FASA assigns 2015 chairman position to franchisee
FASA (The Franchise Association of South Africa) has never employed a franchisee as a chairman in it’s 36 years of existence. John Baladakis, a Pick ‘n Pay franchisee has been appointed for 2015.
When franchising began to find it’s feet in South Africa, FASA was established. Today the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contribution of the franchising industry is estimated at almost 10%,
- With an excess of 620 franchised systems
- Operating and over 31 000 franchised businesses countrywide who, in turn
- Employ about 323 500 people in the sector.
In his address at the FASA AGM, John Baladakis said he intended to build on the work done by the association over the 36 years of its existence. “As a franchisee that benefited from the opportunities that franchising afforded me in the field of entrepreneurship and job creation, I look forward to bringing a different perspective to FASA and being the voice of not only those entrepreneurs who start new concepts but to the over 30 000 franchisees who play such an important role in franchising and who contribute to our economy.” Says John Baladakis
FASA, as the oldest internationally recognised franchise association on the continent, has been responsible for the roll-out of ethical franchising in South Africa since 1979. Political isolation in the 80’s encouraged home-grown concepts – the result is a resilient local franchise industry – many of whom have successfully been “exported” abroad.
In his role as Chairman of FASA, John hopes to be inspiration for new entrepreneurs, franchising and small business development which needs to be nurtured and grown to become a driving force in our future economy. Says Baladakis, “The establishment of a Small Business Ministry is a welcome government initiative but, with the high failure rate of independent businesses (around 90% in the first few years), we know the Ministry is looking at successful franchise models as a sound way to get the masses involved in business. “Easing the red tape around setting up and running a small business and giving incentives to entrepreneurs to start new concepts that will ensure skills transfer and job creation will go a long way to ensuring that the small business sector thrives.”
John’s fascination with his father’s decision to leave the comfort of his professional corporate career for the tough world of ‘Corner Shop Supermarkets’ impressed on him an entrepreneurial culture.
Once he had graduated with a bachelor’s degree, his longing to be the one determining his destiny created a ‘franchisee’ of him in his early twenties.
As the son of Greek immigrants who made good against all the odds, John Baladakis remembers the exact moment that the penny dropped that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. At his first job interview where he was told that if he performed well and if the company could afford it, he might get a small increase at the end of his first year; the words of his father came flooding back. ‘My boy – always be in a position to write your own salary cheque’.
Having seen his parents, like many other immigrants, arrive in South Africa without a penny, not speaking the language but through sheer hard work and determination succeed as small business operators, he understood the power of the small business revolution.