To manage exponential growth, you have to start by burning the ships!
Welcome to the 6th in the series of the annual FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2017, the theme of which this year was ‘Exponential Growth’ following on last year’s “Disrupting The Future of Franchising.

Ina Paarman - Ina Paarman Kitchen

Ina Paarman, the maker of South African spices and traditional recipes is not a franchise, but rather a case study in how to create value in a brand.

The inspiration behind the brand – though she is not the business leader – Ina Paarman presented a history of the iconic brand to the annual Franchise Leadership Summit 2017, held on November 16th. The theme of the conference was ‘Exponential Growth’.

“Our business is family owned, which is important because it means we have made each business decision for the right long-term reasons rather than to please shareholders. I learned more from my mother about business than you could ever learn from an MBA,” claimed Paarman.

Emma Sadleir

Social media has made its way into almost every aspect of life, particularly among the 18-25 age group which is the most active demographic on social media.

Even at this annual Franchise Leadership Summit 2017, held on November 16th, several of the profiled companies indicated social media was their primary platform for marketing, with RocoMamas founder Brian Altriche for instance saying if it were possible, he would spend 100% of his marketing spend on social media.

Brian Altriche - RocoMamas
The RocoMamas food franchise was the answer to owner and founder Brian Altriche’s dislike of obesity and concern over food choices for his children, much of which globally originates from the fast food sector. “Do what you like, but you can’t dress up a salad to look appetising for the younger generation.”

The RocoMamas story was presented at the annual FNB Franchise Leadership Summit 2017, held on November 16th. The theme of the conference was ‘Exponential Growth’. Altriche had spent some time in the US learning business and restaurant trends, and was appalled at the level of obesity, and the fact that people were accustomed to eating unhealthy, fake food. Yet people love burgers, and it remains the most popular fast food.

Gerry Thomas - Krispy Kreme

Once upon a time it was just Kentucky Fried Chicken and then McDonald’s, alongside the many USA based eateries in South Africa. In the last few years, there's been an outright invasion: Krispy Kreme is here. So is Burger King, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks among many others. Each plans on having hundreds of outlets, and many more US franchises have announced they're on their way.

Any shopping mall with claims to being upmarket has to have a floor devoted to global brands.

Simon Alston

A buy-in by a private equity firm has always been a debatable move by any growing business, though less so by a start-up business. It can be agonising for the entrepreneur of a successful business to sell anything from 25% to more than 50% of the business he laboured over, to take it to the next stage of its growth – and ‘corporatise’ it.

There are many benefits though, especially for any serial entrepreneur who wants a carefully plotted exit strategy from his or her business.

Jeff Zidel

Notwithstanding the rise of e-Commerce (which in South Africa makes up just one percent of retail expenditure compared to 11% in the US) shopping malls have “a bright future” said Jeff Zidel, Deputy Chairman: Fortress Income Fund, addressing the annual Franchise Leadership Summit 2017, held on November 16th. The theme of the conference was ‘Exponential Growth’.

“People talk of e-Commerce, but there is very little money in it if consumers, for instance, return apparel bought online, with all the costs involved. In fact, this might even work more to the advantage of franchises in malls, if people return goods in person and buy in store.”

Mike Vacy-Lyle

Key insights from the 2017 FNB Franchising Leadership Summit


South Africa’s exponential franchises took centre stage at the 6th edition of the annual FNB Franchising Leadership Summit held recently at Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg. 

Anita du Toit

By Anita du Toit

The term “exponential organisation” was coined when the book Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail was published.  It focuses on a new breed of organisation that is better, faster and cheaper than traditional organisations.  Examples include Uber and Airbnb, and it’s fitting that the theme of this year’s Franchise Leadership Summit is “Exponential Growth” as it builds on last year’s theme of the disruption caused by these exponential organisations.

Morne Cronje
Over the past four years the franchising sector has displayed resilience, consistently growing its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9.7% in 2014 to its present contribution of 13.3% - an upward trend that is most likely to continue despite the lackluster economy.


The current growth of 13.3% is broken down by the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) as follows:

The largest franchise system is the Fast Foods and Restaurant category (25%). The Retail sector at 15% is the next biggest, followed by the Building, Office, and Home Services sector at 13%. Similar in size are Childcare, Education and Training and Automotive Products and Services (9% each), and Health, Beauty and Body Culture at 8%. The other categories are 5% and smaller.