Themed “Disrupting the future of franchising”, the summit focused on how the concept of disruption is changing the business landscape, not only in South Africa, but also across the globe.
While disruption aims to break traditional stereotypes in the business world, it also presents opportunities in tough economic times when consumers struggle to make ends meet and are constantly looking for value for money.
“Key insights shared by Alon Lits, md of Uber and Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings, amongst other thought leaders, on how their individual brands had been able to succeed in the South African franchise market, clearly demonstrated that ‘Disruption’ is no longer just a buzz word, but can be quite instrumental in helping franchise businesses to grow.”
Lits shed light on how Uber had actively come into the South African market and leveraged technology and innovation to disrupt a well-established and competitive meter taxi franchise industry. The business has now taken a further step, and is planning to launch a new service known as ‘Uber Eats’, where a variety of food offerings from different restaurants would be offered to consumers through its app.
Gonzaga demonstrated a brilliant example of how innovation and strategy can best work together, as he unpacked how the group had overcome a number of challenges to launch two international franchise brands in the country, Dominos and Starbucks, within two years. Taste Holdings successfully entered into a partnership with Starbucks to open stores across South Africa, placing significant pressure on the local coffee market to innovate and review their offerings. The winners are customers, who are getting great value for their money.
A key takeout from the summit was the importance of technology as a driver of innovation and disruption, through its ability to influence how consumers view and interact with brands. Disruptive innovations are increasingly being driven through technology eg online banking, social media, apps, online ordering, and cloud computing.
“The future certainly looks bright for franchise business owners that openly embrace the disruptive forces of innovation and technology, in order to keep up with competitors and constantly remain relevant to customers,” concludes Cronje.