“The past few years have not been easy years to be in business – what with global political upheaval and an uncertain economic outlook. Having said that… I would rather be in business within a franchise system than be facing all these challenges on my own.”
This was how Naas Du Preez, outgoing Chairman of FASA for 2016 described the business environment when he handed over the Chairmanship baton of the Franchise Association of South Africa to Tony Da Fonseca, MD of the OBC Group at the association’s Annual General Meeting.
This came on the back of surprisingly positive survey results – both on the performance of the franchise sector – which contributes 11.6% to the country’s GDP through its 757 franchise systems (a 21% growth) and network of 31 111 franchisees (13% growth) and with turnover increasing by 6% from R465, 27 to R493, 19 billion rand – and more importantly on the high level of franchisee satisfaction (82%) recorded in a survey of its franchisees.
Tony Da Fonseca, FASA’s 2017/8 Chairman echoed those views, confirming the franchise sector’s ability to take tough economic times in its stride. “Joining a franchise does not guarantee success but common sense tells us that starting a business under the umbrella of a known brand, having access to tried and tested systems and procedures and enjoying the wide range of initial and ongoing support a bona fide franchise offers enhances a newcomer’s success chances tremendously. The well-known slogan, ‘to be in business for yourself but not by yourself’ sums it up nicely.”
“Taking charge of your future by starting your own business is the way to go. Because of the uncertain economic times, it is also a big step to take. Every business opportunity has an element of risk attached to it but investing in a well-chosen franchise is certainly a safer bet than going it on your own. Indeed, franchising has proven its resilience over the past six decades.”
On a personal level, overseeing the transformation of the OBC Chicken and Meat chain from a loose grouping of butcheries to a respected franchised retailer in the segment of daily necessities has brought home to me the power of franchising. I have also served on FASA’s Executive Committee for several years and feel honoured that my peers have entrusted me with the awesome responsibility of chairing this great organisation for 2017/18. I am determined to use my period in office to build on past achievements, enhance the franchise sector’s standing further and rally stakeholders around the objective of creating what the country needs most: new sustainable jobs through concepts and developments in social franchising that can contribute to positive changes in SA, etc..”
FASA’s AGM was well attended by a cross-section of members who gathered not only to take care of association business and the appointment of the FASA council and exco but hear about FASA’s newly introduced Employee benefits and Health Scheme for members and a presentation of a charity initiative called Rounda Mzanzi by Sipho Sizwe and Dawie Crous. Futurist Guy Lundy gave food for thought in his presentation on South Africa and the world towards 2020.
According to Guy Lundy, global political & financial instability leads to social changes in times of crisis, leading to:
- Increasing conservatism
- Social unrest
- Independent movements coming to the fore
- Regulation fascination
Whilst there are some misgivings on this new world order, this is balanced by the promise of a new wave of innovation that could lead to the next global economic boom. His closing quote sums it all up: “A positive future is not a spectator’s future but a participant’s future.”