KARACHI: The country needs to have strong implementation of code of conduct, fair trading legislation, intellectual property rights and viable tax rates to attract investor and increase employment.

This was stated by Saad Amanullah Khan, the key-note speaker at Dawn’s Franchise Exhibition and Conference held on Wednesday.

In his riveting presentation ‘Franchising – A tested model of economic development’, the former president of American Business Council and CEO Gillette Pakistan dispelled the notion that education would lead to prosperity.

“Lot of people say that education will save Pakistan but will it happen without economic development,” he questioned.

“Its education along with strong institutions, fairness and value-driven behaviour and economic vision and strategies that lead to development funds and effective grassroots business model,” he said.

He said that poverty alleviation was possible only when growth touched the masses. “Globally, local entrepreneurs and SMEs represent the backbone of economic activity. In Pakistan’s case too, it’s the SME that would save the country”.

Highlighting the positives of franchising, he said it allows a person to bank on a brand name and further enhances the image of a business, besides reducing failure risks.

“Pakistan is the 27th largest economy of the world in terms of purchasing power. With over 30 million Internet users and an expected 50m cell phone users in the next five years, the country with a population of 187m people offers an excellent opportunity for franchising,” said Rafiq Rangoonwala, president, Pakistan Food Association.

In his presentation ‘Franchising for Pakistan’, Rangoonwala touched upon the successes of local business including the OPTP, Student Biryani, Arena and Servis where one unit operation was successfully shifted to a wider network.

On the subject of building a franchising brand, president Marketing Association of Pakistan Masood Hashmi said that if one wanted to take a brand across a wider audience, “then one must be strong”. He added that trustworthiness was important in building brands.

Franchising is not only viable for patrimony but “can also act as an occupational therapy for bored housewives,” said Anila Haq, president FranCorp FCI International.

Giving a round up of the services offered by her firm, she stressed that for a partnership between the franchisor and franchisee to become feasible, ‘everything must be signed within the framework of law’.

Other speakers on the occasion included Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Foreign Investment Waseem Vohra, Allied School and Resource Academia’s Dr Shahid Mehmood,  International Preschool Curriculum’s Maliha Ahad, Sage Consultant’s Sohaib Alvi, CEO 14th Street Pizza Tanveer Yousaf, Arena Multimedia Arshad Khalil and Brands Just Pret’s Somaya Adnan.

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