By Herbert Vego
WHILE in Singapore, I spent time reading a coffee-table book in a hotel lobby. It chronicled the beginnings of international corporations, including Coca-Cola and Mc Donald’s, which I would like to summarize here for their inspirational value.
It all began in August 1888 when an American druggist, Asa Chandler, noted a fountain spewing carbonated drink. He bought the rights to this soft drink and called it Coca-Cola. By the turn of the century, almost every store in Atlanta had a counter with Coke fountain from where a customer could sit down and sip the drink for five cents.
The product was so “addictive” that he sought the help of a friend on how to expand his operation without the customers having to come to a fountain to sip. He was sure that, given wider exposure, the product would boom.
One day, this friend excitedly burst into his office. He would tell Chandler how to do it, provided the latter would “buy” his idea for a hefty fee.
At first hesitant, Chandler eventually wrote his friend a check on the assurance that the formula would make him a millionaire. The friend whispered two words.
“Bottle it?” Chandler echoed, wondering whether those two words were worth his check.
From then on, consumers no longer have to drink soft drinks from a fountain. The drink is now available all over the world in bottles, and now in cans, too. Everybody can now bring them home to drink whenever they are thirsty.
What Chandler paid his friend for was the wisdom of leverage or use of techniques to perform difficult tasks in less time and effort. He learned the wisdom to leverage time, effort and location by bottling his product, thus maximizing productivity.
From that humble beginning, Coca-Cola has become one of the top money-making corporations worldwide.
Many years later, in the early 1950s, an appliance salesman named Ray Kroc would frequently eat at a fast-food restaurant called McDonald’s. There were times when he and other customers had to wait long to replace those who had come ahead. If he could own the restaurant, he thought, he could retire from selling milk shakers. Having saved enough money, he offered the owner an amount hard to refuse. And having bought the restaurant, he accumulated more money and eventually built branches.
There came a time when Ray could no longer find time to handle the expanding business. By then, franchising – or selling to others the authority to replicate a business – was still rare.
“Franchise it!” The two-word idea just popped up in his mind.
Indeed, Kroc offered to franchise McDonald’s. But he did not content himself with collecting payment from franchisees. He imposed strict “quality control” among interested franchisees.
To this day, any businessman interested in buying a McDonald’s franchise has to train, or send a representative, to any of its training centers in the United States. Nobody is allowed to depart from the standard menu without authority from the corporation.
It is to Ray Kroc that other franchised fast-food chains owe a favor. They make millions of dollars just by selling to others the right to copycat their fast-selling products.
CONGRATS, MORE POWER!
THE presence of MORE Power’s contingency teams in all Iloilo City areas hosting Dinagyang events made it possible for zero accidents.
To cite one incident last Saturday, a big balloon got entangled on the live lines served by Molo feeder 2. It caused power fluctuation but only briefly. Thanks to the alert intervention by linemen who pulled down the balloon before it could cause fire.
The incident should henceforth serve a lesson to all balloon holders to hold them tightly as if they were holding hands with a loved one.
With or without Dinagyang, MORE Power’s helpline telephone numbers may be contacted anytime at 330- 6673 (landline), 0919-0720-626, and 0917-6375-214.