Aug 5, 2006

Mahathir Suggests Malay-Chinese Joint Venture To Franchise Satay

Extracted from BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dislikes many things about the United States, but one aspect seems to grab his attention when he was in power -- the American franchise business philosophy.

Motivated by the American concept, which helped spur economy, create new business opportunities and wealth, Dr Mahathir introduced franchising in Malaysia during the early 90s.

Among the franchised projects was the failed Satay Ria project.

"We started a Satay (Ria) restaurant, we had a central kitchen, three different types of gravy but some how we failed. We failed to franchise satay," he said in his keynote address at the Franchise International Malaysia 2006 Exhibition and Conference here Saturday.

Sounding a little disappointed, Dr Mahathir said he presented the idea to the Malay Chamber of Commerce and urged them to franchise the satay business.

"They (the chamber) thought ordinary satay is not presentable and they wanted it to be the size of a steak, with two skewers on one satay.

"I even persuaded an Indian business friend who had a building along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to make it available for Satay Ria.

"But somehow it failed, it was not popular for some reason. May be the satay was too big for the mouth...," he said in jest.

Now, he urges Chinese businessmen to venture into franchising satay business.

"The Chinese have never really taken an interest on satay franchising. May be a joint venture between the Chinese and Malays will be a good start.

"Today in Malaysia the Chinese do sell Malay food and the Malays sell Chinese food like the yong tau foo, so teaming up is one way how to do business," he said.

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