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PR Gaz Haus ready to invade Metro Manila

First and only LPG franchiser in RP sets aggressive expansion binge
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After acquiring a big refilling plant in Pasig City, PR Gaz Haus is now well-positioned to compete head-on with the major suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Metro Manila. It has initially set its sights on establishing at least 60 more stores in the country's metropolitan capital in 2010.

"We plan to put up five stores a month in Metro Manila. It would be a mix of company-owned and franchised outlets," Siu Ping C. Par, PR Gaz Haus Holdings Inc. chief operating officer for franchising, told Entrepreneur.

Over the next five years, the company's target is to put up 500 new stores. It has bought the refilling plant of Caltex in Brgy. Bagong Ilog, Pasig City, which has a capacity to support 300 stores.

The company--which exclusively sells its own brand of LPG--currently has 93 stores in the Luzon area, 61 of them company-owned, and the rest belonging to franchisees. Only 13 of these branches, however, are located in Metro Manila. The rest are scattered in Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Laguna and Cavite. It also has LPG refilling plants in Pangasinan, Zambales and Cavite.

"We started in the provinces and enjoyed the lower operating cost while we were still perfecting the business," Par said.

Relatively new company with sizeable customer base
PR Gaz Haus started as a wholesaler in 2001 and went into retail in 2003. In 2004, with the help of Francorp Philippines, the company started offering the business concept to franchisees.

The company has steadily built a client base of about 160,000 households over the years. Par said PR Gaz Haus accomplished this through superb customer service. She said while other companies give after-sales service, PR Gaz Haus has put up a team to respond to distress calls of households even if they are using other brands.

"We are the first in the industry to give free pre-sales services. We give free stove cleaning, free stove checkup, free repair and free delivery. They can call us anytime and our technical guys will respond. Even the fire departments in some areas ask us for help because they know that LPG is our expertise," Par said.

The country's first LPG franchiser
PR Gaz Haus, the first and still the only LPG franchiser in the country, charges a franchise fee of P150,000 for a five-year contract. The whole franchise package costs about P1.2 million and includes training, inventory for three days, software, renovation, signages, and two tricycles for delivery.

Par said franchisees can recover their investment in two-and-a-half to three years. Some of their franchisees, she said, are selling up to 95 cylinders per day.

A franchise store should be located on a secondary road within a community. "It is very important for the franchisee to be hands-on. He should also be committed to the business and should share the values of PR Gaz Haus, particularly honesty in dealing with the customers," she added.

The franchise concept, she noted, is viable because it is already a tested business model with proven operational procedures. The company also gives regular support such as free delivery of inventory to the stores. A franchise auditor and officer visit the branches twice a month to determine the areas that need improvement. And most of all, PR Gaz Haus offers a guaranteed profit margin.

"And of course, the business is attractive because LPG is a necessity. The consumers really need it," Par said.

PR Gaz Haus' office address is Retelco Drive, Brgy. Bagong Ilog, Pasig City It can be reached through (632) 5717771, sppar@prgazhaus.com, and www.prgazhaus.com.

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