Retire in Style

By: Prof Enrique Soriano

THE age of retirement in the Philippines is at 65, but one can choose early retirement by the age of 50.  I retired (or became semi-active) at the age 42 after completing my executive engagement as Group CEO of the Belo Medical Group.  Therefore, I know whereof I speak. In other countries, some retirees who have made enough or even more than enough money to live the kind of lifestyles they want are retiring at age 35 already!

Retirees are not only interested with R&R anymore.  A growing number among them is into investing in the business of franchising. Some are putting their money on startup businesses. The global retirement phenomenon is at a boom, and it seems that the retirees are finding ways to save their future by remaining active and business oriented.

The big question that comes right after the point when an individual retires is, “What am I going to do now with my time?”  Believe me, there are retirees who have been wondering what are they going to do with the overwhelmingly plentiful time that they have – something which they are not so used to, considering the fact that they have been conditioned for many long years to work for long hours.  So, retirement can be really relaxing, but if they could not contain their eagerness to take action on something they believe in or something they are very passionate about, life would be heavily boring.

Another concern of retirees, especially those who worked as migrant workers for many years is that how else could they be able to have sustainable income channels aside from the pension they are getting and the savings they have in the bank?  They become worried about their future finances.  They know that they have to do something in order to prevent the dreaded possibility of losing all that they have got earlier than what they have expected.


The Franchise Model Is Every Retirees’ Dream 

In these scenarios, retirees are considering the idea of getting a franchise, because in this way, they could be more productive and profitable, yet through an easier method, because all that there is to know about the business say, an ice cream restaurant or a convenience store are prepared already by the franchisee.  They just need to assimilate and follow.  We know that stepping into a business is a huge leap and it requires a lot of risks upfront, but through franchising, everything is laid out already from branding, training, operations, production, supply etc.  Retirees having their money from retirement lump sum and pension, including their opportunity to loan from banks, have what it takes to get the business franchise of their choice.

For instance, there’s a huge potential in the convenience store industry which is growing faster than other types of retail store.  Ministop and 7-11 are two of the country’s leading 24/7 convenience store chains. It continues to offer investment opportunities for Filipinos looking to build and develop their own business. Previously, Ministop was given the Best Foreign Franchise Award recognizing their Combo-Store concept—the integration of the convenience store with the fast food shop— effectively distinguishing the Ministop brand from other convenience store chains. This format goes beyond traditional convenience store products and services by providing original fast foods made in an in-store kitchen space.

The first Mini-stop store in the Philippines opened in December 2000 and is now the second-largest convenience store chain in the country next to 7-11 with close to 3000 stores. Ministop Philippines, which is owned and operated by Robinsons Convenience Stores, Inc., is targeting 1000 stores.


Prof Enrique Soriano is a World Bank/IFC Governance Consultant, Senior Advisor of Post and Powell Singapore and the Executive Director of Wong + Bernstein, a research and consulting firm in Asia that serves family businesses and family foundations. He was formerly Chair of the Marketing Cluster at the ATENEO Graduate School of Business in Manila, and is currently a visiting Senior Fellow of the IPMI International School in Jakarta.

He is an associate member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and an advisor to business families worldwide, a sought after governance speaker, book author and have written more than 200 articles and publications, including two best-selling Family Business books (Ensuring Your Family Business Legacy 2013 and 2015). You can read Prof Soriano’s business articles for free at