2016

Watch the 2016 Video Interviews with the speakers for an insight on what they spoke about

FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2016

‘Disrupt – the future of franchising’ was the focus of the fifth annual FNB Franchise Leadership Summit hosted in conjunction with Franchising Plus.

Finding the silver lining on a dark cloud was the task of FNB Chief Economist Sizwe Nxedlana. “While longer term prospects remain positive, before we get there we are going to have to endure some arduous times.” As to how bad things are at the moment, Nxedlana showed a graph demonstrating that according to FNB’s projections for the current five-year period, it would be the second-worst five-year period of average GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of the South African economy since the Second World War. It is surpassed only by the sanctions period of the late-80s and early-90s.

Carlo Gonzaga, Taste Holdings
Starbucks has elevated the use of social media to the extent that people ask, is it a technology company or a coffee one? In the US, for instance, 21% of people pay for their Starbucks order online compared to a national average of 7.2% using eCommerce for retail purchasing, according to US Department of Commerce figures.

Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings, described his two-year courtship of Starbucks to bring a touch of New York dazzle to Johannesburg, and soon the rest of the country. He was addressing the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2016, held on September 1 in Fourways, themed ‘Disrupt – the future of franchising’.

Toby Shapshak
Some of the cleverest innovations come out of Africa – out of sheer necessity.

Toby Shapshak, publisher and editor-in-chief of Stuff Magazine, addressing the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2016, said that in developed markets individuals had the choice to adopt new technologies or not, but not so in Africa. “In Africa, there is simply no viable alternative. I call this ‘frugal innovation’, which is the purest form of innovation and is quite different to a Silicon Valley innovator developing yet another app to order fast food.”

The FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2016 was held on September 1 in Fourways, themed ‘Disrupt – the future of franchising’.

Justice Malala

Living in Africa, for an Afro-optimist, offers endless opportunities to question one’s optimism.

For this reason, it is important to distance oneself from the political noise and identify what factors one should worry about, and which ones one shouldn’t, said Justice Malala, SA political commentator, newspaper columnist, author and presenter. He was addressing the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2016, held on September 1 in Fourways, themed ‘Disrupt – the future of franchising’.

Should owners of small businesses really be worrying about the Gupta’s, Nkandla’s #PayBacktheMoney, or even the performance of the DA and EFF in the local elections? – these are all red herrings to a businessman, said Malala.

Alon Lits, Uber
Alongside Airbnb, Uber has become a byword for disruptive technology. Any potential franchise system wanting to know how to break into and disrupt a mature market, needs look no further than Uber. It has set the template for innovation and thinking big.

Uber has famously responded to an accusation of unfair competition by the taxi industry by explaining that it didn’t see itself as an alternative to taxis, but rather saw itself as an alternative to car ownership.

Six challenges currently facing the franchising sector
Although franchising is one of the sectors that has shown resilience and continues to grow in this tough economic environment, it is still a business that may provide an element of risk to franchisees and franchisors.

Key questions to ask when buying a franchise
Franchising continues to be an attractive investment for entrepreneurs that want to play it safe and go with a tried and tested concept. In spite of that, even a proven business model still carries an element of risk for entrepreneurs that go in blindly without doing proper due diligence.

Mike Sharman

The more digital-savvy we become, the more we – as consumers – crave human interaction, explains Mike Sharman, co-founder of Retroviral.


2015/2016 was a globally, uninspiring year for digital marketing. Brands opted for safety - and in the South African context – took cover and clutched onto their budgets as political forces and their relevant,myopic decisions, slashed the value of our currency in a matter of hours. Even multi-nationals who budget against the US dollar couldn’t benefit, as these budgets were set at a fixed rate, or allocated to more ‘secure’ markets. A volatile nation, doth not well with investors sit.

Interest rates, the economy and franchising
There is little doubt that 2016 promises to be a difficult trading year. On a macro level, the world economy is taking strain with events like Brexit adding to uncertainty and financial woes. We can expect the Rand to devalue further, interest rates to rise, increased taxes and further job cuts. Additionally, the average consumer has maxed his credit limits and finds himself over extended and in severe debt. The prevailing drought will also hit the economy and consumers at various levels. Added to this, we are experiencing political uncertainty and a ratings downgrade is still looming.

Social Media and Franchising

Social media is no longer the new marketing kid on the block. The social media landscape is maturing, which means that the approaches and tactics that worked a few years ago may not be relevant.