliminary stages, such as conducting thorough market research prior to franchising. Companies should also be aware of regional and cultural differences in order to enhance consumers’ acceptance of new products. He highlighted that it is ineffective to directly “copy and paste” a successful business model from one market to another. The secret to success lies in tailoring strategies to adapt to new local markets.
Many enterprises fail to engage in subsequent brand development after franchising their business. Mr Lo advised franchisors to maintain constant communication with franchisees in order to convey brand values and corporate stories effectively. Considering the high turnover rate in the labour market, franchisors also need to provide training and support for franchisees to maximise their competitiveness and recruitment capabilities as well as attract new talents.
“The franchisor’s mission is to share their experience of the brand’s success to help franchisees gain a foothold in the local market and establish a unique brand voice. Otherwise, the lack of alignment between franchise businesses will weaken the core brand, resulting in diffused brand images and a muddled market positioning,” Mr Lo explained.
Another topic, “Retailing in India – Sea of Opportunities”, saw Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India, discuss the growth potential in the Indian retail market. He highlighted the rising number of business opportunities in the culturally diverse country, which currently has a population of more than 1.3 billion, explaining that India’s retail market is estimated to reach US$1 trillion by 2021, up 10.8% from last year’s US$881 billion. Among the numerous retail sectors, food and groceries combined will account for 66% of the market share, followed by apparel and jewellery, with footwear to hold the lowest market share at just 1%.
Mr Rajagopalan stated that Indian consumers continue to gain more purchasing power as a result of rapid expansion in the country’s middle-class, which is set to drive the ongoing prosperity of the local retail industry. The total value of India’s franchise industry currently stands at US$50.4 billion, growing at an annual rate of 30-35%. Meanwhile, among the more than 4,600 franchisors in India, 16% of enterprises are made up of international brands. This significantly enhances the country’s appeal to companies looking to explore new markets.
This year’s Franchising Show featured two major zones, the F&B Zone and Lifestyle Zone, providing a platform to connect enterprises with new business partners and explore potential market opportunities. Participating brands included TechBob Academy, Kung Fu Tea, Pineapple Canteen, Mr Arita, Water Laundry, Food Channels, KeePer Pro SHOP, the Hong Kong Startup Consultancy and more.
Held concurrently with the International Franchising Show, the third edition of the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo featured five zones, including Tech, the Invention, Start-up, The Boosters and the Global Opportunities Zone, providing a one-stop platform to support SMEs in exploring innovative business solutions and management optimisation technologies.
Concurrent events help SMEs improve their competitive edge
The HKTDC hosted five industry-leading events at the HKCEC last week, including the Asian E-tailing Summit (4-5 December), SmartBiz Expo (4-6 December), Hong Kong International Franchising Show (4-6 December), Business of IP Asia Forum (5-6 December) and DesignInspire (5-7 December). The events focused on new technologies across research and development, design, production, sales, and business expansion, supporting SMEs to explore opportunities and embrace the challenges presented by innovation and change.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
HKTDC Communications & Public Affairs Department: Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ruder Finn Asia: Ivy Chan, Tel: +852 2201 6475 / 6686 9106, Email: Chani@RuderFinnAsia.com Winky Chow, Tel: +852 2201 6474 / 9485 5148, Email: Choww@RuderFinnAsia.com Charlene Wan, Tel: +852 2201 6438 / 6189 9495, Email: Wanc@RuderFinnAsia.com
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