Cross Cultural Perspective: McDonald’s India
May 1, 2014
Cross Cultural Perspective: McDonald’s India
McDonald’s launched it first restaurant in 1996. Unlike any other market, McDonald’s corp. has ventured in, India showed to be one of the toughest. As India’s population is very diverse and complex between different communities, religions, beliefs, and value systems, Mcdonald’s had to consider the cultural, economical and sociopolitical factors. Cultural Issue
Because 80% of the population in India practice Hindu, which prohibits the consumption of beef, and of practicing muslims who do not consume pork, McDonald’s in India was the first of its kind to serve non-beef and non-pork products. McDonald’s understood that to be successful in this market they would have to consider the cultural differences factor. According to “Mcdonald’s entry to India” (2014),“To honor the cultural differences between religions, the company categorized the cooking tools as well as employees in vegetarian and non-vegetarian category”(para 6). When entering a new foreign market, respecting the country’s cultural beliefs is essential into earning the trust of its people and avoid any type of opposition. McDonald’s believes in setting strict rules, and even requires non-vegetarian employees to shower prior to entering the vegetarian side of food preparation.
In a country where beef and pork is largely not consumed, one would think McDonald’s was heading for failure; although it proved to adapt well to its culture. A strategy McDonald’s used and showed to be profitable was the introduction of local tastes to the menu. “Items such as the Maharaja Mac, which is a Big Mac made with chicken patties instead of beef. It also offers a McAloo Tikki, a burger made with a spicy breaded potato patty , red onions, tomatoes and a "special vegetable sauce"”(Choi, 2014, para 5). Furthermore, all ingredients in the vegetarian products are completely vegetarian including the mayonnaise which is 100% egg-less.
Another approach the company has taken is advertising, targeting the teen and young adult populations it captures close to 40% of the fast food industry in the country. Considering there are only 242 restaurants in the country, the company has definitely enjoyed great success in this age group. “ The restaurant recognizes that this age bracket, more so than in the US, influences the purchases of the entire family”(Gordon,2014, para. 5). Other tactics used to target consumer lifestyle in india are the ordering of food online and Mcdelivery features.
Although McDonald’s has been successful in its business development in India, this did not happen over-night or without incident. Many protesters in India stood outside many of its branches Following a class action lawsuit filed in the US where McDonald’s was accused of mislabeling french fries and hash browns as vegetarian. The vegetable oil used to prepare the fries and hash browns were found to contain traces of beef used for flavoring. Members of a group in northeastern Bombay demolished a restaurant. Another located in southern Bombay was besieged by protesters who shouted slogans and stained “Ronald”, the company mascot, with cow dung. Even after reasurance from officials stating that the vegetarian products served in India did not have any non-vegetarian content, opposition from protesters did not die down ("The Mcdonald'S 'Beef Fries' Controversy", 2014). There were concerns in the Indian community about how the food was prepared in McDonalds. Social Responsibility
The McDonald’s corporation believe in “being a good neighbor and partner in the community”. McDonalds, in partnership with Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital have created a fund to support endeavors to eradicate preventable Childhood Blindness from India ("Corporate Social Responsibility", 2012-2013). McDonalds have also created channels so that people in the community who wish to...
References: Choi, C. (2014). McDonald 's to beef up in India with Meatless Menu. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-09-04/mcdonalds-to-open-vegetarian-restaurants-in-india
Corporate Social Responsibility. (2012-2013). Retrieved from http://www.mcdonaldsindia.net/Corporate-Social-Responsibility.aspx
Gordon, A. (2014). McDonald 's adapts to India. Retrieved from http://www.thunderbird.edu/blog/faculty/washburn/2010/12/14/mcdonalds-adapts-to-india
McDonald 's India. (2012-2013). Retrieved from http://www.mcdonaldsindia.net/mcdonalds-india.aspx
McDonald 's entry to India. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.assignmentpoint.com/business/mcdonalds-entry-to- india.aspx
The McDonald 's 'Beef Fries ' Controversy. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Business%20Ethics/The%20McDonald%20Beef%20Fries% 20Controversy.htm
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