Category — Tourism & Hospitality

India: Domino’s Pizza’s Biggest Market outside U.S.

Patrick Doyle, global president and CEO at Domino’s Pizza, said, “India now has more stores than any market outside of the U.S. Clearly, it is a major priority for us and will continue to be.”

Domino’s Pizza India now makes and sells four hundred thousand pizzas every day, or more than 120 million pizzas a year — about twice the number of burgers McDonald’s sells in India. “India is the only country where we are double the size of McDonald’s,” said Ajay Kaul, CEO of Jubilant FoodWorks the company that runs the Domino’s stores in India.

As of November 29, there were 818 Domino’s Pizza restaurants in India across 173 cities, and Kaul sees scope for further growth. “We believe we are scratching the surface…over 15 million people are consuming us every year, but half of those consumers are consuming us only once a year,” Kaul said.

It’s this opportunity that has persuaded Domino’s, with global retail sales of $8 billion, to expand its reach in the Indian market aggressively. It plans to continue expanding at a fast pace. Kaul said Domino’s is looking to set up 150 new stores every year and hopes to touch 1,500 to 2,000 stores by 2020. He said people like eating pizza in smaller markets such as Patna, Salem and Kanpur as much as they do in Delhi or Mumbai.

So why are pizzas so popular in India? Kaul said it’s quite simple — cultural affinity. “Pizzas resonate with Indian consumption habits since they look like chapatis, have a wheat base, are eaten with hands instead of forks and spoons, and the same pizza is often shared by slices and has either vegetables or chicken toppings,” he explained. The infinite variety of toppings ensures that one can choose and individualize any pizza to one’s personal preferences. Another big factor is the price: at the entry level rate of 79 cents, Domino’s pizzas in India are also the lowest priced in the world.

 

 

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December 1, 2014   No Comments

Burgers? At Dunkin’ Donuts in India

Donuts (or doughnuts) have yet to grow on the conventional Indian palate — a  truth that Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s doughnut chain realized since it started shop in India two years ago. Many Indians just don’t like doughnuts, and even the ones that like them are unlikely to buy them by the dozen.

The Massachusetts-based chain has had to radically rework its menu in India and re-brand itself through an advertising campaign to let consumers know it offers more than a Bavarian Cream and coffee. In India it now has almost as many burgers on the menu as McDonald’s. All its burgers in India, like McDonald’s, are beef-free.

Dunkin’s decision to put burgers on the menu for the first time anywhere underscores challenges international chains can face adapting to cultural differences.  

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November 30, 2014   No Comments

American Tourists to India Can Now Get Visas More Easily

Most American tourists can soon obtain visas to travel to India much more easily. The new plan does not help business travelers.

According to media reports, this single-entry tourist visa is valid for 30 days, and a traveler may apply twice in a year. You submit an online application, pay $60, and upload an electronic copy of your passport and a photograph. A screening process follows, and within 72 hours, you will know if your visa application has been approved. Once that’s done, print a copy of the “electronic travel authorization” you receive via email, and take it with you to present when you land at one of nine international airports across India. At the airport, an immigration official will take your fingerprint and, everything being in order, you’ll be cleared to enter the country.

To the India Expert, this won’t smell like a visa on arrival, of the kind offered to American tourists by most countries, where the traveler just shows up at any border checkpoint with their passport and is let in within a few minutes and some onsite paperwork.

But it will still go a long way in boosting tourist travel to the country.  Besides the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, much of Northern and Eastern Europe, most of South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea are also part of the expanded plan for the new e-visa process. The United Kingdom, France and Canada are not included at this point.

Only nine of India’s 20 airports will offer visas on arrival, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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November 29, 2014   No Comments

Born in India: Chicken Maharajah Mac!

Adapting and making changes to suit a particular culture is one of the secrets to succeeding in new markets.

Amit Jatia is the man responsible for McDonald’s phenomenal growth in the Indian market since the company first contacted him in 1994. His business has 174 McDonald’s across 17 cities in India and is counting.

McDonald’s was willing to localize, and so, respecting the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims in the country they promised that there would be no beef or pork on the menu. The Big Mac beef burger, the company’s signature product, was replaced by the Chicken Maharajah Mac.

Perceptive of the fact that many Indians are vegetarians, and being a vegetarian himself, Amit has introduced a 20 rupees (35c) Aloo Tikki Burger, a burger with a cutlet made of mashed potatoes, peas and flavored with Indian spices. “It’s something you would find on Indian streets, it was essentially the McDonald’s version of street food. The price and the taste together, the value we introduced, was a hit. It revolutionized the industry in India,” he says.

McDonald’s doesn’t have the Indian fast-food market to itself:

  • Domino’s Pizza has more than 500 restaurants across India
  • KFC has more than 300 restaurants
  • Dunkin Donuts has more than 30 outlets in India
  • Burger King has just opened its first restaurant in Delhi and other outlets are reported to be opening shortly – it too has dropped pork and beef from its menu

Originally Amit was the local partner in the south and west of India, running the chain as a joint venture with the global McDonald’s company. Later he bought out the McDonald’s stake and now solely runs the chain in the south and west of the country. The journey hasn’t been an easy one since Amit has had to adapt the business and infrastructure to a uniquely Indian market. He has segregated kitchens for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. “All the kitchen fabrication, the refrigeration, chillers and freezers and furniture are made locally,” he explains. In most cases McDonald’s global suppliers have worked with local businesses to make that happen. Amit wants to take it further. His current challenge is to make fryers locally. Overall he has managed to grow same-store sales by 200% and he says he’s not done yet. The plans are to open another 1,000 restaurants in the next decade.

McDonald’s in India has another partner in the north with whom they are entangled in ownership issues. On asking Amit Jatia how he managed to get around it, the MBA from the University of Southern California said, “There are a lot of regulatory approvals needed to get something done. But that is known. Once you know it, you factor it into your business plan.”

 

 

 

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November 21, 2014   No Comments

Indians Pre-Order Sandwiches in Advance of Burger King Opening!

Burger King was yet to open its first outlet in the country, yet over 1,200 Indians had already pre-ordered the chicken, mutton or veggie versions of its Whopper sandwich for 128 rupees (just over $2) each. Online shoppers then collected their orders in a separate line when the store opened in New Delhi’s Select Citywalk Mall on November 9.

Pre-ordering has become a bit of a  craze in India, and Coca-Cola India launched its Coke Zero exclusively through pre-orders on Amazon. Burger King entered India almost two decades after its competitor McDonald’s. Honoring the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims, the chain will not offer any items made of beef or pork. And, just as McDonald’s has done, Burger King too will Indianize its menu by including dishes made of paneer or cottage cheese that is so popular in India.

Burger King’s late entry may not be a constraint in a country where fast food is in hot demand. The segment is dominated by Western players as Indian food does not easily lend itself to the standardization demands of fast food chains. India’s organized fast food market is expected to grow to $8 billion in 2020 from $2.5 billion in 2013. Even though digital commerce is in its infancy in India, it is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the APAC region according to Gartner which predicts it will hit $6 billion in 2015 – a 70% rise over 2014 revenues of $3.5 billion.

 

 

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November 11, 2014   No Comments