Bracing for robust growth ahead

Niren Chaudhary, Managing Director of Yum! Restaurants India, which owns the brands like Pizza Hut and KFC, is a name to reckon with for being the growth catalyst for the organisation. He has been awarded with the “Face of the Year Award 2011” at the Indian Restaurant Congress organised by Franchise India Holdings Ltd. In a candid conversation with Retailer on the sidelines of the event

Retailer: What is the present market share of Yum Restaurant in the QSR segment?

Niren Chaudhary (NC): The total eating out market in India is estimated at 65 billon dollars, but out of this share, the branded players account for only two per cent share. In this two per cent, I can say that Yum brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Pizza Home Delivery model, accounts for the maximum share. Also, by the end of 2011, we are aiming to touch the mark for having opened 175 KFCs, 140 Pizza Huts and about 60 Pizza Hut Home Delivery outlets.


Retailer: Out of numerous brands you handle which one is doing the best?

NC: It is difficult to trace the performances of each of these brands through the same parameters, because they are all operating in completely distinct formats. KFC operates in quick service format, Pizza Hut is a kin to casual dining format, and the home delivery format operates to reach out to a totally different segment. Moreover, each of these brands is recording double digit growth, and Yum Brands wants to position itself as a portfolio of vibrant brands where each one is sharply differentiated. Where KFC’s highlight is finger licking good food, Pizza Hut comes forward as the place to be for every day celebrations. It’s all about sharing food and having a good time. So each one is doing great and we see massive demand and growth for all these brands in the coming future.


Retailer: Taco Bell is the latest brand that you’ve launched in India. How is it doing in the country? How are you planning to expand this brand?

NC: Taco Bell is positioned at bringing about a Mexican experience; it’s all about Mexican food. Right now we have opened just three restaurants in Bangalore, and are looking to optimise the concept. The promotion is restricted to only bill boards, hoardings and leaflets because we haven’t gone for a nationwide expansion for it as yet. Also, the reason why we began with Bangalore is simple – the first Pizza Hut and KFCs of India were started in Bangalore, and  when we decided to launch Taco Bell in India, Bangalore came in as a natural choice.


Retailer: How are you looking to further expand your market share?

NC: We are looking to expand our brand presence in India in a big way. Globally Yum brands add about 1000 restaurants each year. We are planning to add 1000 restaurants to our portfolio in India by 2015. This we aim to attain by adding 500 more KFCs, 300 more Pizza Hut Home Delivery outlets and 200 Pizza Hut restaurants.


Retailer: What are the values govern the restaurant sector today, and how to use them optimally to create brand recognition?

NC: More than the industry dynamics, it’s the direct consumer behaviour or market circumstances that affect the growth of the industry. There are three key insights that need to be understood by the marketer in order to strike the right chord. First, India is all about youth, brands need to innovate to inspire them. Secondly, Indian market is value driven; value for money concept exists in two forms - good enough value and price point value. And last but not the least, we need to be careful and focused when tabulating spend potential. Only less than 50 per cent of the youth stands as prospective client with disposable income.

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