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East Caribbean partner Williams Industries signs Regus franchise deal
Guyana has become the latest country to gain a Regus franchise.
Home to a wealth of natural resources and an influx of global companies, Guyana is a brand-new market for Regus and the latest addition to its franchise portfolio. This follows a series of successful franchise openings in the Eastern Caribbean region.
The English-speaking nation will see its first flexible workspace opening, thanks to the expansion plans of Williams Industries, an existing Regus franchise partner.
In May 2017, Williams’ Chairman Ralph “Bizzy" Williams added Regus to the company’s diverse portfolio, which includes luxury golf clubs, food and drink franchises, and real estate across Barbados. The Barbadian Regus location now operates at over 90% capacity.
“After strong performance in Barbados, Williams started to identify that success could be replicable elsewhere in the region,” says Regus’ Global Corporate Development Director Andrzej Folkierski. “Franchising benefits from scale. Williams had an opportunity to widen their portfolio of locations, building on their experience in other markets. Long-term, this will enable them to generate greater business efficiency and reduced overheads to drive more from their Regus franchise business.
Williams soon acquired the franchise rights to two more Caribbean countries – Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – and Guyana will be the latest addition to their thriving partnership with Regus.
So why Guyana? “For a start you’ve got a growing economy,” says Folkierski, “and a capital city with plenty of opportunity: Georgetown is increasingly attracting foreign investment linked to a boom in its’ oil and gas sector.”
For large international mining as well as oil and gas companies operating in Guyana, the flexibility offered by Regus supports their business model.
“The exploration sector is often project-based,” explains Folkierski. “If a tenant suddenly discovers that natural resource reserves in a given area weren’t as fruitful as expected, they’re going to want the flexibility to move out. Would they want to commit themselves in a ten-year lease, in a local landlord’s building? What we’re seeing is companies in this situation would rather seek the short-term flexibility of a global flexspace provider.”
But it’s not just international corporates – if Guyana follows suit with Williams’ previous franchising countries, local interest [from businesses] will also be high. The attraction will be the same as it is for Regus tenants across the world: flexibility, short-term leases, and well-appointed, premium office space.
Thierry Cren, Global Marketing Director for Franchise & Landlords at IWG, Regus’ parent company, believes that the fact that this is Williams’ fourth franchise agreement will be an advantage: “They already know the business, they’re comfortable with how to manage it, and they know the expectations of clients. It’s really opening up a new opportunity.”
Williams’ diverse experience in business ownership will also help: “Traditional franchise chains are often saturated – if you go to any town you will already have coffee shops, fast food and so on. So, they see our business model as a possibility to invest in something new, something that isn’t franchising yet. We can also show them great returns, so it’s a very attractive investment.”
Folkierski sees the support available while franchising with Regus as threefold: “Franchise partners benefit from the brand, the sales and marketing channel, and the infrastructure platform we’ve developed. They leverage that to operate and develop their own locations.”
“We believe our business model can work anywhere in the world. There’s always a demand for office space, and we’re always looking to expand.”