Cebu is not just the center of business in the Visayas, it’s also the heart of franchising in the region. And for the last 12 years, thousands of people from all around the central Philippines—and even Mindanao—flock to the Queen City of the South to attend the Cebu Franchise Expo, which exhibits the top franchise concepts and businesses from outside Luzon and Manila.
[related|post]Curiously, neither a Cebuano nor a Filipino made Cebu a hotbed for franchising. The credit goes largely to an Austrian from Vienna, Rudolf A. Kotik, or “RK” to his friends (and hundreds of clients) across the Philippines.
Through his RK Franchise Consultancy and the Filipino International Franchise Association (FIFA), a nonprofit group composed mostly of his clients that he set up in 2005, Kotik has run the Cebu Franchise Expo since year 2000 and even the Mindanao Franchise Expo for six years, with its latest edition opening in Cagayan de Oro City this October 21 to 23.
By setting up shop in Cebu City starting in 1996 and concentrating in the VisMin region, the 52-year-old Kotik has helped over 400 Filipino companies start and grow their concepts, proving that business does thrive outside of Manila.
“I’ve been in franchising for my entire (professional) life,” says the genial Austrian, who earned a hotel and restaurant management degree in Vienna and a marketing degree in Munich, Germany, before he worked the franchising operations of “a worldwide leading fast-food chain” from 1978. He also became franchise director of a hotel chain from 1984, and a franchise development consultant from 1986.