SA’s Famous Brands moves into India


18 March 2013

South African food service group Famous Brands has plans to expand into India through the launch of five pilot Debonairs restaurants in Mumbai in July, with Diwa Hospitality as its master licence partner to manage and grow the business.

“Entering the market is as much about our partners as it is about the market,” Famous Brands chief operating officer, Darren Hele, said in a statement last week.

“They will give us local knowledge advantage which is critical to the sustainability of this venture.”

In line with this, Debonairs has been re-engineered to fit the Indian market. “Our Debonairs Pizza offering in Mumbai is all about a customised menu with a strong vegetarian bias;local flavour profiles developed in conjunction with our partners and innovative product offerings designed to support the cost-conscious grab-and-go Mumbai consumer,” Hele said.

Famous Brands received investment enquiries from several emerging markets but selected India to expand into for a number of reasons, according to Hele.

“There are very strong factors driving growth in the food services industry in India, including a general increase in disposable income, intensified urbanisation and the exponential growth in the population segment most likely to consume processed food – the 5 to 35-year age group – which is projected to grow to 51% of the total population by 2020.”

Pizza also accounts for the biggest share of the quick-service restaurant market, which is expected to grow at a faster rate than the Chinese market, from $15-billion in 2011 to $50-billion in 2020.

“We made a decision in 2012 to tie up with a restaurant operator who had an understanding of the huge potential of the Indian restaurant market – a partner who recognises that India is unlike any other market in Asia Pacific or the United Arab Emirates,” said Diwa Hospitality’s director, Yogesh Parekh.

“Famous Brands shares our optimism for the growth potential in this market, and our local knowledge and insight together with the meticulously customised Debonairs Pizza offering ensures the brand has every opportunity to become a household name.”

SAinfo reporter