Yesterday, a friend of mine came to see me. His name is Rudolf Kotik. Rudolf is from Austria, although he has lived in the Philippines for 21 years now! He certainly is a long time resident, and in many ways, Rudolf has taken on many Filipino traits. Most of his actions, opinions and such are very Filipino.
Rudolf is in the Franchise Development business. He used to work in Franchising for McDonald’s many years ago, so he is a serious person in this business, not just some “Johnny come lately,” if you know what I mean.
Rudolf lives in Manila, but his work brings him to Mindanao at least once per month. I have known Rudolf for nearly 8 years now, so almost as long as I have lived in the Philippines. We originally met when I hired Rudolf to do some work for me on developing a business that I own as a franchise, back in 2001. Rudolf developed into less of a business contact, and more of a good friend. Rudolf’s wife, Margie is also very close with Feyma (and me too), and Rudolf (or RK, as he is commonly called) and Margie are like family to us in many ways.
When I had a stroke in 2001, RK and Margie came down to GenSan and spent a lot of time with me, giving me moral support and even financial support. I owed RK some money for the franchising work that he had done for me (although I only had one more payment due to him), and he told me not to pay him, because I needed the money to take care of my health, not for him. I argued with him, but he would not hear of taking that last payment from me. I only say all of this to show just how close Rudolf and Margie are to us, and how much we treasure their friendship.
Well, as I said, RK stopped by to see me yesterday. He had a few hours before his next meeting, and we had time to catch up. We started talking about the World Financial Crisis. I asked RK if he could see any affect in his business. I was kind of surprised when he told me that his business had been greatly affected by the crisis!
“How have you been hurt?” I asked Rudolf.
“I didn’t say I had been hurt, I said I had been greatly affected.” replied Rudolf.
“Yes, in what way?”
“Well, Bob, my business is booming, and I give the crisis all the credit for it!”
What? Rudolf went on to explain that a lot of people are buying franchises right now. I continued to question him, and it turns out, according to RK, that people don’t know what to do with their money. Banks are failing all over the world. Other non-bank financial institutions are failing. Shifty people are coming out of the woodwork with some scheme or another. People simply don’t know how to keep their money safe. What are they doing? Buying franchised businesses! So, his sales are skyrocketing. It makes sense too, in my opinion.
I was really happy to hear that RK is thriving in these bad economic times. I hope that things only get better and better for him!
I’d like to take a moment to wish a very Happy Birthday to fellow LiP writer, Rusty Ferguson! Rusty turned 50 yesterday, but unfortunately I did not know that it was his birthday. Happy Birthday, Rusty!