After capturing a significant space on the Indian soil, restaurants are moving abroad. The Indian market is far from saturation yet the road for the restaurants lead west. What is hidden in store for these players, which is their favoured destination and how are they coping up on a foreign ground are the questions that made the retailer bureau look into the matter.
Moti Mahal, Punjab Grill, Mainland China and Kwality are few of the many who have crossed the border. In a time when Indian soil is the hot spot for all categories of retailers to expand, Moti Mahal is expanding overseas with their restaurants in USA, UK and Australia. Sarvanaa Bhawan, vegetarian South Indian specialty restaurant has two outlets in North India whereas more than 30 abroad. Lite Bite Foods opened its first overseas outlet in Singapore in July 2011 with Punjab Grill, the North Indian Frontier Cuisine chain. Amit Burman, Chairman, Lite Bite Foods said “We will follow it up with the opening of two new Punjab Grill overseas outlets in Bangkok and Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2013 calendar year.”
Number of Indians
A name born and brought up in India is being welcomed by the Indians staying abroad. And the number of Indians is what has attracted the restaurants to cater to them. Most of the Indians staying abroad have a good knowledge of the taste of Indian dishes and they are not satisfied by Indian cuisine offered in the English restaurants.
Approximate number of estimated Indians in:
London – 500,000
Singapore – 400,00
New York – 700,00
What paved their way?
Though Indian market still seems to have a lot of potential but with shooting real estate prices and the increasing competition the idea to look at the international market seems working for them. Parvin Juneja from Moti Mahal said “This number happens to be their direct target group and eventually becomes a better destination than any of the smaller towns in India where the population might be large but target group is not. The number of Indians and their eating habits are the primary reasons for us to venture out in these cities.”
When Burman was asked why they chose Singapore he said”Singapore was an obvious choice for our first venue outside India. It is a thriving, cosmopolitan city brimming with diversity of culture, languages and the arts. The people would be able to appreciate the cuisine we offer. Punjab Grill is not targeted at the Indian Diaspora alone. A good chunk of the patrons visiting the restaurant are non-Indians who seek authentic North Indian cuisine.”
Higher disposable Income
Per capita income in the developed countries is much higher than that of India. Their disposable income and lifestyle makes them a frequent eater in the restaurants. New York, which is one of the richest demographics in the world, gives average money spent on Food and eating out is $800 per month per person.
Though the competition is no less than stiff and the benchmark of services offered by the leading chains is difficult to attain for the new Indian players but the Indian essence that they carry from home is what makes them special and is helping them grow amidst the elite league.
Another reason for the shift is the growing size of the demand for Indian food in the west. The Indian food industry in the UK is valued at £3.2 billion while in US, according to the National Restaurant Association, the Ethnic Food Industry in US values to around 2.5 USD while Indian share is around 25 per cent of this.
Though Indian market still has a lot of potential but the pace with which development is reaching out to these cities is slower than the pace with which these restaurants need to expand. Outside India, they can see a market with opportunities, growth potential and most importantly consumers who are ready to welcome the Indian cuisine.