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McDonalds finally goes to Bangalore

By Praveen Bose in Bangalore
October 13, 2004 11:37 IST
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Burger chain McDonalds plans to invest Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) annually in India. It has already brought in Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) of FDI on the 56 outlets it has in India.

"We are here for the long haul," Amit Jatia, joint venture partner, McDonalds India (western region), said while announcing the opening of its Bangalore outlet on Tuesday.

Come Thursday, and McDonalds will finally be up and running in Bangalore, trying to seduce Bangaloreans with their offerings after conquering the people of 115 countries. The world's largest restaurant chain will open its 57th restaurant in India and the first restaurant in Bangalore, at the Forum.

The investments will be towards launching new restaurants and building up the supply chain. Each restaurant will call for a capex of Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore (Rs 25-30 million).

The chain has had to improvise on their way to India and Bangalore will be served the same fare as in the other 56 restaurants. So out goes beef and pork from their US and European offerings. Of course, it has added some Indianised items.

But why so long to reach Bangalore though the city is known for its cosmopolitan culture?

"We do not hurry into a place. We like to grow the business inside out -- start at one place and then grow it and then think of another. We are here in time," said Jatia.

The location at the Forum mall was chosen after a study of about one year. People from the chain studied the footfalls at different malls and then decided to set up shop there. The footfalls recorded at the Forum is 18,000 on weekdays and 40,000 on weekends and the licensee, Sharan S Laxmanan, hopes to win over many of them.

"The restaurant, with a carpet area of 5,000 sq.ft. will be the first licensee McDonald restaurant in India. It could take one to two years for the restaurant to break-even," said Laxmanan.

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Praveen Bose in Bangalore

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