Aiming at empowering women entrepreneurs by making franchises for his various food brands available to them is ICPL, the brainchild of celebrated Chef Sanjeev Kapur. Mr Manish Tandon, MD, ICPL shares in detail the company’s initiative and its success journey so far.
Pallavi Majha (PM): Please elaborate on the inception, growth and success of the Indian Cookery Private Limited (ICPL) so far?
Manish Tondon (MT): ICPL the brainchild of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, is a company that was created to launch high quality restaurants globally, specialising in Indian and other popular cuisines. The restaurant chains are positioned towards different SEC categories to be accessible to a wide base of customers. Our goal at ICPL is a top quality consumer experience, with high levels of quality and operational efficiency reflected in our food, service, and ambience.
With over 25 restaurants in over 12 cities across three countries ICPL is looking to scale up its operations and targets 100 restaurants in the next year. In this project Chef Kapoor has partnered with Better Value Brands whose promoters have over the past few years been responsible for the phenomenal growth of Talwalkars Better Value Fitness, India’s largest chain of fitness centre’s with over 105 health clubs in over 52 cities as also Brainworks Learning, one of the leading chain of pre-schools in India with over 50 pre-schools across the country.
PM: Kindly highlight the concept of ‘empowering women entrepreneurs by making franchises available to them on a special basis this year’.
MT: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor would like to thank the women of India for the tremendous support he has received from them over the years in all his ventures - television shows, books, or food products. He would like to play a small role towards empowering women entrepreneurs by making franchises available to them on a special discount this year.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor through ICPL wants to empower women by offering them franchises for our various brands and take the first step towards becoming entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry. ICPL has offered 10 per cent discount on its franchise fees exclusively for women entrepreneurs.
PM: Throw some light on various brands that ICPL has under its portfolio? How many total outlets do the company has for each brand and are all these brands franchised?
MT: Our vision is to be a leading player in the ‘Food Service Industry’ with brands that appeal to different SEC categories and can scale-up rapidly both nationally and internationally. Our business strategy is to build leading brands across multiple restaurant formats, targeting diverse market segments. Our goal is to drive aggressive growth via franchisee and joint venture partners globally. Our restaurant brands are:
Our goal at The Yellow Chilli is to provide a high-quality, family dining experience at affordable prices.
PM: What kind of investment is required for all your brands? Is there any provision for low cost investment opportunity for women aspirants?
MT: The approximate investment required for our brands is about 90 Lakh per outlet. ICPL along with providing brand and restaurant management systems and processes also guides prospective franchisees through the process of acquiring the funds needed for an investment of this nature.
PM: When and how did the company come across franchising?
MT: The company started franchising since year 1999 with the first The Yellow Chilli in Ludhiana. ICPL has been built to leverage Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s unparalleled restaurant experience and culinary expertise in concert with Better Value Brands’ retail and marketing expertise.
PM: What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the right franchise partners? Is it essential to have a similar background?
MT: Indian Cookery is committed to building leading brands across multiple restaurant formats that target diverse market segments. Our brands will reflect our commitment to operational efficiency and enhanced hospitality. Our goal is to drive consistent growth via franchise and joint venture partners globally. We are looking for like-minded partners with the vision and capability to open and manage multiple restaurants.
PM: Do you feel there is any change in the buying behavior of the consumers during the past few years?
MT: The average new age Indian consumer is a young spender with a hectic schedule and a propensity to eat out more frequently than in the past. This consumer views eating out as a necessity during his or her work week and as an opportunity to experiment on the weekends. Fulfilling these different needs at different times is essential to building a brand that resonates with this consumer. For instance, at our restaurants like Khazana, Pin Yin Café and The Yellow Chilli we have focused on convenient, quick, value meals during the lunch hour and enhancing the dining experience at dinner.
PM: In which areas and regions are you looking for expansion India and internationally?
MT: Each brand has a specific focus for expansion nationally and internationally. Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor is best suited for 5 Star hotels in key metros and destination cities internationally. Khazana has a Tier I and International metro focus. The Yellow Chilli will be the core brand in Tier-II cities in India. Pin Yin Café has been developed for Tier I and Tier II cities in India.