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By The Weekly | August 17, 2016
How does one become an industry-leading franchisor that dominates 40 per cent of the market with 380 outlets and counting?
For former financial consultant Jerrene Pang, the first step was identifying the segment with the lowest capital commitment and barriers of entry: Food and beverage. Next, find a hot product that could command a captive market.
She turned to bubble teas, which were popular among consumers, but noticed there were none that were inspired by Malaysian cuisine. As a result, Coolblog was born – a take-away kiosk specialising in localised dessert drinks
that made it a unique offering in the market.
The formula worked so well that within a very short time of opening its first outlet in Johor Baru, Coolblog started turning a profit, and by the time the 10th store opened, other entrepreneurs were interested to be franchisees.
“The set-up costs were low and the return of investment was within six to nine months,” says Jerrene.
A critical success factor is that of its 1,500 employees, 90 per cent are female.
“To achieve great success, you need to hire great people and treat them right,” says Jerrene. “Female employees pay more attention to details, and are more meticulous and conscientious.”
Breaking further new ground, Jerrene got Coolblog to be certified halal by JAKIM, a first for a bubble tea chain.
“The certification allowed us to gain the trust and confidence of our customers,” she says.
Since then, the company has grown from strength to strength, expanding to Indonesia, making headway in Philippines and India, and selling 60 per cent of its stake to a local investor.
Never resting on her laurels, in March 2016, Jerrene launched Crepe Apps, a new brand to complement Coolblog and intends to introduce new products each quarter.
Text: Alexandra Wong
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