The Colonel comes to Myanmar

Yoma Strategic Holdings will soon offer Myanmar’s fast food lovers the chicken The Colonel made famous with his secret recipe of 11 different herbs and spices.

The Singapore-listed company has announced plans to bring the US fast food chain, KFC, into the country, making it the first international fast food retailer in the long-isolated nation.

It will become “the first major American quick service restaurant to establish a foothold in Myanmar,” Yoma said in the statement.

Yoma, which is teaming with KFC parent company Yum! Brands, said it planned to open several restaurants in the country’s bustling commercial hub by the end of the year. The exact date for the opening of the first KFC outlet was not released.

“Bringing KFC to Myanmar is an important step to achieving Yoma’s strategic goal to become a key player in the country’s food and beverage sector,” Yoma Executive Chairman Serge Pun said in the company’s statement to the Singapore Exchange.

That was followed by an announcement by Ogilvy Public Relations Myanmar, which is handling public relations, that all knock-off KFC restaurants in Myanmar were not part of the chain. Yoma plans to take unspecified “protective action” against what it calls unofficial KFC restaurants. The company does not yet know the exact location of all such restaurants or how many there are.

KFC, which for much of the 21st century branded its chicken as “finger lickin’ good” reports it has more than 14,000 KFC restaurants in emerging markets, including China and India. Yum! Brands, which reports about US $13bn in annual revenues, also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

However, while The Colonel may have beaten other major US restaurant chains into Myanmar, it is not the first foreign fast food firm to open in the country. South Korea’s Lotteria launched its first burger restaurant in 2013 and now has seven outlets in the country, according to its website.

Seeking a bigger place in the food and beverage business, Yoma also has real estate, agriculture, automotive and luxury tourism businesses in Myanmar, including the country’s first international department store, Parkson.

Last week, it proudly announced that it was ranked 18th among the 100 largest Singapore-listed companies in the Asean Corporate Governance Scorecard 2014. The scorecard, which is the joint initiative of the Asean Capital Markets Forum and the Asian Development Bank, examines corporate governance performance of publicly listed companies in six Asean countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The assessment is based on publicly available information and benchmarked against international best practices that encourage publicly listed companies to go beyond national legislative requirements.
“Good corporate governance has been a cornerstone of the group from day one and we believe responsible business practices are key to sustainable growth, especially in an emerging market like Myanmar,” Serge Pun said.

The group has conducted seminars and workshop on responsible business to small and medium enterprises around Myanmar. It has also organised two annual shareholders’ trips to Myanmar to offer them a first-hand experience of its operations.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

You may want to learn more about the challenge facing fast food brands entering Myanmar at Myanmar smells fast food success as KFC open in Yangon.

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