By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines
Franchising allows you to escape the “corporate world” and become an entrepreneur that creates jobs and creates wealth. It’s not always easy, but the rewards both financially and emotionally are immeasurable.
Owning over 60 branches of The Generics Pharmacy (TGP), Roderick Battung has not only proven to be a very successful franchisee, he has also generated hundreds of new jobs. I interviewed him to get his thoughts and share his words of advise to people thinking of entering franchising.
Roderick was an employee of pharmaceutical companies such as Glaxo Smith Klein & Xeno Pharmaceuticals before he decided to “get out of the corporate world.” He wanted to augment his income as well as help provide employment for friends & relatives, so he naturally turned to franchising.
Like most potential franchisees, he started looking at various industries from food, water refilling stations and gas stations. But after a long search, he decided to go into The Generics Pharmacy because he “saw the potential of the Pharmaceutical Retailing Industry and also felt the sincerity of Mr. Ben Liuson (owner of TGP) in helping the franchisees.” He also adds that “the Business concept has a ‘heart’ and it caters mostly to low income earners, so I saw great potential in this business”
Decisiveness is key in business, and especially when you are franchising a brand that you just know will do well. “One day, a TGP Franchisee (Jojo Macua), who was working at our Pharma Company that time, showed me his drugstore located in Tondo. I was amazed to learn that he has more than 1 branch and was managing it while working. He intimated that aside from profits, the smile they bring to customers buying low-priced medicines gives him much joy. Immediately, I asked my mother to spare me a space in her rented place in our hometown. Jojo, helped me accomplish the application at TGP. In a few weeks, the approval came. We immediately recruited a pharmacist, started renovation of the site, and prepared our staff.”
From the first store, he opened numerous branches in Cagayan Valley. And when he heard about a franchisee selling few of her branches in Laguna, he immediately grabbed the opportunity. From there he’s expanded to , Ilocos Region, Laguna, Leyte, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Agusan Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur and Davao City.
Being in a franchise that has a very well advertised brand name, steady supply of stocks and low-priced products that caters to many Filipinos in the province, Roderick has truly enjoyed his franchise experience with TGP. But of course there are also challenges, so for would be franchisees, he has a few pieces of advise:
Go into a business you know and love
You must be willing to do your share and not rely only on the Franchisor. Use your time and energy and talent and capability to make the business grow. Success is not automatic, nor assured! You need to put good business sense into it.
Choose a Franchisor you can trust. One who genuinely seeks after your welfare, wanting you to succeed, and not just interested with your Franchisee Fee or purchase of their products
Franchising has helped Roderick transform from being an employee to being an employer, become more aware of economic conditions of many Filipinos, especially in the remote areas, and most especially have more time for family and religious activities. And when asked whether it has been profitable for him and if he plans to open more stores, he gives an emphatic “Yes!”