“We opened our first Debonairs Pizza in Mumbai. It’s been seven months in the making since we met our license partner back here in South Africa. I went out there myself three months ago to take a hard look at the market place – it’s a very compelling case. We’re very confident of our ability to trade into that market,” Kevin Hedderwick, Famous Brands Chief Executive Officer told CNBC Africa on Thursday.
The African leading pizza brand was making a second attempt into the Indian market. Famous Brands went in partnership with India-based Diwa Hospitality for the expansion and they’re set to open five more outlets around the city, in the near future.
“If you look at the market itself pizza’s category is in excess of 50 per cent of the total organised food market as they call it. We saw numbers when we were over there by Morgan Stanley that the pizza category at the moment is worth 220 million US dollars and it’s expected to grow by 2016 to one billion US dollars,” he noted.
“We think we’ve done a good job in terms of making the menu local for that particular market. Our menu has a strong vegetarian bias and we’ve also taken some different products to India which they don’t have, like we have in South Africa – Triple Steak, Double Crust, Hot Subs and things like that.”
Debonairs India will be competing for customers in an industry dominated by Domino’s Pizza, with 15 years’ experience and 400 outlets.