If you delivered all that was expected from you and went for the interview, you deserve more than just a ‘regret’ via email. Since I don’t know Sasol’s internal rules for their franchise business, maybe that’s just the way they work. But this doesn’t mean that you have to accept it.
I highly recommend you go back to the contact person you dealt with in a very friendly and open way. Tell them that you are extremely interested in becoming a franchisee and that it would really help you if you knew why your application was rejected. Let them know that you’re not asking because you want to argue with them – rather, you want to know because you want to learn from the experience.
If you don’t get an answer, keep going, no matter how many people you have to ask again and again until you know why you were rejected.
If you get an answer eventually, make a plan to eliminate the weaknesses of your proposal and either tell them you will sort it out and that you will come back (with a specific date), or use that knowledge to approach a different franchisor with a stronger proposal.
Your question reminds me of a guy from Europe I know. His name is Georg. Many years ago, he lacked good education and was jobless. He thought “well, a McDonalds franchise would be a great thing.” So he went to McDonalds to talk to them. They smiled at him, this green guy, and told him why he had no chance at all to get a franchise. He listened, thought a few moments and told them: “I’ll be back in five years”. Of course, they did not believe him.
Five years later, on the day, he returned. Georg had everything that they requested 5 years ago and went straight to the head of franchising. Imagine the astonishment of this manager. What he saw was pure determination and persistence – some of the key ingredients of a successful entrepreneur.
Georg got his chance and his first franchise. Just a few years later he runs six McDonalds restaurants, owns a big boat and a nice house in Florida and is still looking for new opportunities to open new restaurants.
No matter if you eventually get your franchise at Sasol or not – if you insist in getting to know why you got rejected and you work on your weaknesses, you will be able to get your franchise one day – and be successful!
Take it as a chance, not a rejection, and learn from it.