Malaysia's Berjaya Food Strengthens Its Foothold in India

For BFood group chief executive officer the collaboration is a positive expansion of the brands.

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By Nidhi Singh

Berjaya Food

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The Indian food industry has grown significantly over the past few years with the entry of foreign players in the market. Several international names have established their strong presence in the country's vast food space. According to a 2017 FICCI-Technopak report, the Indian food services market is set to grow at 10 per cent annually to reach INR 5.52 lakh crore in the next five years. Indian food services market is set to grow at 10 per cent annually to reach Rs 5.52 lakh crore in the next five years, it added.

The food industry is having a good time and taking advantage of this opportunity, Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood) will be opening at least 30 more Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) outlets and 75 Jollibean kiosks in India, via a partnership with World Iconic Brands (WIB) Hospitality Private Ltd inked this week.

Malaysia-based investment holding company, Berjaya Food Berhad, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the development and operation of restaurant and cafe chains and retail outlets in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries. The company via subsidiary Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd also operates Starbucks in Malaysia and Brunei.

BFood group chief executive officer Sydney Quays sees the collaboration as a positive expansion of the brands. He said BFood will now focus more on growing Jollibean. India marks the first overseas market for Jollibean after Singapore.

"India is a stepping stone for us to go into many countries. We have a lot of interest from Southeast Asian countries. Out of Singapore, the potential for Jollibean is strong in the franchise environment. In the future, we're looking at our FMCG business, which we're trying to get soy into the market. This augurs well for people who take up our franchise. They have the first right of refusal to distribute (soy) in the retail business," he said.

WIB, the agency responsible for commerce development of the Jollibean and KRR brands in India, will invest $50 million (RM205 million) to open 30 KRR restaurants and 75 Jollibean kiosks in India over the next five years. WIB is owned by Franchise India, which is Asia's largest integrated franchise solutions company. Franchise India manages 400 brands and has 45 offices in India as well as six overseas offices.

According to WIB's managing director Gaurav Marya at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony, the total investment in India is estimated at $50 million (or RM204.92 million).

Marya believes India offers good opportunity as it has 970 shopping malls, over 200 airports, and is a young country with one-third of its population under 25 years old.

"We'll spend the next six to eight months to get the model right, understand the preference of consumers and we will scale up the business," he said, adding that it plans to open its first outlet under the collaboration in India in early 2019.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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