A CEBU-BASED franchise consultancy firm has partnered with a Middle Eastern capitalist to create a franchise firm that will help investors build their franchise businesses in the Middle East.

RK Franchise Consultancy Inc. founder Rudolf Kotik has collaborated with businessman Ahmed Alarfaj to create a franchise firm called Franaccess to assist investors in finding the right master franchise and help them with the legal aspects of the franchise business.

Kotik said they spend at least one to three weeks a month in different areas in the Middle East to market the franchising business and meet with potential clients.

The Middle East, he said, is the next big destination for Filipino brands to grow.

Countries where franchising has a huge potential are those in the Gulf territory—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates—which are also home to many overseas Filipino workers, he noted.

Filipino food brands (except those products with pork) are the most in-demand for franchise in the Middle East. About 90 percent of the inquiries by foreign capitalists are food businesses that are making it big in the Philippines.

Aside from the huge concentration of Filipinos in the Middle East, foreign capitalists target the locals as the main buyers of Filipino-made products.

“It has nothing to do with Filipino market. It’s for the local domestic market there,” he noted, adding that aside from food, franchise businesses that are related to beauty are also gaining interest among these foreign investors.

Five Filipino brands are in the process of completing their franchise system for Middle East, namely, The Reading Station, YTC Tutorial Services, Vivi Facial, Nails.Glow, and Mr. Softy Ice Cream.

The Philippines has some 1,500 local and foreign franchise brands and leads the franchise industry in Southeast Asia, according to the Philippine Franchise Association. It estimates that there are about 140,000 franchise outlets that have generated over a million jobs in the country.