14June 2015
14 Июня 2015

The 12th BUYBRAND Expo international franchise exhibition was held in Moscow from September 23 to 25.

An unpredictable geopolitical situation, sanctions and general economic instability did not prevent foreign companies from participating in the event. This year, BUYBRAND Expo featured 162 brands from 15 countries, including those from Germany, Austria, USA, UK, UAE, South Korea, Italy, and others.

During the three days of the exhibition, 9,090 visits were registered. According to Ekaterina Soyak, CEO of EMTG, the BUYBRAND Expo organizer, such interest from entrepreneurs is in part explained by the fact that "due the current market situation, people believe it's beneficial for them to invest in a franchise purchase, rather than in a new business." This was also confirmed by Boris Nuraliev, the founder of 1C, according to whom "over 87% of the 1C:Franchising network companies founded before 1997 have remained on the market for over 15 years, having gone through two economic crises (in 1998 and in 2008-2009)."

Almost all BUYBRAND Expo participants were glad to point out that there were many entrepreneurs and investors from various cities of Russia among the visitors to the event: Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Perm, Ufa, Vladikavkaz, Vladivostok, and many others. A special interest in the franchises represented at the event was noted among guests from Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus and other CIS countries.

Experienced franchise owners invited their potential partners to conclude negotiations and sign new franchise agreements during the exhibition. The UK’s SFC was the leader in the number of deals signed. According to SFC’s owner, Andrew Withers, who has visited each BUYBRAND Expo in person since 2002, the company signed 7 agreements during the event's first day alone.

As a part of the event, the ‘Franchising in the Time of Change’ international forum was held. During the forum, a cooperation agreement was signed between the head of ‘Our Future’ Regional Social Programs Fund, Natalia Zvereva, and the president of the Russian Franchising Association (RFA), Merab Ben-El (Elashvili). The partnership agreement between the Fund and RFA deals with joint development and implementation of social entrepreneurship and franchising programs in Russia.

During the first day of the forum, the representatives of Moscow SMB Financing Assistance Fund, Moscow’s Small Business State Budgetary Administration, ‘Business Russia’ Social Organization and Sberbank of Russia talked about their SMB support programs. The representatives of local governments and business associations of Tyumen oblast, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Perm kray and the Republic of North Ossetia presented the franchise support programs in their regions.

The business program included presentations by 38 speakers from Russia and abroad, among them memorable speeches by Evgeny Butman, IDEAS4RETAIL Chairman, Reinhold Schärf, Schärf’s CEO (CoffeeShop Company), Mikhail Dashkiev, co-founder of ‘Business Youth’, Dmitry Potapchenko, a well-known domestic retail expert, as well as franchisers and franchisees of Pyaterochka, Invitro, KILLFISH, Wetzel's Pretzels and other brands.

Among the franchise models at the exhibition, 34% were food service chains, 45% retail networks, and 21% services, as well as SunGroup industrial franchise. Among the newcomers at BUYBRAND Expo 2014 were: number 1 in the hospitality business - Hilton, popular European men’s wear brand Camp David, Korean chain Caffe Bene with over 1500 cafes in 11 countries, popular US network of affordable restaurants Schlotzsky’s, as well as well-known Russian brands: X-Fit, Chaikhona №1, Helly Hansen, Sportmaster, Sushi Wok and many others.

The circle of participants of BUYBRAND Expo expanded considerably within Russia: the following companies joined to present their franchise concepts: YOGUMI from Krasnodar, Carraji from Vladivostok, and Vladimir Door Factory. Concepts from Tomsk, Irkutsk, Perm, and other regions were presented.

According to Alexander Kolobov, the owner of Shokoladnitsa network, "one of the key values of BUYBRAND Expo is that it allows the visitors to see all the franchises under one roof, meet the representatives of many companies, and establish initial personal contacts."

The President of the Russian Franchising Association, President of Hospitality Planet, Merab Bel-El (Elashvili) expressed his opinion about the event: "BUYBRAND Expo has played a key role in development of a franchise community in the country. Even today, in a complex situation, the organizers have managed to gather so many companies from around the world! BUYBRAND Expo plays a huge role in promoting franchising. It explains what it is, how it works, and where to buy it. It’s very important."

For the second time, concurrently with BUYBRAND Expo, the International Moscow Brand and Image Licensing Salon was held. The rights holders (Disney, Flying Animal, KHL and others) presented their licensable brands and products at the stands, drawing the attention of manufacturers and franchisee sector companies, and a business meeting was held, attended by leading representatives of the global licensing market.

BUYBRAND Expo and the International Moscow Brand and Image Licensing Salon were held with the strategic support of the Russian Franchising Association, active support of the National Social Organization ‘Opora Rossii’, the Russian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and Moscow’s Small Business State Budgetary Administration.