“Contribute to sound franchise businesses”
I founded the company with this mission statement.
Looking back, since 1991 I have been engaged in various forms of franchise businesses, and restaurant businesses. In 2006, I had an opportunity to join diverse franchise headquarters in the United States, the home of franchise business, and learn from them. As a result of this experience, I have come to think about the current Japanese franchise situation and how it should be in the future from various aspects.
I have experienced a wide range of positions in the past, as a franchisee, and in franchise headquarters, and acquired the knowledge of the US franchise business scheme and the food and restaurant industry as a whole. Now, with these experiences, I am committed to repaying my gratitude toward the franchise industry and the food and restaurant industry for making me what I am now.
In 1991, we started the business that was not yet found in Japan, or even in the world.
That business was to become an agency who provides franchise store-development service. We came up with the idea to persuade companies to join a franchise as their new business; our target was not individuals, but the small and medium-sized enterprises who already established with their businesses.
It was started by Director Nobuhiko Matsumoto as a business division of one company, and it was named “business brokerage service”.
Soon after this department was started, Akira Tsuchiya joined the team, and we developed the business together.
Our first client was St. Marc Café.
St. Marc Café has its headquarters in Okayama, a provincial city in Japan, and back then, it was a small chain that had only 2 directly-managed stores and 2 franchise-member stores.
This franchise business was to open a 3500sqft store on 20,000sqft land with 2 million USD initial investment cost (excluding the cost for land acquisition).
We successfully expanded their business into over 150 stores within 4 years, and the St. Marc Café became a public-listed company in 1995.
With that as a start, we managed to expand over 30 franchise brands including various restaurant brands i.e. BBQ “Gyukaku”, steak “France-Tei”, katsudon “Katsuya”, sushi delivery “Gin-no Sara”, and from other hospitality business categories i.e. second-hand automobile dealer “Guliver”, second-hand golf club dealer “Golf Partner”, children’s learning school “7 habits” (partnered with American company, Franklin Covey), women’s fitness club “Curves” (as a master franchiser of the American brand), by selling new businesses to small to medium-sized enterprises in Japan.
Number of the stores we successfully opened are over 8000.
During this time, in 1996, not only carrying out the franchise store development work for brands, we have established a company, Prime Link Ltd., to start a business that we become franchisee ourselves to grow the business.
Especially with “Gyukaku”, we became a master franchiser of the west of Japan area, and as a part of the franchise headquarter, we had achieved to grow it into 380 franchise member stores.
In 2001, Prime Link became the very first franchise business company that is listed on the stock market.
We are able:
- to sell the franchise business to small to med-sized enterprises.
- to expand the brands all over Japan, to join the franchise ourselves and grow as a mega-franchisee.
- to manage the franchise headquarters as a master franchiser.
- to manage the various hospitality businesses i.e. restaurants.
In 2006, Akira left Prime Link and started our company, Assentia Holdings Inc.
We started activities to make more business owners aware that franchise business is the way to make small to medium-sized enterprises grow without owning a growing business genre, but by using the franchise system.
In 2010, we have established Assentia Holdings PTE. Ltd. in Singapore, and started the business to connect Japan and the world.
In 2012, St. Marc Café and Ramen Bari-Uma advanced their businesses into Singapore, led by Akira. We also started to expand franchise business to ASEAN countries.
In 2015, Nobu joined Assentia as a member of board.
During the last 5 years, our client’s franchise stores have spread in 14 countries in the world.
Japanese food business (restaurant, food, confectionary etc.) and Japanese-style service is catching a great deal of attention from the world.
According to a survey ran by the Japanese government, there were 55,000 Japanese stores/ restaurants in 2013, and in 2017 there were 118,000, increasing more than double in the numbers.
However, many of these stores are selling themselves for only Japanese-styled food, and not the authenticity, experience, or the service.
What we can do is not just supporting the Japanese companies to expand their businesses abroad.
We can persuade Japanese companies who are not even thinking about advancing abroad, by rewriting their global business strategy.
Now is the time.
There is a need for promoting Japanese food and service properly.
Our work is spreading out from Asia to Oceania, Middle Eastern, Europe and North, Central and South America.
We would like to hear your company’s future vision and dream.
We are confident that we can find you a brand/ business category within Japanese companies to make your dream come true.
U.S.A. is a pioneer country of franchise businesses. Many franchise chains there in the country. Many companies have also come into Japan, and they contributed to the growth of franchise business in Japan.