FNB’s First Franchise Leadership Summit Educates and Inspires
The first ever FNB Franchise Leadership Summit held in conjunction with Franchising Plus took place on the 28th of November 2012. The line-up featured the who’s who of franchising in South Africa and included Nando’s founder Robert Brozin, MD of McDonald’s SA Greg Solomon and the CEO of Taste Holdings, Carlo Gonzaga. For the first time ever, these franchise personalities shared a stage and shared their franchising experiences. Greg Solomon reiterated the McDonald’s value proposition of Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value, and how franchisees and the franchisor alike are aligned with this.
The Franchise Leadership Summit also featured an international speaker, Robert Moschorak, the President and General Manager of Ace Hardware International. Robert shared his experience of expanding brands globally and the different franchise mechanisms available to do so. He also highlighted how important it is to have local representation from a person who understands the market. On the local front, the MD of Mica, Clifford Buchler, shared his experience of expansion in the hardware category through the Mica membership model, and how this mechanism enabled both the owner operator benefit and brand building.
The Nando’s story of establishing a South African based, international chicken brand in the quick service restaurant category got a great response from the audience. Nando’s may be a good restaurant but they are also well known for their irreverent approach to marketing. This was reiterated by Reg Lascaris, founder of ad agency Hunt Lascaris, which was responsible for most of the first Nando’s campaigns.
Carlo Gonzaga of Taste Holdings, which owns Maxi’s, Scooters, NWJ, St Elmo’s and the Fish and Chips Co, shed light on their acquisition strategy. The presentations also featured Ivan Saltzman founder of Dis-Chem, Arthur Gillis CEO of Protea Hotels and Bernice Samuels, Chief Marketing Officer of FNB.
While the speakers came from different brands and industries, there were certain common themes emerging from the day. Firstly, great brands need great people to build them. Organisational culture is seen as one of the major contributors to a group’s success. Passion is another driver of success and franchisors look for that quality in employees and franchisees alike. All of these aspects only work in an environment where the franchisor and franchisees have an aligned vision and are both profitable. Franchising is still growing in South Africa and the success of the brands featured at this event show the power of franchising to create wealth, jobs and economic growth.