Case Analysis: McDonald’s and Hindu Culture
The case study discusses the struggles that McDonalds faced when it began to do business in India. The Hindu culture prohibits the consumption of beef because they look at the cow as being a sacred animal. In addition, India has a large Muslim population whose religion prohibits the consumption of pork products. These limitations completely contradict the traditional menu that McDonald’s has perfected. McDonalds had to find a way to accommodate these limitations and still be appealing to the Indian consumers.
McDonalds created a version of the Big Mac that was made with chicken. McDonalds also created an extensive vegetarian menu. Just when they thought they perfected this they were sued for using beef products in their french fries. Concentrating on the other parts of their menu they overlooked a beef additive to their French fries. This proved to be a large mistake by McDonalds. It is surprising that McDonalds was as well received as it was. The Indian consumers could have boycotted the fast food chain because of the use of beef in their restaurants in countries other than India. McDonalds took a large gamble trying to accommodate Indian palates.
Localization of products is the key strategy that international firms should do to maintain a customer base in other countries. Foreign ventures are very expensive and included in this cost is the cost of streamlining products and services to the local tastes and traditions. Without this streamlining the products may not be successful. Sometimes the people of other areas of the world may not even know what to do with a product unless it is customized to their way of life.
McDonalds was lucky that their mistake of not eliminating beef products in their French fries didn’t taint their standing in India forever. They had their popularity in other parts of...