Home Retail It is vital to grow profitably in a consistent manner

    It is vital to grow profitably in a consistent manner


    With a presence in over 30 cities in India, McDonald’s, one of the largest fast food chains of the world, has sketched a drastic expansion plan for the current financial year in the country. According to Amit Jatia, joint venture partner & managing director, McDonald’s India – West & South Region, the company has plans to open 180-190 outlets by 2015 with an estimated investment of up to Rs 570 crore.

    Jatia joined the McDonald’s family in March 1995 as MD, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. and he was considered as the youngest joint venture partner at McDonald’s globally.

    He played a significant role in facilitating a smooth entry for McDonald’s in India. Simultaneously, he also created the essential organisational infrastructure to develop and run the chain of McDonald’s restaurants in the region. Jatia holds a degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In a brief conversation with IndiaRetailing, he shares his philosophy and experience of the success at McDonald’s.

    IndiaRetailing (IR): What is the driving philosophy of retail operations at McDonald’s?

    Amit Jatia (AJ): Our operations are built on the four blocks of Quality, Service, Convenience and Value and everything that we undertake is focused on delivering these enduring values to our customers. At McDonald’s our primary focus is on providing our customers with high quality products, served quickly with a smile in a clean and pleasant environment at affordable prices. It is our constant endeavour to offer customers the products that appeal to their tastes and preferences and hence innovation is a core focus area within our operations.

    IR: While taking your retail operation forward in the Indian context, what is the biggest learning from the current slowdown?

    AJ: One of our core practices across the globe has been Value. Value is an intrinsic part of the McDonald’s promise and this has stood in good stead during the current economic environment too. At such times customers are drawn towards value offerings that meet the requirements of quality and taste. We have leveraged our robust supply chain system and process driven operations to ensure that we are able to offer our customers a quality meal that is reasonably priced in an environment that is clean and pleasant. In addition, we have continued to innovate with our product offering thereby continuing to draw in the discerning Indian customer who is constantly looking for something exciting.

    IR: Your personal vision when it comes to leading your retail team.

    AJ: My personal goal is to build a business that will sustain for a longer term, not just for a brief and short term period. I am focused on a business that is trusted, known for the quality and value that we offer to the consumers. In the entire network of our operations we have developed and nurtured a customer oriented mindset that governs every facet of the organisation. I always try to infuse the following points into my team in order to drive the responsibility and passion in its day to day work:

    • Always keeping the customer’s interest at the centre of the business

    • Giving the best to the customers, always. The second best will never do – it does not bring joy, neither to us nor to the customers.

    IR: Given the two schools of thought that are currently dominating the Indian retail industry — ‘aggressive expansion’ versus ‘slow but steady expansion’ — which has attracted you as your own retail strategy?

    AJ: Over the last few months, we have clearly followed the path of slow but steady expansion. This is a growing business but it is vital to grow profitably in a manner that is consistent with our business model and this has always been our retail strategy. We believe that a sustained expansion strategy will benefit an organisation in the long run and is an absolute necessity for maintaining high standards across the organisation during the growth of consolidated operations.

    IR: Your comment on the expression ‘Powerful Retailer’. According to you, which are the three most ‘powerful retailers’ in the world and why.

    AJ: According to me, a ‘Powerful Retailer’ delivers outstanding value on a sustainable basis to all its stakeholders, which includes customers, employees, shareholders and the society at large.

    Therefore, the three brands of retail that fit into the powerful retailers’ concept in my mind are:
    • Wal-Mart – As the world’s largest retailer it gives a unique value proposition to its customers.
    • McDonald’s– For making burger eating an experience.
    • Harrods – For making shopping an exquisite experience.

    By Sangita Ghosh