Indian food brands are now experimenting with international cuisines. The next big trend emerging in the country is the expansion of food brands like Amul, Lite Bite Foods, Zomato and Foodpanda extending their market presence beyond the geographical boundaries.
As these brands expand their operation base ouside the country, the have launch their innovative concepts in the international market, introduced molecular gastronomy, taken different variety of burgers and good quality foods along with their QSRs and Coffee formats globally.
Rationale behind overseas expansion
Eyeing on the potential market outside India, leading food companies have initiated a bold a step to enter the global market with traditional and exclusive Indian cuisines. Countries like, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, America and UK 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 and is planning to open two outlets in Abu Dhabi in UAE and one outlet in Bangkok in Thailand and one outlet in Washington DC in USA.
“We compete with the foreign brands and thought to make some money. We are now expanding in Bangkok, We are going into Dubai and Abu Dhabi and at the same time we are also planning to start our business in US market aggressively. So, we have seen that the market and the business are good and thus we are expanding outside India”, says, Sharad Sachdeva, COO, Lite Bite Foods.
Similarly, one of the leading restaurant search engine, Zomato has expanded its reach in countries like Czech Republic, UK, UAE, South Africa, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Qatar, to name a few out of more than 15 countries across the globe.
The restaurant search engine has found that the people in these countries are very much addicted and fond of table bookings and online reservations. Thus, the Indian restaurant guide has partnered with local players of that market to get quick exposure.
According to a latest release, Deepinder Goyal, Co-Founder and CEO, Zomato says, “Toronto boasts of a vibrant restaurant industry and Canada is a hugely promising market for us. We've earmarked US $10 million for our expansion in Canada and are committed to make Zomato the most sought-after go-to restaurant discovery service in the country. Canada is truly a great starting point for us before we think of getting into the United States.”
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),” informs Sachdeva.
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.
"After receiving Gujarat government's approval a fortnight back, we have started production of ghee (clarified butter), paneer (cottage cheese) and shrikhand (a sweet dish made of yogurt) at the US plant last week," said Dr K Rathnam, MD, Amul Dairy to ET.
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.
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 and Chef Vikas Khanna are successfully running many acclaimed restaurants in 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.