With a population of over 101 million, a young, English speaking population and a central geographic location that is just a three-hour plane ride to major ASEAN capitals, the Philippines has become the franchise hub of Asia. Five things set the Philippines apart when it comes to franchising:
1. A young population
The Philippines has one of the youngest populations in Asia, with a median age of 23 years old. About 62 percent of the population is at working age, placing the country at a demographic ‘sweet spot’ and giving brands a large potential base of consumers. Over 33 million Filipinos are under 14 years old, which means concepts that target kids as well as educational and enrichment franchises have a strong potential to tap this market.
2. 24/7 market
With a growing Business Processing Outsourcing sector, the Philippines has a 24/7 market which has driven the growth of convenience stores, 24-hour food establishments and service sectors that cater to them.
3. 10 million international Filipinos
Around 10 percent of the population live and work internationally, and Overseas Filipino Workers remit over $27 billion back to the Philippines every year. This creates a huge market given a strong segment that is exposed to and seeks out international brands.
4. Well-developed franchise market
With over 1,500 franchise brands (35 percent foreign, 65 percent local), a diverse franchise sector (44 percent food, 27 percent retail, 26 service, three percent education) and an average of almost 100 outlets per franchisor, the Philippines is one of the most developed franchise markets in Asia.
5. Highest number of Certified Franchise Executives (CFE) in Asia
The CFE is a mark of excellence & professionalism in franchising and with the Philippines investing in constant education, it now has the highest number of CFEs in Asia, giving people a large potential franchise workforce for both Philippine and Asian expansion. This has led to the rise of many international franchise brands using the Philippines as a regional hub for both franchising and training.
Franchising in the country enjoys a 90-percent success rate, thanks to an industry well supported by an ecosystem of services. Banks provide both franchisors and franchisees loans, the government provides training and support for SMEs and an established Philippine Franchise Association that guides members to abide by fair franchising standards. In addition, international franchise consultants, lawyers and franchise-matching companies are available to assist foreign brands that plan to enter the Philippines or expand across the region.
With the ASEAN Economic Community in full swing, and a rapidly integrating region, the time to expand into Asia is now, and the Philippines can serve as a perfect hub for regional expansion.
This article was originally published by Entrepreneur Philippines