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GFA set to add 40 outlets by March 2010

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Global Franchise Architects (GFA), a Switzerland-based builder, operator and franchiser of Pizza Corner and Coffee World among other specialty food retail brands, is regaining its focus on the India market.

The company had entered India in 1996 with the Pizza Corner format. On the anvil are plans to launch a new specialty food retail brand from its global portfolio, establish a pan-India presence, launch combination retail outlets and raise funds for supporting its expansion in the long term.

Joseph Cherian, chief executive officer of GFA India said, “We didn’t focus much on India because we were busy expanding in Vietnam, Indonesia, Oman and other Asian countries. We didn’t expand in the past two years, but now we want to achieve a pan-India presence for all our existing formats.”

At present, GFA operates 44 Pizza Corner, six Coffee World, eight Donut Baker and four The Cream & Fudge Factory outlets. All these outlets are in the South, except for Pizza Corner, which has three outlets in Delhi.

In the wake of the slowdown, GFA has shut down nine outlets of Pizza Corner and Coffee World in the past one year.

However, the company is now scouting for master franchisee partners to expand in other parts of the country. For the eastern region, the company has appointed Gama Hospitality as a master franchisee. GFA is debuting in Kolkata in September, where it plans to open 35 outlets across all formats by March 2010.

“Unlike in the South, where we expanded through our own stores and several independent franchisees, for other regions in India, we want to expand through a master franchisee. We still haven’t found a master franchisee to enter Mumbai and expand in Delhi,” said Cherian.

GFA plans to add 40 outlets to its existing 62 outlets across all food brands by March 2010. This plan includes the proposed expansion in Kolkata. In addition, the expansion plans include combination stores wherein GFA will have Coffee World and The Cream & Fudge Factory in one outlet.

Similarly, it will open Pizza Corner with The Cream & Fudge Factory besides an outlet that will house Donut Baker, Coffee World and The Cream & Fudge Factory under one roof. Further, the company is planning to launch a new specialty food retail brand in India.

Source: The Financial Chronicle

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