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    د· خالد التقي لـ"اللواء": اقرار قانون خاص بترخيص الامتياز ينعش الاقتصاد خصوصاً السياحة
    click here      LATEST INTERVIEW
     
    2007

    FBC- Dr. Khaled A. Taki , addressing
    The Franchise Conference in Syria on
    the Topic The Franchise Cycle 19.6.2007
    click to know more ...
    click to see picture pic

     
    2006
    FBC organizes a lecture at NDU , FBC- Dr. Khaled A. Taki
    Topic : “ The Franchise Cycle”
    24.11.2006
     
    2005

    With The Daily Start
    Taki Business in person
    click to know more ...
     
    2005
    FBC- Dr. Khaled A. Taki , addressing
    The Franchise Conference in Kuwait on
    the Topic “ The Franchise Cycle” 23.12.2005
    click to know more ...
     
     
     
       
      Franchise guru sees Middle East as road full of opportunity
    Taki's business is growing near 50 percent a year

    By Will Rasmussen
    Daily Star staff
    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    Business in person

     

    BEIRUT: Khaled Taki is Beirut's franchising guru.Taki matches Gulf investors with Lebanese looking to franchise their business. He sets the price, writes the contract, and ensures that an exact copy of the Lebanese business is produced. "It's a Catholic marriage," he laughs. "I am the priest. Divorce is not an option. Both sides know their duties and both sides are happy."

    A trim, energetic 54-year old with a square jaw and a light, graying beard, Taki has seen his 4-employee business take off in the two years since he founded it. The September 11 terror attacks in the U.S. meant Gulf tourists increasingly choosing to summer in Beirut, where they became accustomed to Lebanese staples like Crepaway, Zaatar wa Zeit, or the gift company Lily in the Box. When Gulf Arabs began demanding these same companies in Jeddah and Doha, Lebanese franchising surged.
    "It's growing near 50 percent a year," Taki says. "Exporting both the Lebanese know-how and labor, as Lebanese workers leave for the Gulf region, is increasing. It will rise even more if tourism increases."
    Prime markets for Lebanese firms are less-developed countries such as Bahrain and Qatar. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are crowded with international firms and competition is fierce.

    It's a pleasant convergence of factors for Taki, who stumbled into his current consulting business a few years ago helping his close friend, the owner of the Lebanese fast-food restaurant Bliss House, develop a manual for opening new franchises.

    After that, my business grew by word of mouth - client to client," Taki says. "I didn't advertise at all."
    Taki's clients now include, among others, the chocolate company Alpina, the furniture store Vanlian, an Italian clothing store called Atos Lombordini, and restaurants Bliss House, Substation, House of Salads, and the U.S.-based Pita Delite.

    "I don't just accept anyone," he explains. "There has to be a uniqueness in your service, your product, or your menu to succeed."
    Despite his less-than-premeditated entrance into the consulting business, franchising runs in Taki's blood.

    During his teenage years, Taki's parents returned to Lebanon from Mexico and won a franchise to open "The Classics," an American furniture company, in Saudi Arabia.
    Taki, who was born in Mexico City, was by that time fluent in Spanish, Arabic, and English and stepped into a management role in the business. "My parents asked me to help out, and I became the manager of 85 employees," he said.

    In 1991, Taki won a franchise for an English furniture company in Lebanon, which in the wreckage of the post-war years never got off the ground. In the late 1990's, Taki managed the franchising agreements involved in bringing Formula One Grand Prix auto racing to Lebanon.

    The allure of franchising for Taki stems both from brokering deals and from a scholarly fascination with understanding different cultures.

    "In franchising, you have to know the norms and values of the culture," Taki says.

    Most of his business involves Saudi Arabia, which poses cultural and religious obstacles for companies trying to do business there.
    "In our training manuals for Saudi Arabia," Taki explains, "we have to make provisions for praying five times a day. We have to shut down and chain the door during those times."
    Restaurants also must be designed very differently in Saudi Arabia.

    "You have to have closed booths for families, where the waiter can't enter. He has to knock on the door and wait for the male to open it and get the food."
    These observations led Taki to publish a book - one of his five - called "How to Understand a Saudi Arabian."

    He's penned works on Mexico's economy, the role of the Diaspora in developing Lebanon, and most prominently, a recently re-released biography of former Premier Rafik Hariri, co-written with a German author.
    "We published that book in 1995, when Hariri was not so popular," Taki says. "My biggest sadness is February 14. That will be the saddest day for me ever."
    Taki, whose family lives in London, settled permanently - or so he plans - in Beirut in 1997. Although he says he avoids politics at all costs, he does have a patriot's concern for his country.

    He displays prominently on his wall a plaque from President Emile Lahoud recognizing his community service work at Roumieh prison.
    Taki built a 65-square meter computer center at the prison and set up a school to teach computer skills to inmates.
    "We're in our sixth year now," he says. "I love to do humanitarian work and help these people recover."

    As he explains his life history and his hobbies, Taki bounds around his spacious Gefinor Center office space, gathering various articles on his activities, pulling books he's written off the shelves, and exhibiting photos of consumer products he uses in franchising manuals.

    Taki's industry is young in the Middle East. It started in the early 1990's when some Kuwaiti businessmen wanted to open a McDonalds.
    "The Gulf only understands franchising because of the West," Taki says. "They opened a road for us."

    For Taki, it's a road full of many opportunities.
    "Every summer, people return from Beirut to the Gulf and want the same services and products back home."

    20-second resume
    In the Family: divorced with three children, Rania, 24, Stephanie, 21 and Achmed Justin, 18
    Last Vacation: "to England to visit my children"
    Currently reading? "Foundation of Human Resources Development" by Richard A. Swanson
    Hobbies/Sports: walking at the American University of Beirut or on the Corniche, swimming.

     
    Calendar Of Upcoming Activities
    LECTURES - SEMINARS - WORKSHOPS
    2008

    The Franchise Phenomenon
    Its rapid adoption by Lebanese Franchisors
    for the Arab Markets
    Presented by
    Dr. Khaled A. Taki, Senior Consultant of
    F B C - Lebanon
    at Gefinor Rotana Hotel - Beirut
    ARAB FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION
    Founded in 2007 in Beirut Lebanon to
    serve the Arab World    click here
    Member of the
    LEBANESE FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION
    College of Experts. 2007 2008    click here
    Articles and Interviews by
    Dr. Khaled A.Taki


    1 The Daily Star – Franchise Guru
    2 The Liwa – Legislative Campaign for a Franchise Law
    3 Franchising in the Middle East and Arab World
    4 Franexcel - spring 2008
    5 Franexcel - summer 2008
    6
    7- FrancExel-Lebanese_Franchisor
    8- The Liwa – Legislative Campaign for a Franchise Law
    Franchise Business Consultants ®
    Beirut Lebanon www.fbcfranchise.com

    Franchise Business Consultants is ready to help you develop a reliable and dependable Franchise Development package bi lingual English and Arabic , includes a realistic long term strategy :

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    - Franchise Operations Manuals , bi lingual English and Arabic
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