BERNAMA – 8th APRIL 2016
SPECIALITY…D’Tandoor Putrajaya’s speciality dish, the 24-hour roasted whole leg of lamb called Raan Srikandi unveiled at the launch of its new menu on March 30, 2015. Pic: Mahyudin Mohamad foto BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) — Malaysian franchisors planning to venture abroad must always think outside the box, says founder of D’Tandoor Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Datuk Abdul Malik Abdullah.
“You need to know what your customers want. It’s not easy to maintain your brand, but customers will pay for new things,” he said at a seminar on Enhanced Franchise Development programme (EFDP) organised by the Malaysian External Development Corporation (MATRADE) recently.
INNOVATIVE…Founder and Managing Director of D’Tandoor Datuk Abdul Malik Abdullah (second left) with Deputy Secretary General of Tourism Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah when launching the new D’Tandoor menu in conjunction with My Fest 2015 in Putrajaya last year. Pic: Mahyudin Mohamad. foto BERNAMA
“Always innovate and don’t stick to one. From time to time, improve your product with creative ideas to stay relevant. It’s a tough challenge,” added Abdul Malik, who is also Managing Director of D’Tandoor International Group of Restaurants.
He said the company started as a conventional restaurant in Malaysia, but due to lack of manpower and resources, it decided to venture into franchising. “We started as a family business and have been running it professionally as we grow. The fastest to grow is franchising.”
D’Tandoor had its beginning in 1984 when Penang-born Abdul Malik, started working in a Northern Indian Restaurant, Shezan in Subang Jaya. After working in Shezan, he was given the trust to manage Shikara, which had outlets in Bangsar and Petaling Jaya but had to be closed later due to the economic slowdown.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (fourth right) during a visit to MarryBrown’s exhibition booth after opening the Franchise International Malaysia 2015 at the PWTC. Pic: Muhammad Zulhilmi Daud fotoBERNAMA
He later joined Kelab Aman for four years from 1986 to 1990 which was considered the platform for Abdul Malik and his wife Mumtaz Begum Mohd Sidek, to open their own restaurant and face the real challenges.
In 1990, he decided to migrate to Sydney, to look for better opportunities and fresh ideas to be brought back and implemented in Malaysia. While he was there, he did the Diploma Course in Business Management.
In 1993, Abdul Malik returned to Malaysia and opened the first D’Tandoor Restaurant in Damansara Utama with cofounder, Tan Hun Kim. Since then, d’Tandoor has become the pioneer and a household name in Malaysia, with outlets overseas.
“We had gone through hardship in business but today, we are proud to say that D’Tandoor Malaysian Restaurant is the biggest North Indian Restaurant chain in Malaysia,” says D’Tandoor on its website.
International restaurants of D’Tandoor are available in Perth, Sydney, New Zealand, Damam and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Cambodia and upcoming international restaurants include Mauritius, Jakarta and Abu Dhabi.
It is planning to expand its outlets in every major state in Malaysia and is also looking into China, Dubai and Khazakhstan.
BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT
D Tandoor restaurants are well recognised, with 18 branches worldwide and are still growing strong. Australian Times had voted the restaurant as the Best North Indian Restaurant in Perth.
The MFA awarded D’Tandoor as the Most Promising Franchisor in 2005. In the same year, the Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) awarded Abdul Malik as the Entrepreneur of the Year for his contribution in boosting Australia-Malaysia ties.
In 2009/2010, D’Tandoor was awarded the Best Malaysian Indian Restaurant in Malaysia, by Malaysia Tourism Awards from the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia in the year 2009/2010. Putrajaya’s D Tandoor won the Indian Restaurant category for Innovative Restaurant at the Malaysia Tourism Awards (MTA) 2014/2015 recently.
“We had gone through hardship in business but today, we are proud to say that D’Tandoor Malaysian Restaurant is the biggest North Indian Restaurant chain in Malaysia,” says D’Tandoor, which also provides catering services to its customers.
D’Tandoor also serves Arabic food and fast food such as Samurai and Tandoori burgers. The Putrajaya restaurant has at least 20 types of naan bread and its speciality dish is the 24-hour roasted whole leg of lamb called Raan Srikandi, which can serve six to eight people.
On the Australian market, Abdul Malik noted that doing business for new players was tough and costly, advising them to do their homework and learn the shortcut. “Experience is the best teacher. With know-how, experience and contacts, you become smarter,” he noted.
Franchising and Field Services Manager of halal fast food restaurant chain, MarryBrown Sdn Bhd, Kairul Azman said franchisors must first study the need in the markets and their culture before venturing into a new market.
“You need to find out how best your franchise can be marketed in the country.The location and distance will reflect the cost. Factor in language barriers and printing costs for brochures too,” he said.
Others include marketability of products and services. Kairul cited spicy food products, for instance, would not guarantee success in American and British markets.
Franchisors also need to study access of raw materials, human resource requirements and they must be prepared to comply with regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he said.
He said foreign governments’ policies were reflected in their legislations. “Some adopt a positive attitude toward franchisors, and there are also those which impose restrictions on certain type of business and operation,” he added.
An international strategy should also be developed for those planning to expand their franchise business overseas. Solid market research, intellectual property rights protection, choosing the right partnership and regular monitoring and reviewing of international operations, are key elements.
“A global strategy is needed to develop international brands. It’s not easy. We had difficulties in Africa in 2008. Transferring of information, equipping locals with enough skills and ensuring our team is strong were part of the challenge. It took us almost four years to position them before they could run on their own,” said Kairul.
MarryBrown, which started in Johor Baharu in 1981, now operates more than 350 international outlets serving fried chicken, burgers, finger food, desserts, and beverages aside from serving Malaysian local dishes.
It currently has 148 outlets in Malaysia and plans to increase to 200 outlets by the second quarter of this year.