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Food and Beverage 2015-09-09

Why Western brands are challenged but excited about India

At the time when foreign brands are keen on grabbing opportunities in Indian market, red-tape and formalities are making them sweat, but consumer excitement is giving them reasons to laugh.

By Deputy Features Editor
Why Western brands are challenged but excited about India

With food being one of the main markets of elaborate opportunities, the international brands are giving much attention to the regulations and legalities in a bid to deliver high class, globally acclaimed products to their fussy Indian counterparts. Reason is Indians are known for being selective and choosy in picking food and the food regulation and safety is something which indeed demands acute care and attention to make a niche in the market here.

“The biggest problem that we face in India is getting the licenses on time which delays the business of restaurant,” pointed Ashish Saxena, CEO, Tex Mex Cuisines Pvt Ltd which runs Chili’s restaurants in West and South India.

Despite this, India is a wonderful market for these brands to invest being less congested in comparison to other countries where they are present as this country has lots of opportunities to unfold.

“For us there have been two learning, when you look at Indian consumers they want to consume western products but they want to have that Indian feel. They want to have something which is aspirational but it should be affordable. They want something familiar but each time they are having something they want something new,” shared Tanmay Kumar, CFO, Burger King India.

Adding to the same lines, Jasper Reid, Director Wendy’s and Jamie’s Italian India, said, “We don’t want to get into any type of war here with any of ourcompetitors. We launched Wendy’s with affordable dining bringing lots of changes to the brand in comparison to our global market because Indians today do not want a typical QSR; they want an entertainment cafe rather. Hence westarted table service here, transformed ourselves into a casual dining chain because if you are opening a global chain, you have to bring that prospects and you can’t do every other brand doing here”.

Despite all these facts, the penetration is increasing in India brands like Sumo Sushi & Bento are eager to tap the Indian market as they believe that it is the time when Indian customers are more open to eating any global cuisines.

“We are always after the young and upcoming Indian, the world travelled people as technology hasgiven this country a lifeline unlike before. And because they are knowledgeable, they are willing to try and experiment and for us this would be the right time to cater,” pointed Alpha Maiava, Franchise Sales &International Growth, Franchise Department, Sumo Sushi & Bento.

Hence, with lots of brands coming, where there is so much options to eat, global brands are really creating the Indian food service market a battle ground for more growth.

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