India: Food Retailer Bikanerwala to add 6 outlets in ’09; to foray in Sharjah & Australia

India: Major Food Retailer Bikanervala which operates under the formats — Bikanervala Family Restaurants, a chain of vegetarian multi-cuisine sweet shops-cum-restaurants and Bikano Chat Cafes, a chain of fast-food outlets — will add six more outlets to its existing 28 outlets by the end 2009. Talking to IndiaRetailing, Deepta Gupta, vice president, Bikanervala said that the company also plans to open its first outlet in south India in Hyderabad with more to come in Bengaluru.

The company currently operates 28 outlets including 17 in Delhi and NCR, one each in Lucknow, Agra, Meerut and Ahmedabad. Further, the company, involved in manufacturing and marketing of Bikano range of sweets, snacks, sherbets and papad under the brand Bikano Packaged Sweets & Namkeens, plans to set up a factory in Hyderabad, informed Gupta.

Furthermore the company, which operates its outlets through company-owned and franchisee outlets, is also planning to open more outlets abroad. “We currently have two outlets in Dubai, one each in Aukland, New Zealand, and Kathmandu, Nepal. Very shortly, we will be launching our outlet in Sharjah. We are also planning to foray in Australia,” shared Gupta.

About the criteria to choose the franchisee, Gupta added, “Our managing director SS Agrawal is very particular about the branding of the company. Besides looking at the potential of space a franchisee has, with its ability to make money, the company always believes in profitable sustenance of each outlet.” The average retail space of Bikanervala outlets is estimated at 15,000-20,000 square feet, informed Gupta.

Commenting on the ongoing financial slowdown and its impact on food industry, Gupta concluded, “As of now, we have not felt the pinch of any slowdown on this industry. We follow the model of targeting every segment of the society which has indeed helped us to retain the sales figure.”

Source: By Shailesh Shah, Indiaretailing.com

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