International Franchise Research Conference Best Ever

Over 60 academics from 16 countries came together this week at the University of NSW to share findings on a wide range of franchise research topics spanning marketing, legal, HR and economic issues. The Franchise Relationships Institute was pleased to be a sponsor of this 24th International Society of Franchising Conference (ISoF) which attendees agreed was the best ever held. In addition to rigorous discussion and the presentation of some ground breaking studies, we all had a ball.

At the opening dinner, Greg Nathan played the guitar and was joined by a talented waiter in the restaurant, who entertained participants with some excellent singing and led a singalong of Australian songs!

As part of the program Greg also facilitated a panel on "Franchising in South East Asia" with a diverse team of representatives from China, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia and India. Each of these countries has a unique approach to franchising shaped by cultural, political, market and economic forces. It was a fascinating discussion where we learned that:

  • Vietnam has the youngest population in the word with a vibrant emerging franchising sector, since legislation a few years ago gave more certainty to the market.
  • While China has a population 350 times the size of New Zealand, its franchising sector is only three time the size. But China's franchising sector is continuing to grow with some Chinese home grown franchise concepts now expanding internationally.
  • Malaysia is beating its franchise expansion targets relating to its government sponsored franchising program.
  • As the Indian middle class continues to grow franchising is providing multiple opportunities at the business and consumer levels to meet growing demand for goods and services, especially in the education space.

This will be the fourth time FRI has participated in these International Society of Franchising Conferences. Last year in France we presented a paper on Psycho-Social Predictors of Franchisee Performance. As part of FRI's charter, we will continue to contribute resources to conducting and fostering quality research in the franchising sector.

Thanks to Lorelle Fazer (Griffith University), Jenny Buchan (University of NSW) and Liz Spencer (Bond University) for organising such a fantastic event. The next ISoF conference will be held in Boston.

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