Asia's Largest Licensing Show Attracts 23,000 Visitors
 
JCN Newswire
Jan 09, 2019
Category:

Record Attendance as Hong Kong Creativity Goes on Show

HONG KONG, Jan 9, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 17th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show, the world's second-largest and Asia's largest event of its kind, drew to a successful close today. The three-day fair (7-9 Jan) attracted a record attendance of more than 23,000 visitors from about 100 countries and regions. The event ran concurrently with the eighth Asian Licensing Conference (7-8 Jan), featuring some 30 speakers from renowned brands and global licensing experts.

Rapid Market Growth Drives Industry Forward

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said the shifting economics of global manufacturing have created challenges for industry players, with issues such as increasing protectionism and the transition to e-tailing leading many businesses to begin exploring licensing opportunities in a bid to move up the value chain.

Ms Fong noted that the licensing industry has been showing an upward trend, with global sales of licensed products reaching US$271 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.3% on the previous year. The regional story was even more impressive, with sales growing by 5.8% to US$31.6 billion and accounting for 11.6% of the world total. She added that the Mainland China market showed an increase of 10.3%, topping the world growth chart and continuing to be a significant driver of the global licensing industry.

Conference Unveils New Esports and Content Licensing Opportunities

Nancy Jiang, General Manager, Licensing, iQIYI, said: "iQIYI started business running an online video platform. We widened our business scope to develop our own content properties and build our own licensing business out of them. Our flagship competition show - The Rap of China - features the street culture of Mainland China. It has become a cultural icon of the country and the IP is generating licensing revenue for iQIYI."

Jai Wu, Head of LPL Merchandise & Licensing, Riot Games China, explained that Mainland China is now the largest esports market globally - and still rising. The mainland had 250 million esports users in 2018, after esports revenue totalled US$760 million in 2017. "We have launched a wide variety of licensing programmes, including comics, novels and a reality TV show. We are developing our esports business through cross-platform and cross-sector cooperation," said Mr Wu.

DTR (Direct-to-Retail) Talk Connects Exhibitors to Retailers

The DTR (Direct-to-Retail) Talk sessions, where successful retailers in Asia shared their IP sourcing needs and requirements for licensing cooperation, debuted at this year's conference. Amanda Yuen, Senior Manager Marketing Department Hanshin Department Store Co. Ltd, said: "Online shopping is growing fast, and in order to bring online consumers back to offline, we run activities every festive season, and cooperation with licensed characters is an effective strategy. In the past, licensing cooperation was usually led by brand owners and retailers had little say. By joining the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, we can assume a proactive role in finding partners and we have identified an interesting Hong Kong character brand for further discussion."

European Brands Come to Tap Asian Markets

First-time exhibitor MotoGP's Licensing Director of Commercial Department, Phaedra Haramis, said: "Licensing has helped transform our event IP into a lifestyle brand, which is more sustainable. MotoGP events are staged in different parts of the world, with a strong presence Europe, Japan and Thailand. This is my first time to take part in the show and I feel excited that it opens the door to huge licensing opportunities. Through the business-matching service, I am glad to be lined up with apparel manufacturers from Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam."

Another debut exhibitor at the European Lifestyle Brand Forum, Chupa Chups, is a Spanish candy brand with 60 years' history. Licensing Area Manager Marta Ballesteros Codina said: "We have actively developed a cross-border licensing business for promoting the fun and playful image of Chupa Chups. Results at the show are very encouraging. We have located apparel manufacturers from Australia and Mainland China to further exploring collaboration."

Local Creative Talents Expand Business Network

"Amid strong competition, forming partnerships through licensing is the key to grow any business," said Victor Lam, Managing Director of Hong Kong exhibitor Active Works Company Limited. "We met with a Korean artist-cum-brand owner who was attracted to our cute Puzzle Bear IP through the show's business-matching service. As both parties have our own IPs and strong licensing and marketing teams, we could launch brand cooperation across regions. We have already had several rounds of negotiation."

Ellen Mok, Director of MiQi which exhibited in the inaugural DLAB Hong Kong Pavilion, said: "Our brand has collaborated with some big names to roll out jewellery and chocolate collections. Through the business-matching meeting, we were paired up with an Indonesian company which would like to engage our training services, while buyers from Singapore and Malaysia are looking to become our agency in Southeast Asia."

Concurrent Event Enriches Licensing Show

The Asian Licensing Conference ran concurrently with the Licensing Show, giving insights into the latest industry trends, including the fast-growing Asia and Mainland China markets, content licensing, esports, and legal and operational tactics. The event attracted more than 1,300 attendees from around the world.

Hong Kong International Licensing Show website: www.hktdc.com/fair/hklicensingshow-en
Asian Licensing Conference website: www.hktdc.com/fair/alc-en

About HKTDC

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.

Contact:
Coco Yuen, Tel: +852 2584 4145, Email: coco.hc.yuen@hktdc.org
Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: christine.kam@hktdc.org

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How to Streamline Work Processes in 2019
 
Jan 02, 2019
Category:

By taking firm control of the company’s workflow, a business owner could create a more efficient team and generate a larger annual profit margin.

What’s more, they could potentially improve colleague communication and reduce workplace stress, which can boost employee morale and decrease turnover.

If you want to transform your company’s operations in 2019 and beyond, here are some top tips on how to streamline your work processes.

Review Your Existing Processes

Start the year off right by reviewing your existing processes with open eyes.

Not only should you personally analyze internal tasks, but you also should request feedback from your employees about processes that do or don’t work.

You can then eradicate long, frustrating and unnecessary tasks, which can speed up efficiency.

Simplify Projects with Innovative Software Solutions

There are now various software solutions that can help to simplify tasks and projects. For example, work management software allows staff to both track and manage their workflow, which can also help to prevent miscommunication or data errors.

However, rather than introducing an application to fit a problematic process, you should first study it before developing a solution to fit the task specifically.

To build custom software solutions to simplify your operations, look no further than this directory of software development companies.

Outsource Various Projects to Expert Freelancers

There is no longer a need to handle every single project internally. Free up your company’s time by outsourcing projects, so your team can focus on more important areas of the business.

For example, outsourcing content marketing to freelance writers will provide your marketing team with more time to focus on social media or email marketing campaigns.

Not only can outsourcing save your company time, but it could also:

• Save money on resources
• Lead to smaller internal labor costs
• Provide access to a large pool of talent
Decrease employee stress levels

Create a Smaller To-Do List

A long to-do list will prevent members of management and employees from focusing on revenue-generating ideas.

Encourage your team to focus on their top three urgent tasks each day so that you can maintain high standards across the business.

If they are weighed down with too many tasks, encourage them to speak up, so you can outsource jobs or invest in the tools and technologies they need to scratch it off their to-do list.

Host Regular Brainstorming Sessions

While meetings can eat away at your employees’ precious time, brainstorming sessions can lead to the development of more creative, forward-thinking projects, or could help them to identify different ways to simplify complex and/or time-consuming tasks.

Routinely Refine Your Operations

It is, however, important to remember that no internal process is perfect, as there is always room for improvement.

After you have made changes to your existing workflow, you must not wash your hands of it, as it needs to be regularly refined to improve efficiency.

To do so, you must regularly request feedback from employees, review internal tasks and introduce the best technologies for your business.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 
 
Global Insurer AIA Enters Partnership With Singapore-Based Digital Healthcare Innovator MyDoc
 
JCN Newswire
Dec 19, 2018
Category:

AIA Vitality Taps MyDoc To Reward Employees in Singapore For Healthier Lifestyles

SINGAPORE, Dec 19, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - MyDoc, Asia's first value-based digital managed care platform has been tapped to digitally deliver health screening results of AIA Vitality members in Singapore, creating the first digitally integrated corporate health screening programme for the global insurer.

As a digital healthcare provider, MyDoc is part of Singapore's Ministry of Health's (MOH) regulatory sandbox for telemedicine, allowing it to offer digital managed care services in Singapore. MyDoc has shown a potential reduction in patient healthcare costs by at least 16 percent, according to a study done by a senior economist at the University of Southern California's Center for Economic and Social Research. MyDoc demonstrated a potential cost saving as high as 28 percent resulting from improvements in chronic diseases management and aversion of accident and emergency (A&E) services.

The AIA Vitality Basic Health Check (BHS) identifies members' risk for chronic disease by checking their body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels.

"AIA is a market leader, and MyDoc is excited to play a role in helping AIA Vitality members lead a healthy life," said Dr. Snehal Patel, CEO and co-Founder of MyDoc. "Our data reveals there is a higher incidence of patients at risk and undiagnosed prior to using MyDoc. Patient engagement with health screening results is also much lower without the ease of consulting provided by MyDoc post-screening. We aim to make a difference by offering AIA Vitality members 24/7/365 access to a multidisciplinary care team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, health coaches, primary care coordinators, health screening laboratories and pharmacies."

Our partnership enables us to help AIA Vitality members identify their risk for chronic diseases. This allows for early detection so that appropriate treatment can be administered and subsequently monitored," said Mr. Richard Wyber, Head of Vitality, AIA Singapore.

"As the leading employee benefits provider in Singapore, AIA Singapore is excited to partner with MyDoc to be spearheading Singapore's first digitally integrated corporate health screening programme, helping Singaporeans lead healthier, longer, and better lives through wellness in the workplace. We look forward to working with more companies to enhance their healthcare programs and make a positive impact on employee engagement, wellbeing, productivity and retention levels," added Richard.

AIA Vitality members who complete their health screening through MyDoc will receive Vitality points of up to 6,000 if their results are within the healthy ranges.

In Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, MyDoc has established successful and ongoing implementations with the largest insurers and Fortune 500 companies in the region including AIA, Aetna, and Cigna. By redesigning key touch points along the patient-clinician journey and integrating key stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, MyDoc has built a new model of primary care that improves patient health outcomes at lower costs to payers.

Headquartered in Singapore, MyDoc has also established a presence in Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Further expansion into the region is being planned through new partnerships that will be announced in 2019. The company expects its digital health screening, workplace virtual clinic and digital pharmacy, and chronic disease management programmes will be made available to over 15 million employees in the new year.

About MyDoc Pte Ltd

Founded by Harvard Medical School physician and healthtech investor Dr. Snehal Patel and SingHealth medical officer and medtech entrepreneur Dr. Vas Metupalle, MyDoc is the leading patient-centric digital healthcare platform in Asia. With a deeply seasoned team with combined global experience in Healthtech, EMR, Clinical Practice, Insurance, Finance, and Legal and the backing of renowned medical specialists, MyDoc is deploying modular solutions that can be quickly tailored to deliver personalised continuous care across key markets in the region. MyDoc's unique value-based digital managed care model is leading the way for cost reduction in healthcare and catching illnesses before it is too late for employees of over 200 employers in the region including Fortune 500 companies.

For more information
media@my-doc.com

About AIA Vitality

In 2013, AIA Singapore became the first and only insurer to pay members as they get healthier with the launch of AIA Vitality.

AIA Singapore was also the first market to launch the AIA Vitality programme, a leading full scale wellness programme that works with individuals to make real change to their health. This is done by applying the principles of behavioural science; keeping individuals motivated by adding up the benefits of every healthy choice they make, no matter how small.

AIA Vitality is available to both individual policyholders and corporate clients, focusing on rewarding members for making choices that help them live a healthy life.

Media Inquiries:
PRecious Communications for MyDoc
Vicky al-Taie/ Tabea Wanninger
mydoc@preciouscomms.com

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Veolia Water Technologies Supplies Kraft Heinz China with In-House Wastewater Treatment Technologies
 
Dec 18, 2018
Category:

Shanghai, December 18, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Kraft Heinz China has selected Veolia Water Technologies to provide the multinational food manufacturer with a wastewater treatment solution for its new soy sauce plant in Guangdong, China. The implementation of Veolia’s technologies at Kraft Heinz’s new plant in Guangdong will enable them to meet the stringent national and provincial discharge standards.

An American food company formed by the merger of Kraft Foods Group and Heinz in 2015, Kraft Heinz is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. The new Kraft Heinz Yangjiang food factory in Guangdong covers an area of over 13 hectares, and will produce about 125,000 tonnes of soy sauce per year.

“This project is a testament to the quality of Veolia’s wastewater treatment solutions and it reaffirms Veolia’s leading position as a water and wastewater solutions provider”, shared James PENG, Managing Director, Solutions China, Veolia Water Technologies. “By combining our technologies and our knowledge of local discharge limits, Veolia is able to help Kraft Heinz mitigate wastewater challenges in an increasingly environmentally conscious market”.

Veolia will provide its AnoxKaldnes Biological Activated Sludge™ (BAS) solution in the Kraft Heinz Yangjiang factory. Optimally designed to provide a volumetric loading capacity that is up to three times higher than conventional activated sludge, the BAS™ biological wastewater treatment solution is a combination of Veolia’s compact AnoxKaldnes™ Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) and activated sludge processes. This will allow Kraft Heinz to cope with an overall higher organic load than conventional activated sludge processes, while requiring a relatively small footprint.

Apart from the AnoxKaldnes BAS™ solution, the wastewater treatment plant will also be equipped with a Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) clarifier system for total phosphorous removal and biological sludge separation.

PENG concluded, “As Veolia continues to expand its presence in Asia, we are confident that our robust solutions and long-term focused customer service will continue to benefit customers across various industries. With a competent and strong professional team providing local support in China, we are excited about future growth opportunities here”.

###

Veolia Water Technologies provides the complete range of services required to design, build, maintain and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities and systems for industrial clients and public authorities. The company's extensive portfolio of technologies features everything from online diagnostic solutions to evaporation and crystallization, energy-producing sludge treatment, state-of-the-art desalination, laboratory-grade water and mobile water services. By optimizing both processes and monitoring, Veolia Water Technologies helps clients reduce their water footprint while generating considerable savings in energy and chemical consumption.

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.

In 2017, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 55 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 47 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.12 billion in 2017.

For media enquiries on Veolia, please contact:

Ms Gena Ang
Senior Account Executive
Red Bug Communications
+65 6222 7376
gena@redbugpr.com

Ms Lainee Wong
Marketing & Communications Director – Asia Pacific
Veolia Water Technologies
+603 2264 1818
lainee.wong@veolia.com

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Bank Mandiri and JCB Issued Precious Credit Card
 
JCN Newswire
Dec 18, 2018
Category:

JAKARTA, Dec 18, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - PT Bank Mandiri Persero (Tbk) ("Bank Mandiri") and PT JCB International Indonesia, a subsidiary of JCB International Co., Ltd., the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., have started to issue Mandiri-JCB Precious Card targeting the premium segment, especially to online shoppers and travelers.

The initial launching ceremony was carried out by Bank Mandiri Retail Banking Director Donsuwan Simatupang and JCB International Co., Ltd. President & COO Kimihisa Imada in Jakarta, Tuesday (December 18).

Mandiri JCB Precious Credit Card gives delightful online shopping experience by giving complimentary Wifi.id access, complimentary insurance premium protection for online transactions, and also complimentary Rp250,000 e-voucher at Blibli.com to each new cardholder. Cardholders can also enjoy Mandiri offers at more than 10,000 outlets and double Mandiri Fiestapoin from all domestic transactions.

As additional benefits, Mandiri JCB Precious Credit cardholders can enjoy many benefits and a variety of services provided by JCB, especially premium benefits in travel such as airport lounges services in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Thailand. Besides that JCB provides lounge service at JCB PLAZA and JCB PLAZA Lounge to tourists in major travel destinations. JCB PLAZA Tokyo and JCB PLAZA Kyoto offer services such as making reservations and providing sightseeing information. JCB PLAZA Lounge provides exclusive lounge service in Japanese and the local language for JCB cardholders in 8 world-class travel destinations (Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Guam and Paris). JCB also provides more than 3,000 privileges and discounts on dining and shops around the world. In addition, cardholders can earn 3 times Mandiri Fiestapoin for any international transaction.

Donsuwan said, "This collaboration is very strategic because it can strengthen the customer base and increase the added value that can be enjoyed by customers. Japan has become one of the top 5 international destinations for our cardholders, adding JCB will complete the product selection offered by Bank Mandiri. Therefore, in this special occasion, I would like to announce that in March 2019, Bank Mandiri will give the best ticket price to Japan, for Mandiri JCB Precious card holders".

Donsuwan added, "This corporate action was also in line with the company's business focus to strengthen market share in the retail banking segment."

As of November 2018, the number of active Bank Mandiri credit cards that have been issued reached more than 2 million cards, with year on year sales volume growth at 10% from the same period last year. Of that amount 10% is international transactions.

Meanwhile, President & COO of JCB InternationaI, Kimihisa Imada said, "We are pleased that Mandiri, one of the largest banks in Indonesia, has become our issuing partner. I believe it will definitely attract many customers with its broad range of benefits and services provided by both parties. Also, I am sure that it will bring Mandiri and JCB many opportunities to expand business in Indonesia that has high potential for the future as the national economy continues to grow."

About PT Bank Mandiri (Persero), Tbk

Bank Mandiri is one of the leading banks in Indonesia with financial services to customers that covers Corporate, Commercial, SME, Micro, Consumer Banking and Treasury business segments. Bank Mandiri is currently working with several subsidiaries to support its main business, which include: MandiriSekuritas (capital market service), Bank Syariah Mandiri (Islamic banking), Bank MandiriTaspen / Mantap (UMKM Credit), AXA-Mandiri Financial Services (life insurance), MandiriInHealth (health insurance), Mandiri AXA General Insurance (Mandiri insurance), Mandiri Tunas Finance (financing services), Mandiri Utama Finance (financing services), Mandiri International Remittance (remittances), Mandiri Europe (treasury & financial institution) and Mandiri Capital Indonesia (Venture capital financing).

As of September 2018, Bank Mandiri network has spread throughout Indonesia, covering 4,607 office networks, including 2,632 branches and 1,975 micro networks. Bank Mandiri's distribution services are also equipped with 17,391 ATM units connected in the ATM Link network, ATM Bersama, ATM Prima and Visa / Plus, and 235,671 Electronic Data Capture (EDC) and e-banking networks which include Mandiri Online, SMS Banking and Call Center 14,000

About JCB

JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading payment card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and card member base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to provide responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide.

Rohan Hafas
Corporate Secretary
PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk.
Telp. 021-5245740 Fax 021-5268246
Rohan.Hafas@bankmandiri.co.id

Kumiko Kida
JCB Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-5778-8353
Email: jcb-pr@info.jcb.co.jp

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Dusit International retains its crown as the hotel of choice for Miss Universe contestants in Thailand
 
Dec 17, 2018
Category:

Dusit Thani Bangkok maintains its status as official pageant residence, while Dusit hotels in Pattaya and Krabi host contestants as part of special excursions.

Bangkok, 14 December 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, is ending the year in style after being selected as the official hotel partner of the MISS UNIVERSE® pageant in Thailand for the third time.

Now in its 67th year, MISS UNIVERSE® will take place on December 17 in Bangkok with nearly 100 representatives from all over the world participating. The global event was previously hosted in Thailand in 1992 and 2005, with Dusit Thani Bangkok the official pageant residence on each occasion.

During their time in Thailand, contestants will take part in activities at the Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel. They also recently visited and stayed at Dusit International’s renowned Dusit Thani Pattaya resort on Thailand’s eastern seaboard, as well as at the brand new dusitD2 Ao Nang hotel in Krabi province. These visits formed part of a tour to promote Thailand and its distinctive culture to international audiences.

“We are delighted to have been selected once again as the hotel of choice for this renowned competition, which is expected to give a multi-million baht boost to the country’s tourism industry,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “Our vision as a company has always been to uniquely deliver Thai-inspired, gracious hospitality to the world, while promoting a positive image of the kingdom, so we are very happy that we can enhance our impact in this regard by hosting the pageant’s contestants who will be great ambassadors for our country. That Dusit Thani Bangkok has been selected as the official residence for the third time running is testament to the quality of our offerings. With several glittering events planned, it also serves as a fitting finale for the hotel ahead of its exciting redevelopment next year.”

Opened in 1970, Dusit Thani Bangkok was once the tallest, grandest building in Bangkok. On 5 January 2019, the hotel will close its doors to be redeveloped as part of a landmark mixed-use project comprising a residence, retail areas, an office building, a large green space, and a new hotel. The new Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel is expected to open in 2023.

– End –

Photo 1 – Dusit Thani Bangkok is the official MISS UNIVERSE® pageant residence for the third time in Thailand. Pictured (from left): Miss South Africa, Tamaryn Green; Miss Thailand, Sophida Kanchanarin; Mr Narong Lertkitsiri, Executive Director of TPN 2018 Co., Ltd; Ms Piyaporn Sankosik, Executive Director of TPN 2018 Co., Ltd; Ms Titiya Xuto, General Manager, Dusit Thani Bangkok; Mr Somchai Cheewasutthanon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TPN 2018 Co., Ltd; Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers; and Miss Indonesia, Sonia Fergina Citra.

Media Contact:
Sureerat Sudpairak | Assistant Director – Corporate Communications | Dusit International
Tel: +66 (0) 2200 9999 ext. 3321 | Fax: +66 (0) 2636 3549 | Email: sureerat.sp@dusit.com

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New Technologies Enhance Franchise Management
 
Dec 15, 2018
Category:

10 December 2018 – The fourth HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show and the second edition of the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), were held last week (5-7 Dec). This year’s Franchising Show featured more than 130 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions. In addition to showcasing franchising opportunities across different industries, a series of seminars provided practical information to entrepreneurs interested in becoming franchisors or franchisees to help them succeed. A seminar titled “How Technology is Leveraging Franchise Management?” featured industry experts to share how franchised convenience stores, restaurants and vending machines can leverage technology to enhance their management and improve profitability.

Product Variety is Key for Small Convenience Stores

Stories shared by seminar speakers showed how technology can help Hong Kong retailers address one of their biggest challenges – rental cost. Dallas Cheung, Franchise Director, 7-Eleven Hong Kong & Macau, said research has shown that 85% of people in Hong Kong shop at 7-Eleven, which has 959 stores across the city, including 373 are franchisees. This massive group of consumers consists of a wide variety of consumer segments, including retirees, working men and women, and students. Stores in different locations have different target customers.

Mr Cheung shared that the average number of consumers that each 7-Eleven store in Hong Kong services is more than 7,000, “yet the average size of each shop is only about 500 square feet, which makes selecting the right products very important.” He said his company handles more than one million customers in Hong Kong every day, and for the 900-plus shops to serve such an enormous number of consumers, the use of technology to manage inventory is crucial.

All the shops transmit their sales data to a data centre, which then compiles the data for various departments to analyse and help the shops formulate their product strategies, Mr Cheung said. This means that even when the shops are limited in size, they can still accurately match their products with the needs of consumers in different districts and avoid wasting precious space stocking slow-moving items. This will help to improve sales and profitability.

Restaurant Cash Registers Hold Big Business Opportunities

Franchising is a common business model in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, yet operating a restaurant can be a daunting task, and restaurateurs do not always have the time to review their sales data and adjust their strategies. Michael Yung, co-founder of Everyware Limited, said that information technology can be used to resolve this pain point and lead the future development of the F&B and retail industries. He said that, for the F&B industry, the “cash register” is one of the most important tools for conducting business. “Today’s cash registers are no longer limited to calculating transactions. In fact, they can help a company achieve higher returns,” Mr Yung said. “Take an F&B group with multiple franchisees as an example. It used to be difficult to get the latest status of each franchisee, such as turnover, customer traffic and product sales, but with today’s cloud computing, restaurateurs can easily keep track of the data for all franchisees in real time and monitor each restaurant remotely.”

In addition to helping to assess the health of a business, smart technologies can also be used to enhance the consumer experience. Yung anticipates that self-ordering will become a bigger trend in the F&B industry. At present, many restaurants have tablet computers at tables for diners to self-order, while some have set up self-ordering and self-payment kiosks. Yet these business models invariably involve hardware investments. Yung expects that in the future, diners will use chatbots on their phones to place orders and settle payments by scanning the bills with their phones. Throughout this process, from the placing of orders to the settling of bills, all data will be recorded in the cloud to provide restaurateurs with real-time information. Yung described this revolutionary model as the “last mile” for restaurant operations.

Smart Vending Machines Offer New Opportunities for Operators

Sophisticated technologies are also behind the new generation of smart vending machines. Kong Yiu-chi, Product Evangelist of Gritus Technology Limited, pointed out that vending machines are no longer the simple soda machines of the past. His company’s smart vending consoles can support different products, such as snacks and beverages, lifestyle products, toys, and skincare and beauty products. More important than offering product diversity, these smart vending consoles are connecting businesses and consumers digitally. The vending consoles can become mobile billboards that show advertisements and generate additional income for console franchisees. In addition, brands can access data through the cloud to quickly update product pricing and promotions and optimise marketing strategies. They can also analyse the data collected to formulate targeted promotional campaigns.

Kong added that cloud computing can help businesses to get instant market feedback. “Cloud technology makes it easy to monitor the status, inventory and turnover of smart vending consoles. Operations teams can monitor the consoles in real-time and arrange restocking or after-sales services accordingly.” Mr Kong explained that these new technologies will help brands meet customers’ needs by providing personalised services and more engaging experiences. This approach is set to become a new direction in the marketing strategy for vending machine operators.

The fourth Hong Kong International Franchising Show featured four key zones, including the Hong Kong Food and Beverage zone, the Hong Kong Non-Food and Beverage zone, the Chinese Mainland zone and the International zone, displaying franchising opportunities across different sectors. The second edition of the SmartBiz Expo, which was held concurrently with the Franchising Show, attracted more than 520 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions to offer a variety of business solutions and innovative business ideas.

Fair Websites
SmartBiz Expo: www.hktdc.com/smartbizexpo
Hong Kong International Franchising Show: www.hktdc.com/hkifs

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department:

Billy Ng
Tel: (852) 2584 4393
Email: billy.km.ng@hktdc.org

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PH's ABS-CBN Unveils Two Hollywood-caliber Sound Stages
 
Dec 13, 2018
Category:

ABS-CBN Corporation, the Philippines' leading media and entertainment company, marked its 65th founding anniversary with the inauguration of its brand new sound stages in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan today (December 12).

ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak said the two sound stages were built to support the company’s efforts towards expanding its audience and content output beyond the Philippines and to foreign audiences.

“We want to bring ABS-CBN content to the international stage, and having a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class production team is a big step for us towards that direction and dream,” Katigbak said.

ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez added, “What I’m most proud of about this project is that we’re creating Hollywood-level sound stages which puts us at par with the rest of the world.”

This project was the brainchild of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, who saw that building the studios is the best way to keep in step with the world’s top entertainment companies, which shoot bigger percentages of their programs and films in sound stages and not in remote locations. Moreover, the sound stages also enable the company to manage production costs more efficiently.

“Completing the sound stages represents a very major step for ABS-CBN in terms of our ability to create much better production. Through this we can show the world the best of the Filipino,” said Lopez III.

Present at the inauguration of the sound stages along with Lopez III, Lopez, and Katigbak were ABS-CBN board member and former President and COO Freddie Garcia, ABS-CBN board adviser, former president and CEO, and current chief creative officer Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN COO of broadcast Cory Vidanes, and ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc. managing director Olive Lamasan, together with Rep. Rida Robes, Mayor Art Robes, and some members of the ABS-CBN community.

The sound stages represent the beginning of a plan to establish a production hub that include sound stages, backlots, production and post production facilities and offices that will allow both ABS-CBN and Philippine-based productions to match production facilities found elsewhere in the world.

In parallel with the construction work, the production and support teams for both TV and Feature Films began a three-year training program for the stages both in Hollywood and in the Philippines designed by Manhattan Beach Studios together with ABS-CBN Studios Inc. and ABS-CBN University. Covering all aspects of production, the courses involved over 150 people and were designed to ensure that production processes mirror the best practices in the world.

Following the intensive training camp for production staff and crew, the studios will host the productions of upcoming teleserye “The Faithful Wife” and the much-anticipated “Darna” film in the second quarter of 2019.

Phase 1 of the production hub includes two 1,500 sq. m. (16,000 sq. ft.) sound stages with a floor to grid height of 30 feet, a breezeway with dressing rooms and various support rooms and the technical facilities in aid of production. Sitting on 7.7 hectares, the facility includes a visitor’s center, parking facilities and various support buildings. The sound stages also boast of solar panels that help support the energy requirements of the whole facility.

Inaugurated in time to celebrate not only its 65th anniversary but also Star Cinema’s 25th year anniversary, the stages will enhance the production output for both TV and film in the years to come.

Designed by California-based architecture firm Bastien and Associates together with Filipino firm AIDEA and consultants from Hollywood-based Manhattan Beach Studios, these represent a new wave of sound stage design customized for the Philippine climate.

Coincidentally, the sound stages are being inaugurated a few days shy of 50 years after the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City was inaugurated. Considered the most advanced facility in Asia at that time, the center opened on December 18, 1968.

Work on the sound stages started as early as 2010 with various members of the executive and production teams visiting facilities in South Korea, Mexico, North America, Europe and Asia to understand the nuances of sound stage work. The project proper started in Q1 of 2014 with construction commencing May 2017.

For updates, follow @ABSCBNpr on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and visit abscbnpr.com.

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About ABS-CBN Corporation
ABS-CBN Corporation is the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment organization. The Company is primarily involved in television and radio broadcasting, as well as in the production of television and radio programming for domestic and international audiences and other related businesses. ABS-CBN produces a wide variety of engaging world-class entertainment programs in multiple genres and balanced, credible news programs that are aired on free-to-air television. The company is also one of the leading radio broadcasters, operating eighteen radio stations throughout the key cities of the Philippines. ABS-CBN provides news and entertainment programming for eight channels on cable TV and operates the country’s largest cable TV service provider. The Company also owns the leading cinema and music production and distribution outfits in the country. It brings its content to worldwide audiences via cable, satellite, online and mobile. In addition, ABS-CBN has business interests in merchandising and licensing, mobile and online multimedia services, glossy magazine publishing, video and audio post production, overseas telecommunication services, money remittance, cargo forwarding, TV shopping services, theme park development and management, property management and food and restaurant services, and cinema management, all of which complement and enhance the Company’s strength in content production and distribution. The Company is also the first TV network in the country to broadcast in digital. In 2015, it commercially rolled out its digital TV box, ABS-CBN TVplus, to prepare for the country’s switch to digital TV.

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Dubai International Content Market Successfully Concludes
 
Dec 11, 2018
Category:

Over 700 visitors, 50 exhibitors and more than 20 speakers attended the 2-day event

Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 10 December 2018: The Dubai International Content Market – DICM wrapped up on a strong note with over 700 visitors in attendance over the two days. More than 250 buyers from 35+ countries attended the market and engaged in 845 meetings with the exhibitors. This translated into an intense networking session, with the exhibition space busy until the very last moment of the market.

Over the past 2-days, participants were happy with the revitalized face of DICM, including the new venue, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the new participating formula – ‘plug & work’ available for sellers and distributors. In addition, the pre-arranged meeting support, helped participants engage in business discussions throughout the days.

The conference featured the attendance of more than 20 local and international speakers who offered their insights on some of the most pressing challenges facing the content market locally and internationally.

DICM positioned itself as the main hub for doing business in the Middle East and North Africa with Dubai being the “go-to” destination of the media industry in this region.

As the MENA region is home to various types of content from many countries in Europe, United States, Russia, South Korea, Canada, the UK and Japan, DICM hosted delegations from the UK, Canada and France for the first time, bringing together some of the biggest brands in the media, entertainment and content market representing those countries all under one roof.

Furthermore, as a testament to DICM’s brand appeal and popularity among exhibitors, a number of leading names in the content industry such as: OSN, Rotana, MBC, Netflix, Twitter and Etihad Airways occupied the exhibition floor space, showcasing their latest projects and ventures, signing partnerships and business deals as well as exchanging ideas on the future of the digital and media, entertainment and content landscape.
Commenting on this occasion, Ahmed Abdelhamid, Head of Programming and Acquisitions of Majid Kids TV, said: “It was pleasant to see the new aspect of the Dubai International Content Market. Everything was exquisite and the market was quite busy. We had meetings with familiar faces, like DHX Media, France TV Distribution as well as other new names whom attended. DICM is an event needed in the region and it is marvelous to have it in Dubai.”

Vlad Borovina, Project Manager of DICM, explains: “We have made a lot of changes in the past year and we are happy to see the positive reactions from our participants. Despite launching the event quite late in the year, the turnover was impressive from both exhibitors and non-exhibitors. This was possible thanks to strategic partnerships established with the likes of Dubai Media City, DFTC, BroadcastPro or mena.tv, which created a solid and healthy base for this event to grow in the coming years.”

He added: “Remaining the only one in the region focused 100% on buyers and sellers, there is a huge responsibility to deliver a successful platform for media professionals to meet and network. We already started planning the 2019 edition and we will share all details with the industry shortly.”

The latest data from mena.tv, the region’s first online content marketplace, suggest that the content market in the region is showing no signs of slowing down. According to the report, the UAE followed by Egypt and Iraq dominate the MENA TV channel market and while the UAE accounts for 73 TV channels, Egypt houses 61 TV channels followed by Iraq which hosts 39 TV channels. In addition, research figures also show that out of a total of 959 Free to Air TV channels in MENA, 763 originate from the region while the region also hosts 274 pay TV channels, 131 of which are originated in MENA region.

The Dubai International Content Market is organized annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding and this edition is supported by Dubai Film and TV Commission and Dubai Media City.

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New franchise concepts in Food, Education and Lifestyle highlighted at the Global Franchise Market Exhibition
 
Dec 08, 2018
Category:

Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 6 December, 2018: The Global Franchise Market Exhibition (TGFM) - the official franchising event in Dubai, successfully concluded at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre today, with a remarkable participation from the leading franchise establishments from the region and abroad. The 2-day premier franchise event, held under the patronage of the Dubai Economy, showcased creative franchise concepts, analyzed the advantages of responsible franchising and explored latest methods to grow and expand businesses in the UAE, Middle East and North Africa region.

As new franchise concepts take root every day, the franchising industry is witnessing a wave of new opportunities in F &B, education, fashion, lifestyle, wellness, healthcare and service sectors. While the advantages of owning a franchise business are many, it is essential for investors to pick the right programs and partners as well as explore the latest trends and practices to maximize the fortunes of franchising.

The franchise market in the UAE and the Middle East market is growing rapidly with a number of key diversified sectors bracing themselves for new franchise businesses. This year, TGFM witnessed the participation of over 100 exhibiting brands from 80 countries including: Finland, Canada, France, USA, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE amongst others. In addition, the exhibition represented various key sectors of the economy including: Food and Beverage, Fashion and Lifestyle, Education, Health and Beauty, Retail and Service to name a few. Moreover, TGFM hosted 3 major pavilions representing Malaysia, Kuwait and Canada, which offered participating companies a unique opportunity to learn about the local market and interact with potential partners and investors.

While the UAE in general and Dubai in particular still remains a go-to destination for F & B brands to set up franchisees and leverage business expansion opportunities, TGFM witnessed a new trend as many fashion, lifestyle and educational brands were interested to explore the regional market. With a rich and diverse portfolio representing all the key sectors of the economy, TGFM offered a unique platform for all representing brands to expand and leverage business opportunities.

Speaking about their participation in the 3rd TGFM exhibition, Peh Yi Han, COO, Mulberry Learning, Singapore, said, “This was our first participation in TGFM and we were glad that our debut was successful. As a leading education provider in Singapore, our goal is to seek new business partners who could facilitate our expansion into the Middle East region and TGFM offered a perfect platform to meet our objectives. Franchising in the education sector in the UAE has entered its growth phase and is filled with opportunities for preschools. Today, more and more parents are starting to appreciate the value of quality early childhood education and we are hopeful that with the help of our franchise partners, we will be able to ride on this trend enabling our proprietary systems, to expand and grow their businesses.”

He added, “We have a unique preschool offering - not only have we been awarded as Singapore’s Best Preschool for 3 years running, we are also the first and the only preschool in the world to offer the Habits of MindTM, a framework for intelligent thinking and behavior. We believe that children in Dubai and the UAE will be able to benefit tremendously from our programs, similar to how thousands of children in Singapore, Australia and China have, over the years.”

On his part, Rajan Madhu, Chairman, Global Marketing Management- DWC LLC, said, “Recognized as a leader in the field of fashion, glamour and lifestyle, this year, GMM not only offered a product but a whole new lifestyle concept at TGFM, which is an affordable luxury segment. In addition, GMM showcased its biggest and most visible brands such as: F Salon, F Café, F Beverages and Indus Restaurant. We were greatly pleased that our brands appealed to discerning investors who wish to be associated with glamour and exciting business in the UAE.”

He added, “We were very impressed by some of the international franchise models and home-grown brands present in Dubai. There is a very big opportunity to expand franchise opportunities in this region. Our brand is in affordable luxury category and so we were seeking partners in this niche segment which is slowly establishing itself as a key segment in the region.”

From his side, Nathen Mazri, Co-Founder and Chief Entergage Officer, GarfieldEATS App, said, “GarfieldEATS proudly participated for the first time in TGFM in Dubai.. At the official franchise event in Dubai, GarfieldEATS launched the world’s first entertaining and engaging Quick Mobile Restaurant (QMR) app, which is a response to today’s digital trend, offering users an opportunity to watch and even play in augmented reality as they wait for the world’s only Garfield-shaped pizza.”

He added, “GarfieldEATS is more than just a restaurant app for ordering, and it is a health-conscious brand with strict Farm2Plate (F2P) guidelines on supply sourcing guaranteeing no Genetically Modified Organisms, no preservatives and no artificial colors. In a short period of time, GarfieldEATS has witnessed downloads increasing at an accelerating rate of 300% per month on all devices and 35% increase in sales monthly in Dubai. As part of our vision, GarfieldEATS quick mobile restaurant app aims to expand globally in 200 cities by 2025 with over 20 million downloads in total users.”

The Global Franchise Market (TGFM), is organized annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding with the support of Dubai Economy and under the strategic partnership of Franchise Souq and Francorp Middle East.

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Suzan Mounzer
Public Relations & Social Media Manager
INDEX Media
Tel: +971 45208888
Mob: +971 569070443
E-mail: suzan.mounzer@index.ae

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