Pita Pan, a Singapore-based restaurant chain, known for serving authentic Mediterranean cuisine, is entering India by early 2015. Kunal Pushkarna, Owner, Pita Pan, speaks about the brandâ€™s strategy for the Indian market.
You started Asia operation in 2011. What made you start with traditional Mediterranean cuisine in the region?
We wanted to introduce authentic Israeli cuisine to Asia, but with a twist to it. People know a bit about Middle Eastern food, but are unable to get the authentic taste of the food in the region. Hence, we started Pita Pan in Singapore, serving healthy and modern Middle Eastern food.
Tell us about your operation in Singapore and what is your plan of venturing into India?
We have three restaurants in Macau and Singapore. In Singapore, we serve only vegetarian delicacies, as we see the growing need of vegetarian food in the South Eastern country, as the people there are left with very limited options available in vegetarian food.
So far as our India entry is concerned, we are planning to enter India by early 2015 and are scouting right franchising partner for the same.
What factors made you think of entering into the Indian market?
We find, Asia in general, is a booming place to be, and India is a part of the continent. With both the growing economy and middle class segment, we felt that, India is missing authentic and modern Middle Eastern cuisine. Although there are places in the country that serve this cuisine, but they are not authentic and modern at the same time, and Middle Eastern food is close to Indian food.
What kind of competition are you seeing in the country?
I think it is healthy to have competition as it makes you deliver the best at the table. We know that we are bringing the best product, and therefore, we will be able to meet the demand of Indians placing Pita Pan right in the fast growing food market in Asia.
What segment of market you are focussing most in India and why?
We are focusing the middle class segment, who is much focused on value for money foods, and who can spend some bucks frequently to have good tastes.
What are the probable locations for Pita Pan in India?
We will be targeting metros focussing Mumbai and Delhi NCR.
Tell us about your India operation strategy, number of outlets you are going to start and expansion plans?
We are planning to wholesale our products in institutional market by building our manufacturing facility. We are also planning to launch over 100 outlets in the Indian markets in the next few years.
What will be your product strategy for India?
We will be offering fresh and authentic pitas, which have already been tasted by Indians in Singapore. We do not need to tweak the menu and it is ready for launch in the country.
Does franchising come handy for your expansion strategy?
Franchising is the best model to grow with the right local partner, as it is good to have a right local partner, while expanding beyond the geographical boundaries.