Tell us about Baskin Robbins journey in India.
The journey has been good. Initially it was more challenging, but last few years have been good for us. Even though the entire industry was struggling, we did quite well. In fact, this year also first few months were good, except the last two months because of the weather changes and dietary preferences etc. it was little slow. And, I see huge potential for brands like ours in the coming months and years. And, as India is at the cusp of economy, there will be more people wanting to invest and take up franchisee. Generally businesses going forward are becoming more robust.
As you are operating under Premium ice cream segment, what competition do you see from others in the same segment?
I think the segment we're in, there is no one in the game except Magnum by Unilever and Hagen Daz.. Magnum and we are more serious players because London Dairy had problem with the stocks and couldn’t sustain too much distribution to sync with Hagen Daz. This was because their price points are much prohibited, which restricts them from having it. But we can, because we have the production capability, we are in a position to ramp up very quickly and take it to the market, where we are already present. And, same goes with Magnum, as they are Lever’s brand and already has distributions.
How often do you innovate your menu?
We have flavour of the month plus we have 31 flavours running everyday in all our outlets. 31 means one flavour for every single day that allows our customers to try new flavours. Also, we keep innovating our products, adding new products every season and every six months. First six months are summer season and the last six months are festive season. We generally do 30 per cent of biz in the first quarter.
How do you decide on the location?
It all depends where you want to be present. You can be available at 1 lakh outlets, but the consumers may go to only 5000 outlets. It all depends where you see your target audience. If your target audience is 2 per cent of the entire mass population, then you need to target the 2 per cent and you can’t target the 100 per cent of the population.
Who is your target customer?
Out target customer is anyone between the age group of 16-30. They are the guys who are more on social media, young adults, they are the ones who are more experimental and are uber cool of the population founding the 70 per cent of the population of the country which is youth.
What is your expansion plan going forward?
We are planning to take our store count to 1000 in next two and half years. We are sitting at 672 stores, which we are planning to take to 750 by this fiscal.
Let’s talk money...in terms of revenue which is your top performing region?
West is the most profitable region because we have our factory there, so it is cheaper cost wise and as we are all present there. Mumbai alone contributes to 60 per cent of the biz, Goa, Pune and Mumbai will together contribute 85 per cent of the biz. We are more focused on expanding ourselves in the region and the diameter we are present in.