Nirula’s to foray overseas; invest Rs150 cr in India

Nirula’s to foray overseas; invest Rs150 cr in India

New Delhi: Fast food and casual dining chain Nirula’s said that it is planning to foray into the overseas markets, including the UK and Gulf region, and will invest Rs150 crore for domestic expansion.

“We have opened preliminary discussions with prospective partners in United Kingdom, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Nepal. We are looking at the JV and franchise model for growth in those markets," Nirula’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Samir Kuckreja said.

He, however, declined to provide further details, saying that everything was still at a very early stage.

The company, which currently operates 60 outlets in north India, is expanding into the other parts of the country and plans to take the number of outlets to 200 by 2011.

“From being restricted to the north, we are going pan—India with plans for 50 more outlets by end of next year and to have around 200 outlets within the next three years. We are carrying out the expansion with an investment of Rs100—150 crore,"

He said that the new outlets would come in all the existing formats including flagship shops, quick-service restaurants and ‘Potpurri´ casual dining outlets.

The company is also going for a major overhaul of its menu with plans to introduce healthy food substitutes across its range after tying up with US-based health management firm Nutrition Vista.

“We have also gone for a major overhaul of our menu with launch of ‘Nutribite´ burgers to tap the health conscious consumers. This comes as a follow up to our healthy ‘Biolite´ range of ice-creams and deserts. We are now planning to put our entire menu under the healthy option meals," he said.

Kuckreja said that the company is looking at all verticals, including high—street, malls, highways, transit spots like airports, bus depots and railway stations for expansion.

“One of our major area of expansion would be into the Tier III cities where we view tremendous opportunities due to non-existence of our branded organised food chains," he said.

Asked about the recent fall in retail rentals, he said: “As expected, rentals have entered a period of corrections and we expect more down slide in the future. As such, this is the best time for any chain like our to grab places and expand."

He, however, declined to reveal the company’s annual turnover and sales figure.