Burger King to Expand in India

Burger King made an entry into the Indian market last November in a joint venture with Everstone Capital, and it opened 12 outlets in the National Capital Region and Mumbai.

During the course of this year, more outlets will be opened in Bangalore and Punjab, said Rajeev Varman, CEO of Burger King India. Other markets under consideration for later expansion are Chennai and Hyderabad.

In an interview with Economic Times, Varman further stated that 50% of their menu offered vegetarian options, and this category contributed to 50% of their total sales. Among new initiatives undertaken by Burger King in India was one that promoted women in their system. “If you walk into any Burger King restaurant, you can see the lady employee wearing a badge which reads ‘Queen at Burger King.’ It is not just a badge but it means providing equal opportunities to women, respecting them and protecting their rights at the workplace. I am personally very much attached to this initiative,” he added.

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March 17, 2015   No Comments

Lowe’s Inaugurates Global Innovation Center in India

On February 11, Lowe’s Services India Private Limited, a subsidiary of U.S.-based home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies, opened its Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Bangalore, India. The GIC will work on technology and analytics that will focus on the next-generation customer requirements and provide customers with a more personalized shopping experience. This center will support Lowe’s efforts to become an omni-channel home improvement company.

Lowe's Store

Lowe’s Store

The GIC will be headed by Narayan Ram and it will provide Lowe’s with a strategic footprint to leverage Bangalore’s potential for technology. The facility is spread over 110,000 sq. ft., and expects to employ approximately 500 people by the end of 2015.

Robert Niblock, chairman, president & CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc., said on the occasion, “We feel confident that with this strengthening of our presence in India, we will be able to provide more personalized experiences to customers, helping us continue our pace of strategic growth.”

Narayan Ram, managing director, Lowe’s India said, “The Bangalore Global Innovation Center will employ the concept of ‘one team, multiple locations,’ as we work across our global organization to apply the power of analytics and technology to the Lowe’s business, so customers can engage with us whenever and however they need support.”

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March 17, 2015   No Comments

Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

Here are three stories of entrepreneurs that went east to India, survived, and succeeded:

Valerie Wagoner started her company ZipDial, which was acquired last month by Twitter, based on her insight of the potential of missed calls in the bandwidth deprived Indian mobile market.

In 2013, Greg Moran and David Back left the U.S. to work in India, but ended up starting their own company ZoomCar, a self-driving (ie no chaffeur provided)  car rental start-up. What started with just seven vehicles is now a business of 250 cars in the cities of Bangalore and Pune. They have plans to expand to 10 more cities this year with the recent funding they received from Sequoia. “I like the energy levels of the people here. Besides, starting business in India is becoming an easy process,” says Moran.

Eleven years ago, in 2004, Sean Blagsvedt came to India to head Program Management and Advanced Prototyping for Microsoft Research. He had no plans of settling down in India, but within months he quit his high-paying job, married an Indian woman, and set up a company to solve the problems of unskilled and blue-collar jobs in India. Blagsvedt has no regrets. He considers the move to become an entrepreneur in India one of his best decisions. “India is largely an under-served market, but has huge potential when it comes to adoption of technology. We are trying to solve some socioeconomic problems with the help of digital technology,” he says. His venture, Babajob, connects job seekers such as security guards, drivers, maids and cooks with potential employers.

With the start-up ecosystem maturing in India, the numbers of expat entrepreneurs are so significant that it has led to the formation of an Expat Entrepreneurs Circle, an exclusive organization of foreign entrepreneurs and non-resident Indians doing business in India.

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February 12, 2015   No Comments

India in Top 15 for Sealed Air, Growing Fastest

Fortune 500 company New Jersey headquartered  Sealed Air Corporation says India is its fastest growing geography. “India for us I would call within Sealed Air, a mid-sized country, it’s in the top 15 countries but with the highest growth rate,” Jerome Peribere, president and CEO told  the television network NDTV.

Sealed Air is a packaging company known for its brands – Cryovac food packaging, Bubble Wrap cushioning, and Diversey cleaning and hygiene. It has two units in India – in Mumbai and Bangalore. The company is growing at 3 times India’s GDP growth and expects even more robust growth going forward by creating value addition in industries.

Bubble Wrap - a Sealed Air product

Bubble Wrap – a Sealed Air product

Because of the company’s level of expertise in their laundry business in India where their technology has been able to save 40% both in the usage of water and in energy consumption, Peribere said, “We are going to increase our manpower by 50 per cent, and we are going to make our global laundry labs in India because we have an extraordinary and growing business here in India.”

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January 13, 2015   2 Comments

Cushman Predicts 46 million square feet of New Office Space in 2015

According to VCCircle.com, global real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield has reported that Bangalore, NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata are the top eight cities that are expected to have a robust supply pipeline of 46.4 million square feet of office space available in 2015. The release said this supply is likely to favor tenants, presenting them a variety of quality options to choose from and negotiating power in the short term.

The overall vacancy for top eight cities, is estimated to rise to 19% this year. The rise will be fueled by companies in IT-ITeS, banking, financial services and insurance sectors (BFSI), pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors which are expected to ramp up their operations due to the impact of improved business sentiment, political stability and India’s economic scenario.

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January 3, 2015   No Comments