2 October – New Straits Time Online
YANGON: Malaysia’s franchise industry has secured a strong foothold in the emerging Myanmar market, particularly in the food and beverage (F&B) sector. Among the franchise brands that have made inroads into the country include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Marry Brown, Manhattan Fish Market and Secret Recipe. Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA) committee member Christopher Tay said the Myanmar market only opened up to the world about four years ago, and can still be considered a land of abundant untapped business opportunities. Crediting Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) for organising the annual Malaysia Services Exhibition (MSE) and Showcase Malaysia 2015 in Yangon, Tay said the benefits from investing in Myanmar, especially in F&B, are rewarding. “There is a lot to learn from the unique Myanmar business culture, and the market is still at its infancy. MSE has established a platform for Malaysian companies to do business here,” he said when met at the exhibition booth in Tatmadaw Hall. He said the F&B business is the easiest type of operation to start in franchising, as it is guided by a proven system and standard operating procedures. Tay said the Myanmar business fraternity was receptive to doing international business, especially from Malaysia, due to its high quality products and systematic approach. The country’s infrastructure has also improved alot over the last two years, providing a conducive environment for Malaysian franchise representatives to run businesses. Tay, who is also executive director of Bangi Coffee Shop International Sdn Bhd, said the company would make use of MSE to scout for potential Myanmar partners. Its core business, known as Bangi Kopitiam, hopes to share the Malaysian food culture in a coffee shop environment with the Myanmar people. “Malaysian food is not something new to the Myanmar people as many of them have travelled to our country,” he added. Tay hopes to open an inaugural Bangi Kopitiam outlet in Myanmar next year.