Haymarket HQ Square Table: David Keir on raising $100mil, franchise, pizza’s in China

Haymarket HQ Square Table is a regular and informal community event at Australia’s first startup hub supporting entrepreneurs to grow into Asia. Listen to entrepreneurs open up about their setbacks, learnings and experiences starting up in Asia-Pacific.

This time we had David Keir join us – the Founder & CEO @ Freedom Road Travel Group, Founder & former President @ Dash Brands. David talks to Victoria Kung – Manager, Membership and Stakeholder Relations for Australia China Business Council. Topics discussed at this session include rolling out Western brands in the Chinese market, opening up over 100 Domino’s pizza stores, raising more than $100million from investors, the opportunities for Australian entrepreneurs in China and more.

Key points covered:

  • How he started his curiosity for China (1:10)
  • The first moment he realised he wanted to franchise Subway in Beijing (4:30)
  • The 15RMB ($3AUD) sub, and how it led to huge growth for Subway (12:22)
  • Growing middle class as a prerequisite for Dominos delivery services (15:05)
  • What David thinks is the reason for Dominos and Subway’s success in China & the beginning of Starbucks (17:36)
  • How David raised 100mil and got Macquarie onto Dash Brands (27:05)
  • Why he’s wary of doing a joint venture (34:45)
  • The start of Freedom Road Travel (36:30)
  • Personal beliefs, and the importance of mentorship (42:30)
  • The importance of WeChat for Dominos (46:39)