Grow Your Business Successfully in China – Learning from Home-grown Singapore Brand Roti Mum

In recent times, the world order has changed. Increased globalization has disrupted status quo all around us and we need to take a moment to understand what that might mean for Made in Singapore brands.

Given the very limited land mass Singapore brands have had to thrive in and the focus on the AEC in 2016, many entrepreneurs have been finding growth opportunities in the region. However, more than growing in our surrounding countries, there is one goliath that most SME’s would love to conquer, if only they had the secret to overcoming the challenges of entering this territory, China.

Well known for being a tough and dangerous terrain, many Singapore brands have entered this huge land of opportunities and not found success. However, in more recent times, China has made progress and many of the new generation entrepreneurs have started to adopt more global business practices. In fact, there have been many success stories of Singapore brands entering the China market.

In a closed door sharing session jointly organised by Astreem and Maybank, Mr Roger Sun, China’s Master Franchisee of home grown Singapore brand, Roti Mum, and Mr Jeffrey Yang, Managing Director and owner of Roti Mum shared with business owners in Singapore their journey of bringing Roti Mum into China, how they found a successful balance in their franchisor franchisee relationship, and how to ensure Roti Mum became a brand that is scalable in the China context.

Roti Mum franchise sharing

Singapore Brands are well perceived in China. A lot of it has to do with our progressive economy, good corporate governance, and strong business practices. A franchise with a well structured and practical strategy that takes into consideration both the franchisee and franchisor needs will find it very possible to enter China successfully. Besides having a good plan, a lot of trust and flexibility, compromises must happen between both franchisor and franchisee to ensure progressive executional development.

When expanding into China, it is important the franchisor look at key franchise fundamentals from an executional viewpoint.

Some Key points shared by Mr Roger Sun are as follows:


The franchisor of Roti Mum, Mr Jeffrey Yang, encouraged business owners by sharing that whilst Roti Mum is successful in its market entry in China now, his journey was filled with challenges and important decisions along the way.

Learnings he shared with the group:

  1. Finding the financially strongest partner may not be your best option as at times, the drive, hunger and need to build your brand may not be there.
  2. Align your mindsets and expectations on how the brand is to be built.
  3. Being ready to compromise in some areas of operations and localization if you do not have the ability to do better than your franchisee.
  4. It is finding the right franchisee, having the ability to build a trusting relationship, being willing to find compromises and sheer hard work that builds a brand in China.

Ultimately, the chief custodian of the brand is the Franchisor. How the brand is built is in their hands. It is in sessions such as these that new perspectives can be harnessed that can potentially add to the business owner’s decision making process.

If you are a business owner and want to be included in our invite list for future sharing sessions, contact us at [email protected].


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