Retail F&B industry will benefit from ‘Make in India’
Interview by Vanita Peter D’souza | The Dollar Business The Dollar Business (TDB): What kind of support did you get from the Government to set up operations in India? Tarak Bhattacharya (TB): I have travelled throughout the world and started stores across the globe. Setting up business in India is difficult. There are lot of norms, procedures and permissions to be obtained for starting operations from city to city. But it was not that difficult too as we had our consultant in place and they really did a good job. They made us realize that how we have to work with the government. So, overall, initially it was tough but we had to learn. We are doing pretty good now.
TDB: What is your take on the industry and policy for retail food outlets? TB: I think retail is the future of this country and F&B is the biggest part of this industry. Every now and then, a brand wants to enter into India because, apart from China, India is the only country that has population stability. Retail is here to stay and F&B industry will be the biggest manufacturer of this in the coming years. With ‘Make in India’, many local brands will also pick up with multiple outlet plan. These brands will start small (which is in their benefit) but will have multiple stores with time for sure. Be it for local or international brands, retails in one the biggest opportunities. TDB: How to do you see the trade relationship between India and Singapore helping businesses like yours. TB: More than Singapore, the Indian government has been nice to us as they cleared passage of all our ingredients easily. Whatever we use in India, while making a donut is also imported. From the flour to the oil, everything is bought from abroad, nothing is purchased in India. It is procured from our office in Singapore. We get our ingredients from South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. The FSSAI (The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) have been really kind. We are trying to procure our ingredients in India but it has not yet happened to get that perfect donuts. As an organization, we support ‘Make in India’ and we are trying to support ‘Make in India’. TDB: How much has MOD invested in India so far? Are these likely to grow in future? TB: Well it’s difficult to say and I’m not in a situation to give out the figures. The plan was once we open 50 stores across India, we wanted our shareholders to speak about it. But that didn’t happen. Hopefully, by the end of this financial year, we’ll have them speak on MODs investment in India. TDB: What are MOD’s expansion plans? TB: We have opened over 50 stores in India, majority in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. Further expansion will be rolled out in April and we will be opening up few more stores in Hyderabad and Chennai.
This article was published on March 23, 2015.