As the steward of some of Australia’s favourite franchise, retail food brands including Donut King, Brumby's Bakery, Michel's Patisserie, bb's cafe, Esquires Coffee, The Coffee Guy, Pizza Capers Gourmet Kitchen, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Gloria Jean’s Coffee and CAFE2U , looking at a strategic entry to the Indian market. In an exclusive interview to Restaurant India, Andre Nell, CEO, Retail Food Group, shares about their international business and the entry into the Indian food arena. This will be second stint of Gloria Jean’s Coffee in India. What made you look for India as the next market to enter?
We acquired Gloria Jeans’ December last year. And today, with more than 105 million customer visits per year across an outlet network which boasts over 3450 stores across Australia and internationally, RFG has built an enviable reputation founded on its ownership of renowned brand systems, robust operating procedures, innovative marketing and a commitment to provide ongoing support to its franchisee community. We see India as a strategic location to open our franchise outlet as this market has grown enormously in last few years.
What competition do you see from the local players here?
Our history is based on system and processes and it dates back to 1999 with franchisee progress and brand standards. Coffee, for us is a significant part of the growth. Patisserie focus brands with have French heritage, Donut king with coffee and donut offers wide menu range and we have two very premium pizza brand and crust pizza. The brands are focused ingredients by giving the customers very premium offers.
What are your criteria for searching the right partner into the Indian market?
We are looking to engage with the right partner and ultimately to bring the entire brand to the market. First we will see that what we launch into the Indian market is successful. We are looking for a Master franchisee partner, but we are open to JV, depending on the capability of the partner. A person with strong Food and beverages experience and capability from a management perspective with a strong financial background to grow the brand into the Indian market would be our preferred partner.
When can we see the brand entering the Indian market? And which are the top cities in your radar?
We would complete initial deal in six months. We would target Mumbai and Delhi majorly. First focus would be on these two areas, tweak the menu accordingly and then expand.
Tell us about your global operations?
We have more than 3450 outlets in 58 territories across the world. Three top performing countries are Turkey, China and Malaysia. Initially, if we find the right partners in about 6-12 months would establish the brand into the market.
How much are you afraid of entering into the Indian market?
There is no doubt that India owns some of the good brands in the world, but we believe in our brand and our brand is a premium brand and we focus on it only.
Gloria Jean’s has already closed its operations here. Don’t you think it may affect your business?
Gloria Jean’s already closed in India when we acquired the brand in December 2014. So, we can’t comment on this. But, we really are very sure that with us Gloria jean’s can achieve in this market.
Don’t you think it’s too late to enter India as we have some of the amazing brands already doing well in the country?
We are hearing that the trend towards food and beverages is really picking up and we are very correct about the timing in that perspective.