|KFC's Bangalore Outlet: Needs customers,
of Kentucky Fried Chicken in India and the pictures that pop up
are of violent Indian farmers in Bangalore burning effigies of the
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) founder Colonel Harland Sanders. That
was way back in 1996 when KFC opened its first outlet. The company
battled on for sometime despite opposition, even opened outlets
in other cities like Delhi, but then shut all outlets, except Bangalore's.
Now parent Yum! Restaurant International seems ready to give it
a second chance. Says Pankaj Batra, Director (Marketing) Indian
Subcontinent, Yum! Restaurants International: "Currently we have
a KFC outlet in Bangalore which is doing extremely well. We will
start opening more KFC outlets in 2003.''
According to Batra the company
has been focussing on consolidating its Pizza Hut chain in the country.
There are 37 outlets of Pizza Hut at present and the company has
set a target of 100 outlets by 2004-end. Explains Batra: ''As Pizza
Hut gains national presence, we plan to start opening more KFC outlets
as well.'' In rebuilding KFC, the company plans to employ the same
recipe that went into the making of Pizza Hut. And that means adding
a lot of local flavour. For instance, in India over the past few
years, Pizza Hut has developed and successfully introduced a range
of products like Masala Pizza and a "Jain menu" that specifically
suit the Indian palate.
But it's going to be an uphill climb for KFC.
The other international fast food biggie, McDonalds, which also
debuted in 1996, already has a chain of 40 restaurants across India.
For KFC, the potential is "finger lickin' good". Start
of round two: Colonel vs Ronald McDonald.
Economy Of The Indians
A Board of India Today Economists begins looking
at economic issues the way they should be: from people's perspective.
|Different strokes: India Today's Editor
Prabhu Chawla (left) with FM Jaswant Singh (centre, and Panel
moderator Jairam Ramesh
The problem with
economics-and the economy-is that it leaves the lives of a lot of
people untouched. Fortunately for such people, the process of making
economics intelligible has begun. On October 11, 2002, India Today
(BT's sister publication) held the first meeting of its think-tank-Board
of India Today Economists (bite)-on economic issues. The roundtable
saw the fm, Jaswant Singh, listen with rapt attention to six top
economists (Suresh Tendulkar, Kirit Parikh, Bibek Debroy, Indira
Rajaraman, Siddharth Roy, and Subir Gokarn) on what the fm's agenda
should be for the next 100 days.
Some recommendations: spur industrial growth,
bolster tax/GDP ratio, revive manufacturing, reform agriculture
and labour laws, and lower taxes. ''A reduction in taxes will not
only generate more demand, but improve tax collection,'' contended
Roy, HLL's Chief Economist. The FM, while expressing his inability
to reduce agricultural subsidy, was categorical that the disinvestment
process was still on course, though the government seemed to have
lost "focus'' midway. "But there is no deviation from
purpose. The government will disinvest,'' he added. Hope he's right.