Filipino Success Stories: Pinoy Franchise Businesses Going International

Just when we thought local brands would only be patronised in our country, Pinoy-made products and services have become more and more appealing to foreigners nowadays. Philippine franchising businesses have reportedly contributed at least $11 billion in earnings for the past year. Indeed, these ventures have become no less a major export player in our country's economy.

But of course, this has not been an easy lane for local businesses. Though entrepreneurs are urged to take franchising as a path to international success, it is still highly recommended to build a solid brand in their land of origin. Business owners need to work on their branding strategies first.

Building reputation in any new market, especially overseas, involves first impressions — and sometimes, trials and errors. Some entrepreneurs even start off with cost-cutting measures such as choosing a virtual office over a leasing building space in order to place financial focus on expansion.

Nevertheless, here are some inspirational and awe-inspiring local brands who have made it victorious so far outside the Philippines:


Otherwise known as Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), this heavyweight fast-food chain has been embraced slowly by the Americans, Asians and Middle-Easterners. Jollibee, an American-style fast-food restaurant with a touch of Filipino taste, has around 872 stores worldwide by the end of 2012. Its very iconic red-and-yellow bumblebee mascot has graced the familiar places of the Philippines since the late 1970s.

Founder Tony Tan Caktiong took a successful dive in the international market with the hopes of making this corporation a global player. On another note, JFC currently owns other licensed brands such as the Chinese cuisine-inspired fast-food restaurant Chowking, the Pinoy franchise of America's Burger King, and the local pastry shop Red Ribbon.

Julie's Bakeshop

The Cebu-based bakeshop is one of the best examples of a Cinderella-kind of success story in terms of local entrepreneurship. The founder and determined matriarch Mrs. Julie Gandionco was battling with so many bakeshop chains in the Queen City of the South during the 80s — and as expected, it left her undaunted.

With so much hard work coupled with an uncanny business sense, Mrs. Gandionco has managed to put up a good name of her hard-earned business after 32 years. After entering the franchise scene, Julie's Bakeshop began establishing their reputation in the Indonesian market just last month—and the company is looking forward to infiltrating the rest of the Asian market soon.

Potato Corner

Potato Corner may be that familiar French fries stall in Philippine shopping centres, but did you know that it has been expanding its franchise worldwide? This well-loved food establishment has more than 200 locations outside the Philippines — from the United States of America to Lebanon.

Potato Corner started its journey in 1992 and has successfully produced 300 branches in the country as of today. Owned by Cinco Corporation, this company has now 30 stores in Indonesia and Panama. Middle East's prominent conglomeration, the Al-Humaizi group, was also reported to franchise this seemingly popular Pinoy brand.

At the end of it, it seems easy to infiltrate the global market with local brands. After all, millions of Filipinos are scattered worldwide — and they're definitely yearning for something from their motherland.

Despite the risks attached to such ventures, the process of franchising overseas is a fulfilling one. Plus, as the owner, you get to showcase Pinoy pride in the international limelight. This is certainly something fellow Filipinos would surely be proud of.

About the Author:
Regus PH is a branch of Luxembourg-based multinational corporation Regus. This company is one of the world's largest providers of serviced accommodation and business solutions. Their products include business centres, meeting rooms, office spaces and virtual offices. Regus PH currently serves Manila, Makati and Cebu City. To know more about them, visit their website.