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Making it big in Metro Manila

Thinking of setting up in Metro Manila? First consider pricing, distance and support before making that move.
By Mishell M. Malabaguio |

Some franchise businesses that started outside Metro Manila – like Plato Wraps, Colette’s, Buns and Pizza, Kuya Chito’s Takuyaki and Wrap it Up! have conquered the big city, while some others remain wary of making such a move.

Rudolf Kotik, founder of RK Franchise Consultancy, says that regardless of the location whether province-based or in Metro Manila, the mechanics of the franchising are the same. The difference is making adjustments when province-based franchise companies explore Metro Manila, and vice versa.

Kotik makes an interesting observation: It is easier to bring a franchise company from the provinces to Manila than vice versa. Kotik, whose company has helped over 350 franchises, says that Manila-based franchises have to do a lot of study of the provincial community for it to thrive in that locality.

It is a different story, however, for province-based companies going to the big city. According to Kotik, all of the franchise brands he has helped break into the Manila market are doing well.


Another important point Kotik makes: provincial franchising, in general, is thriving. Armando Bartolome, president of GMB Franchise Developers Inc., agrees. The success rate of provincial franchising, according to Bartolome, is much better, given the high availability of location, and lower rental rates in the provinces.

In addition, he notes that because of close business and family ties in the provinces, better communication and strong business networks are easier to come by in these places.


Franchise companies typically go through a multi-stage expansion: local, regional and then national. They usually saturate a local market first, before moving on to other places.

Franchising consultants Kotik and Bartolome, however, believe that many Philippine provinces to date are underserved, and therefore present more opportunities for expansion than the Metro Manila market, where competition is already very tight.

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