How Mcdonalds Evolved Its Marketing Strategy in India

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How McDonald's evolved its marketing in India
Preeti Chaturvedi

When McDonald's India launched in 1996, urban Indians in Mumbai and Delhi typically ate out three to fives times a month, according to AT Kearney, the management consultancy. In the 12 years since then, that average frequency has doubled and analysts forecast that by 2011 the Indian quick service restaurant market will be worth 30,000 crore (about $6.3bn at October 2008 exchange rates). But from their earliest investments in India, multinational company (MNC) owners of restaurant chains have struggled to adapt to the needs of India's many markets. Some pulled out of the country after failed ventures. At the time, consolidation of the hugely fragmented Indian retail sector had also barely begun, and there was scepticism that Indians would prefer burgers and fast food to local food offerings. However, in the intervening decade, McDonald's has continued to open new outlets in the country, evolving its marketing strategy through several phases. Twelve years of McDonald's India McDonald's India was set up as a 50:50 joint-venture between McDonald's at a global level and regional Indian partners such as Hardcastle Restaurants Private Limited in western India, and Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited in northern India. The first Indian McDonald's outlet opened in Mumbai in 1996. Since then, outlets have begun trading in metropolitan and Tier II towns across the country. By September 2008, it had premises in Mumbai, Bangalore, Baroda, Pune, Indore, Nasik, Chennai, Hyderabad, Surat and Ahmedabad. Amit Jatia, Managing Director, McDonalds India, said: "The past decade has witnessed a marked change in Indian consumption patterns, especially in terms of food. Households in middle, upper, and high-income categories now have higher disposable income per member and a propensity to spend more." Phase I: Launching the brand The starting point for McDonald's India was to change Indian consumers' perceptions,...
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