Published on August 14, 2007
Papon Ratanachaikanont, who is also in charge of True Coffee's business development, said the company planned to invest around Bt20 million to set up a True Coffee outlet in Shanghai, China.
He said a company in Laos with automobile and Internet-service businesses had also approached True for a licence to open two True Coffee franchises there.
The Lao company is expected to open one shop in Vientiane and another in Luang Prabang this year.
"The True Coffee chain's expansion outside of Thailand will help us promote the True brand throughout Asia," Papon said.
Launched three years ago, True Coffee shops quickly gained popularity among trendy people and students. They are located in prime areas and offer various kinds of services besides beverages and food, from paying bills of the True telecom group to broadband Internet access.
True developed the True Coffee brand to reflect a trendy brand image and promote the telecom-convergent services of its group.
Under the franchise-licensing terms, franchisees must pay an Bt800,000 fee up front and share 10 per cent of revenues with True. They must also source their coffee, beverages and bakery products from True.
"The shops in China and Laos will operate under the True Coffee brand," Papon said.
He said entrepreneurs in several countries, including the UAE and Vietnam, were keen to become True Coffee franchisees. All interested franchisees are welcome but must offer a good business model.
True Corp has spent Bt60 million so far to develop the True Coffee chain.
It plans to spend Bt40 million to in-crease its branches in Thailand from 22 now to 36 this year. The branches will be set up in major provinces, such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen and Chon Buri.
Papon added that True Coffee expected revenue growth of 150 per cent this year after posting growth of 138 per cent in the first half.