Canton-headquartered quick service restaurant (QSR) company, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, will open its first Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant in New Delhi in the first half of 2012. Dunkin’ Donuts’ locations worldwide are mostly franchisee-owned and the same model will operate in India too. As part of the master franchise agreement, Dunkin’ will provide brand, product and marketing expertise and Jubilant FoodWorks will build, own and operate the stores in India.
The $8.4-billion company has also worked out an aggressive marketing plan. First and foremost, America’s popular all-day stop for coffee and baked goods plans to localise its menu in India to include savoury products. It has roped in National Basketball Association (NBA) player LeBron James as the brand ambassador for India, China, Taiwan and South Korea. However, a detailed marketing game plan for India will be worked out by its franchisee, Jubilant FoodWorks. Based in Noida, in the national capital region, Jubilant also runs the Domino’s Pizza chain.
But will Dunkin Brands’ association with the NBA star LeBron James help the company spread awareness in India, a country known the world over for its appetite for cricket? “The popularity of the NBA is growing in Asia,” says Nigel Travis, chief executive officer, Dunkin Brands. “In some countries like China, is it well established. In India, the following of the NBA is beginning to take off. James will be in India during the basketball season (May-June), as part of his international summer schedule.”
Having said that, Dunkin’ Brands will be a late entrant in the QSR space in India. According to a new report, Indian Fast Food Market Analysis, the Indian fast food industry is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 34 per cent during 2011-14. This growth is largely fuelled by the rising young population, hectic schedules and increasing disposable income of the middle-class households in the country. Anticipating the future growth, many big international players are entering into the market by making deals with the domestic players; those already present in the Indian market are expanding their presence across the country.
“While Baskin-Robbins has been in India for many years (there are more than 400 Baskin-Robbins shops in India already), a master franchising agreement for Dunkin’ Donuts was only signed last year. That agreement with Jubilant FoodWorks is the largest international franchising agreement we have ever signed and under it, we expect to see 500 Dunkin’ restaurants opened over the next 15 years. The combination of signing with the right franchisees, the popularity of Western brands in India, and the growing discretionary income in India, make this the right time to open Dunkin’ in India,” says Travis.
Of course, Dunkin Brands has a lot going in its favour. With more than 16,000 points of distribution in 57 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc, is the world’s leading franchisor of quick service restaurants. Dunkin’ Donuts US contributes almost 75 per cent of its global revenues. It has more than 1,000 donut varieties along with other products on its menu.