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Franchise Highlight

Access to courier service providers

26 March 2018,

AT a time when parcels were the domain of businesses and consumers mainly went to postal offices for their delivery affairs, the opening of Mail Boxes Etc (MBE) in Malaysia was, in some ways, ahead of its time. But Brian Chow somehow deemed it appropriate to open up retail access for the local courier market then.

Newly returned from the US in 2001, Chow says the kind of accessibility between the courier guys and consumers was not yet available here.

“But I was used to the convenience of over-the-counter courier services in the US. When I came back here to work, I realised there wasn’t a place that I could go to for my courier needs. You had to go to the individual courier companies which were not very accessible. A lot of them were out of the way,” he says.

MBE’s principal business involves mailbox services, packaging, shipping, photocopying, and printing services, typically catering to local entrepreneurs and SMEs. Its outlets are often found in areas that are easily accessible to consumers such as shopping malls, petrol stations and shoplots. This enables consumers to have easy access to courier services and at the same time, provide courier service providers with retail access to consumers.

So six months into his job, Chow decided to court MBE and bring the franchise here. However, trying to convince an established company that he could manage and grow the MBE brand in Malaysia proved to be a challenge – he was a 21-year-old with no track record.

Negotiations took awhile and in that time, Chow had to prove that the Malaysian market was indeed ready for such a service.

“In the early 2000s, the e-commerce boom was already happening in the US. That was why MBE was successful there. I could see it eventually happening in Malaysia and there will be a need for a one-stop centre that provides courier access, packaging services and such,” he shares.

Chow finally obtained the franchise licence in 2003. He opened his first outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.

But his work was not as cut out as he’d thought it to be. Although MBE was a franchise business, its operations was not as straightforward as following the guide book. It needed a lot more localisation.

Read more at : https://www.thestar.com.my/business/smebiz/2018/03/26/access-to-courier-service-providers/