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India is at a very interesting space in the cuisine domain. While the millennial folks are hoping to new modems to access food delivery, they are also on the lookout for healthy as well as tasty dishes on their menu cards these days. Health drinks and juices have taken precedence over aerated drinks in the market and people are willing to try new disruptive product ideas such as vitamin water and flavored teas.
Entrepreneur spoke to Reynold Fernandas, CEO Oriental Cuisines Pvt Ltd, on how he manages to keep tabs of the changing taste patterns of the millennial generation of today.
Feed people what they want. People are more experimental today. Gone are the days when people said they want a straight up fizzy drink or a juice. The evolution of straight up drinks to mocktails has evolved. Today virgin mojito is a household name. We have small establishments move into coolers, mixers; basically mix drinks to make them simpler, Fernandas said.
Fernandas’ comments come at a time when the aerated drinks’ market in India is losing its fizz as people are moving towards healthier and more innovative concept of drinks.
While the innovation is up, the base beverage doesn’t matter much, he said.
Tackling changes in government policies
A specialist in operations, Reynold has in-depth knowledge about food and beverages. With a career spanning to over two whole decades, Reynold has served various domains; from 5-star hotels to the aviation industry.
Speaking about industry leaders adapting to swift policy changes Fernandas said that he firmly believes that the larger one grows in size, the more cognizant one should becomes about policy changes.
“For both small and large establishments, you need to have an idea about where the policies and markets are heading. I think policies like GST coming into the picture has been in the process for a while. All you can do is to gaze at the crystal ball and look at what the taxes are going to look like post implementation. Organizations, rather than doubt the inevitable, should figure out what their actions to the inevitable could be purely because policies are not decided overnight. They float within the industry and people are generally well-aware of what lies ahead in future,” he adds.
One emerging food business trend
I personally think people are gradually moving back to comfort food. Earlier you had to go to place X to get Y cuisine. The last decade has seen a wide range of colors and event driven places, which draw people once in a while. Within these aspects one cannot ignore that he or she is still looking for basic, comfort food, he said.
Comfort will be the mantra for 2017-18, Reynold adds.
Reynold was previously VP at East India Hotels Lt (Oberoi Flight Services), India’s leading hospitality brand to serving Jet Airways India Ltd as General Manager Catering and DGM – Business Strategy, Relaince Retail Mumbai he has been at the helm of affairs.
Reynold was one of the key speakers at the Franchise India Show at Hyderabad earlier in March.