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    IRF: Experts discuss opportunities in F&B sector


    On Day 1 of India Retail Forum 2010, experts from the food & beverages (F&B) industry gathered in the evening session to discuss ‘Getting the F&B mix and mall zoning right’.

    The session was chaired by Samir Kuckreja, president, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), and CEO & MD, Nirula’s, along with Pavan Gandhok, CEO, Lite Bite Foods Pvt Ltd. Panelists included Niren Chaudhary, MD (Indian Subcontinent), Yum!; Vikram Bakshi, MD and joint venture partner, McDonald’s India (North and East); Subroto Mukherjee, COO (SAARC), Baskin-Robbins; and Gaurav Ahuja, COO, Red Ginger Hospitality.

    Stressing that high streets give tough competition to malls, Bakshi said, “People visit malls seasonally, while high streets do business throughout the year. Our same-store sales in high streets are higher than in malls. Apart from high streets, we are really doing well at Metro stations. We are also planning to expand (at Metro stations) in the near future.”

    On the opportunities available in the eating-out market, Chaudhary said, “The data suggests the size of the global eating-out market is over $64 billion, of which only 2-3 per cent is in the organised (modern) sector. Because of this huge gap, opportunities are huge.”

    Mukharjee said, “When Baskin-Robbins came to India, our first concern was logistics. But today, after 17 years, we have our presence in 97 Indian cities and logistics has played the most crucial role in our growth.”

    He further said, “Of the contemporary cold chain logistics suppliers, Snow Man and Future Logistics are doing a great job.”

    Gandhok said that in comparison to countries such as Singapore, an average Indian paid fewer visits to restaurants (for lunch or dinner), but a change was now visible due to the increasing number of working women and rising family incomes in India.

    – IndiaRetailing Bureau