MBA Aspirants are expected to know markets of established Brands. This helps them to understand industry for which they are dreaming to join in future. Today, you will read on KFC story in India
Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, is a fast food restaurant chain that is known for its fried chicken. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, the United States, KFC is the world’s second largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s.
Currently, KFC has more than 18,000 outlets in over 100 countries. And every day, more than 12 million customers are served at KFC outlets around the world. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which also owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
KFC was the first foreign fast food restaurant chain to enter India in 1990s after the Indian government implemented the economic liberalisation policy. At that time, KFC received permission from the Indian government to open 30 outlets across the country.
The first KFC outlet in India was opened in Bangalore in June 1995 and from 30 outlets, the number has grown to 296 today. Fast food restaurants have gained popularity in India because of their customised menus that suit the taste buds of the citizens.
Many people have the misconception that KFC only sells fried chicken; this is not at all true. In India, KFC has added a number of vegetarian items on its menu – Veg Zinger, Veg Rice Bowlz, and Veg Strips.
When KFC first entered the Indian market, there were a lot of protests, and the Bangalore outlet was repeatedly ransacked. Many Indians were worried that the Western culture would seep into the Indian roots, leading to the dilution of indigenous traditions.
To prevent further onslaughts on the KFC outlet, the management of the KFC outlet demanded a police van to be permanently parked outside for almost a year. Another KFC outlet was opened in Delhi in the same year but the combined revenue of both the Bangalore and Delhi outlets was not sufficient to continue the KFC business in India.
The reason why KFC did not gain popularity is because of anti-KFC movements that accused KFC of using illegally high amounts of monosodium glutamate, which are harmful to health. Also, the anti-KFC movements claimed that KFC sold food that was cooked and fried in pork fat. Given all these accusations against KFC, the fast food restaurant did not reap sufficient revenue to continue its operations in India. As a result, KFC had to abandon the Indian market.
Once the Indian market cooled down, KFC returned to the country in 1999 and set up an outlet in Bangalore. Until 2004, KFC only operated one outlet in India. As the sole outlet started making money, KFC expanded its operations throughout India and today, KFC outlets can be found in a number of cities.
KFC has come a long way since its establishment in India in 1995. Despite facing a rejection from consumers, KFC did not lose hope in the Indian market. Instead of eliminating India from its venues of operation, it analysed the problems faced by KFC in India and worked hard to resolve them.
It is this tenacity that won the hearts and stomachs of millions of Indians, who finally decided to embrace KFC’s dishes and give KFC a second chance.