Red flags to watch out for when steering the future of franchising

Paying attention to red flags and getting perspectives from economists, strategists and scenario planners on how recent events can play out in the future is tantamount to being able to see the way forward in the franchise sector.

Some of South Africa’s leading experts will review, analyse and recommend various scenarios so that you can plan the best way forward for yourself and your franchisees as well as your suppliers.  Everyone in your business from staff member, to franchisee, and supply chain plays an important role to a thriving economy.



Giving you a front-row seat to hear his latest scenario planning will be Clem Sunter whose new book – Thinking the Future, written with Mitch Ilbury and launched this July – contains two scenarios for South Africa’s future:  People’s Economy or Cautionary Tale.

The People’s Economy scenario is all about opening up our economy to a new generation of young entrepreneurs all over South Africa; whereas the Cautionary Tale scenario is a story of increasing unrest leading to total anarchy.

According to Clem Sunter “every decision we make is a decision about the future. We constantly make choices that affect the next week, year, or decade but get blinded by what we want or expect the future to be. Cognitive traps lie everywhere: failing to question our assumptions; believing in greater certainty and personal control than life allows, or missing signals because we’re distracted by the noise.”

The post-2020 world demands a revolutionary way of looking ahead, and in these unpredictable times, the key to good futures thinking is good thinking.

The goal of constructive futurism is not to forecast specific events, but to plot a series of scenarios that show what could happen. Consequently, we can work towards the future we want, avoid the ones we don’t and be prepared to manage the risks and opportunities no matter what.

Pulling out of pandemic fatigue

Insights from Frans Van der Colff, Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and a stalwart in retail franchising, includes a snap poll that hints that South Africans are becoming increasingly pandemic fatigued.

As the country returns to an adjusted Level 3 but with the prediction that we may not escape another wave of infections later this year, the dipstick may indicate a greater social and economic hangover that could last beyond Covid-19.

This sentiment is shared by economists like Miyelani Malulani, Absa’s Macro-economist who believes that, like the rest of the world, our economy is taking strain and a post COVID-19 recovery will take as long as five years but if we all work together to build an inclusive economy that stimulates business opportunities that in turn create jobs, South Africa can recover and prosper.

Jacki Mpondo-Hendricks, CEO of the South African United Business Confederation, a speaker at FASA’s Conferences believes that now more than ever, businesses need to be ready for the various challenges facing our economy and have the agility to adapt.

“We need to recover, regroup and then collectively focus on key areas to unlock the potential in opportunistic growth sectors, optimise the international value chains and embrace the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) through broad-based inclusion.”

The pandemic globally has put into focus the fact that we all, wherever we are in the world, are living a shared destiny and our recovery will depend on everyone playing their part in the revival of the economy.

Franchising has a role to play

As a sector that contributed almost 14% to the country’s GDP in 2019 franchising needs to regroup to ensure that it fully recovers ready for even greater growth in the future.

“This is the first conference to disseminate franchise and business performance since the pandemic and the first to set its sights on a meaningful recovery” says Pertunia Sibanyoni, FASA’s Chairperson.

Even those retailers hardest hit by the recent riots have not lost their fighting spirit and have come together as one to ensure that business in South Africa recovers and continues to service all sectors of the community.

Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick n Pay who will be interviewed at the FASA virtual franchise conference states quite clearly. “There is no time for more talk shops.”

We need to roll up our sleeves and work together to build SA, its people and the economy.”

Echoing that is Tony da Fonseca, CEO, OBC Group and past FASA Chairman who believes that franchising is represented by the strength of the collective and highlights the importance of partnerships, which, if harnessed in the right way, can help us overcome this crisis.

“We have always known that the franchise business format works in good times and now we must all prove that it will also work during the challenging times. I believe franchising can do this and that we will bounce back stronger from this.”


The Franchise Association’s virtual conference taking place on the 25 & 26th August 2021 could not have come at a more crucial time as the business sector reels from not only the extended pandemic but more recently from the devastating fall-out from the recent riots.

Everyone in business – whether directly affected or not – will feel the long-term effects of recent events as businesses try to claw their way back to profitability.

FASA’s virtual event on 25 & 26 August  the online networking event is for franchisors, entrepreneurs, business owners, aspiring franchisees and people looking to supply the franchise sector.  From start-ups to growing businesses and people who are looking for business opportunities. Let’s build South Africa together.


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