Barcelos, the South African per-peri chain is all set to open its first restaurant in India. In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Rohit Malhotra, GM Operations, Barcelos shares the cities on his radar for operation in the country.
Considering the global trend, don’t you think you are entering the Indian market a bit late? Or is it the right time?
I think we are entering India at the right time because based on the researches that we had done, we found that restaurants which entered Indian market during last five years have faced lots of challenges. The traffic of Indian going abroad has increased over the few years bringing change in their lifestyle and their eating habits. Hence, with new government in the country which is focusing much on food technology and the evolving tastes of Indians, I think we are entering India at the right time when there is boom in the sector.
What are the marketing strategies adopted by you for Indian markets?
We are targeting people from 14-40 years. And we are not focussing on a particular segment or group. But 40-45 per cent of our menu will have vegetarian menu acknowledging the fact that the population of vegetarians in India are over 40 per cent. Meanwhile our focus will be healthy, hygienic and tasty food as Indians go by the tastes when it comes to eating options.
What are you doing to make your product suitable for the Indian market?
We hired two chefs from India to develop menu for the Indian market to meet the expectations of the people here. Though, Indians have become open to experimenting but they like a little tweak in the menu, so we have asked the chef to adopt our technique and their expertise in creating Barcelos menu for India.
Whenever a global brand enters into the market, they either sign a master franchisee or a JV with a local partner here. Why Barcelos chose to operate themselves?
In last few years we have seen that many global brands which entered India have fallen down, reason the expectation that the brand has promised is unable to deliver by the local partner here. Meanwhile, it is very difficult to find the right partner here. We have to deliver on our own and our target is top cities initially but when we will expand beyond these boundaries we will look for JV, but we thought of operating ourselves and as I am an Indian I am aware about the culture, the language and the tastes.
What is your expansion plan in India?
We are targeting ten major cities in next five years. We will start our business from Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
What is the number of outlets that you are targeting at?
We are targeting 20 outlets in next five years, however we can change these numbers anytime based on the response.
Do you see any competition from the local market?
In India there is no peri-peri chain. Nando’s is very big player but we have expanded our menu for India, we are including fishes, vegetables and chicken for Indian market. So, we do not see a competition in the market.