|Plan to develop more concept shops (New Straits Times, 13 Disember 2007)|
PERBADANAN Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) is identifying more businesses to be developed into concept shops that will eventually be franchised.
Chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad said the effort aims at creating a bigger pool of Bumiputera entrepreneurs.
"We look at concept shops as developing future franchises. When a particular concept shop has expanded to between 10 and 15 outlets, we will introduce them to Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS)," he told Business Times when met in Kuala Lumpur recently.
PUNB provides financing, corporate support, monitoring services and training for entrepreneurs under its Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Retail Project Fund (Prosper) scheme.
Mohd Nasir said PUNB has so far submitted three concept shops to PNS, namely D'Lima (convenience store), Amethyst Light (lighting store) and Copyplus (photocopy).
He said D'Lima currently has more than 30 outlets nationwide, while Amethyst Light and Copyplus each have over 10 outlets.
Under the concept shop, PUNB identifies the mentor and finds the right candidate to do the business.
"So, the new outlets will be individually owned and financed by us. The mentor will be developed to be a franchisor," he explained.
For next year, Mohd Nasir said, PUNB does not have a target number of businesses to be developed under concept shop. However, a hardware store will be developed into a chain of stores starting next year.
"Then, we will franchise it," he said.
Mohd Nasir said besides concept shops, PUNB is also trying to fast-track the creation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs by working with established firms.
For instance, the agency is working with Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd (hypermarket) and Jackel Trading (textile) to establish more outlets throughout the country.