Indian food brands have started experimenting with international cuisines. The next big trend emerging in the country is the expansion of food brands into the global market. And as, food franchising has given them a way to associate with the local, regional partners, these brands are eyeing a greater pie in the global markets.
Rationale behind overseas expansion
Eyeing on the potential market outside India, leading food companies have initiated a bold step to enter the global market with traditional and exclusive Indian cuisines. Countries like, Dubai, UAE, Singapore, Thailand, America and UK and the US are welcoming to relish culturally diverse food and are willing to pay for extraordinary cuisines. Seeking expansion in international market, brands like Lite Bite Foods has tap the market in Dubai and Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok in Thailand and Washington DC in USA.
“Indian food is becoming popular by the day, especially in countries which has high Indian population. Authentic Indian food is always in demand and after opening Punjab Grill in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, we feel countries like the US, Canada, Australia and the UK will definitely do justice to our brand presence,” Sharad Sachdeva, CEO, Lite Bite Foods.
Similarly, Zorawar Kalra, who owns brands like Farzi Cafe, Made in Punjab and the recently opened PaPaYa, has opened outlets in Dubai and is aggressively looking at these markets to bring more brands.
“There has been an explosion in the dining out culture, globally, due to numerous reasons – ease and affordability of international travel. Expanding to international shores, with business presence across locations not only gives connoisseurs of good food a true taste of India’s culinary legacy without having to wait for their travel to the country, but also enable restaurant business to operate in a more competitive environment, having to innovate while having instant access to international trends,” pointed Kalra.
Going on the same front, MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor, who has become a pioneer in the food industry and has expanded aggressively taking the franchisee route, is running his restaurants in markets like Dubai, Canada, Abu Dhabi. “The international foray will soon turn into reality with two outlets planned for San Francisco and London. The aim is to have 50 restaurants running by FY 2017-18,” shared Priyank Sukhija, Owner, Lazeez Affaire Group.
The right kind of expansion vehicle and to choose the right partner, are the two essential legalities required to enter in any foreign market. Another important aspect is a good business plan. Where you want to see yourself in span of coming 3 to 5 years? The funding option outside India and the investment opportunity offered by international counterparts, all needs to be check and re-checked once a brand make plans to invest beyond its geographical connect.
“The legal framework in which you are working there should be very strong, your patent register should be there and all the food related assignments need to be done like licensing of food, licensing of liquor (if you are selling liquor),” added Sachdeva.
Commenting on the same lines, Kalra, mentioned, “The biggest challenge that we face is of finding the right partner who shares our vision and is in line with it.”
Significantly, one has to take permit from the state government also, before setting up a unit in abroad. Amul Dairy which has set up its dairy plant at Waterloo village in New York to manufacture its product like ghee, paneer and shrikhand has to get permit from the Gujarat government to set up the plant there.
Thus, we can say that all these things including the licensing and permit are very critical to start the operation because food is a much regulated business outside India.
A brighter tomorrow
As we are witnessing that major food brands have already flag off their market presence in the foreign countries. Indian chefs like Chef Hari Nayak, Chef Gaggan Anand and Chef Vikas Khanna are successfully running many acclaimed restaurants in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and the US. Thus, with people growing a taste of Indian regional cuisine, we can see more brands venturing in these countries rapidly.