JJ Chicken to Tap India Market with Healthy Chicken

JJ Chicken has aggressive plans to fill the gap of healthy chicken options with its charcoal-grilled chicken, which amalgamates taste with health. With its franchise options, the brand aims to have 100 outlets over the next 5 years in India

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UAE’s JJ Chicken had a humble beginning with 2 shops in 2010, until it was acquired by Almed Retail group in 2017. Under the group’s influence, JJ Chicken underwent a complete remodeling and transformation of interiors and menu. In its current avatar, JJ Chicken offers a fresh take on contemporary QSR chicken and offers delicious charcoal-grilled chicken to fulfill the demands of the new health-conscious consumers. With its presence across 12 locations in the UAE, the brand is now looking to expand globally starting with India, Iraq, Germany, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia. In an exclusive interview, Saer Imad, General Manager, Almed Retail, shares

What opportunities do you see in the Indian market?

We believe that there is a huge potential for JJ Chicken in India, as the country is a big consumer for chicken and we are providing something very unique. We offer a highly scalable model of operations as we only offer healthy, fresh and charcoal-grilled chicken so there are no complications of a diversified menu. To ensure consistent taste and quality, we will provide the recipes and ingredients to our franchisees; only the chicken will be sourced locally. Further, we will be making additions to our menu to cater to the local taste of the Indian consumer.

Brands like KFC and Nando’s dominate the India chicken QSR market. How would you differentiate from the competition?

What makes JJ Chicken stand out is that despite the perception that healthy is not tasty, we serve healthy food which is highly delicious. Our charcoal-grilled chicken is the exception to the general perception on healthy food. Moreover, we lack competition in the market as prominent brands like KFC and Nando’s offer deep-fried chicken. However, with rising awareness about health, people are moving to healthy foods. JJ Chicken caters to this gap where very few players offer healthy chicken options.

What is the franchise model of JJ Chicken in India?

JJ Chicken is offering four franchise options starting with a QSR model with an investment of Rs 50-70 lakh and 750-1000 sq ft area in a standalone shop at a high street location. We also offer a food kiosk model which calls for an investment of up to Rs 20 lakh and space of 200 sq ft at a food court in shopping malls. In addition, we offer a fine dining model for malls requiring an investment of Rs 70 lakh and above and an area of 1400 sq ft. Further, we offer a food truck model requiring an investment of Rs 15 lakh. With these models, we aim to have 100 outlets over the next five years.

What is your strategy for expansion in India?

We have partnered with FranGlobal to find a suitable master franchisee to bring our brand to the market. We will either look for master franchisee for pan-India or will divide the market into 10 territories with separate master franchisee/area developer. Each of these area developers is expected to establish at least one main hub of JJ Chicken in their territory with an investment of Rs 70 lakh to 1 crore and 1400 sq ft of space. The hub will act as the central kitchen to supply ingredients and sauces to the rest of JJ Chicken outlets in that territory.

(This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)