THE crème de la crème of the franchising and licensing industry in Singapore were recognised and awarded at the annual regional Franchising and Licensing Association (FLA) Awards 2015 (Singapore) held at the Marina Mandarin hotel in October. The awards saw a 20% increase in entries with an upward trend in participants hailing from unconventional sectors, such as property, retail and health and fitness, even as veteran industries, such as F&B and education, remained strong in the franchising and licensing playing field.
Currently in its 11th year, the annual FLA Awards continues to provide a formidable platform for successful franchise concepts and businesses to be showcased in the international arena. It also serves as a national benchmark for franchise concepts aspiring to greater heights.
The awards comprises eight different categories that recognise and honour the various players in the industry — franchisors, licensors and franchisees. This year, the awards also saw the introduction of a new category — Franchise Executive of the Year, which recognises outstanding individuals behind the brands and received keen interest and substantial submissions.
Anytime Fitness bagged the top prize for two award categories, mainly top ‘Franchisor of the Year’ and ‘International Franchisor of the Year’, reflecting the growth and popularity of unconventional industries within the franchising and licensing scene. The round-the-clock gym’s success can be attributed to a business model that trains Anytime Fitness teams to be mutually accountable to deliver results by providing a high level of engagement in state-of-the-art, intimately sized facilities.
Since opening its first outlet in Singapore in 2013, Anytime Fitness has established 23 outlets locally and sold 85 outlets throughout the region in less than 18 months.
Maurice Levine, CEO and master franchisee, Anytime Fitness, said: “We are very proud to have been awarded overall ‘Franchisor of the Year’ and ‘International Franchisor of the Year’. That’s a clean sweep and positive sign for Anytime Fitness. We help fill a void in the franchise space by moving away from traditional sectors. Our franchisees love our business model — we’re changing lives and getting a return on emotional investment, which is very unique in franchise systems in Asia.”
At the same time, traditional industries like the F&B sector remained strong, with Louisiana-style eatery, Dancing Crab, being crowned the overall winner in the ‘Promising Franchisor of the Year’ category. Having adopted a franchise model that is manpower-lean, Dancing Crab has expanded to five locations, including Tokyo, Osaka and Bandung, with an outlet in Australia scheduled to open in 2016.
Said Norman Hartono, general manager, Dancing Crab: “Winning the overall ‘Promising Franchisor of the Year’ award was unexpected and it is a huge encouragement to know that we are heading in the right direction. When I began in this line, I did not know anything about franchising and licensing at all, but have FLA to thank for providing me with invaluable lessons to kick-start this journey.
“My advice to anyone looking to develop his or her brand into a franchise is to not give up. Singapore is a tough market but continue persevering and you can go anywhere in the world.”
Donna Lee, chair, FLA (Singapore), said: “The 2015 FLA Awards not only showcases success stories in the industry but also recognises outstanding achievers. The industry is expanding its reach and we are extremely pleased to see players in newer industries enter the franchising and licensing scene. As the industry continues to grow, we look forward to working with more businesses to help them successfully expand across markets and the region.”
Other winners include 7-Eleven, Kumon, Pezzo, Seoul Garden and ECG Property Services.