New Delhi: Domino’s, the world’s largest pizza delivery chain, sells more pizzas in India than anywhere else outside its home country, the US.
Domino’s Pizza India, run by the Bhartia family-promoted Jubilant Food Works, now makes and sells four lakh pizzas every day, or more than 12 crore pizzas a year, about twice the number of burgers McDonald’s sells in India.
This month Domino’s India overtook its UK counterpart in store count to become the largest international market for the company outside the US. As of November 29, there are 818 Domino’s Pizza restaurants in India across 173 cities.
“India is the only country where we are double the size of McDonald’s,” said Ajay Kaul, CEO, Jubilant FoodWorks.
And he still sees huge scope for growth. “We believe we are scratching the surface… over 15 million people are consuming us every year, but half of those consumers are consuming us only once a year,” Kaul said.
It’s this opportunity that has persuaded Domino’s, with global retail sales of $8 billion, to expand its reach in the Indian market aggressively despite the slowdown in the quick service sector with people checking their discretionary spending. In second quarter, Jubilant FoodWorks’ same-store sales growth slowed to 5.3 per cent compared with 6.6 per cent a year earlier.
The company, which also operates the Dunkin’ Donuts chain in the country, reported a 12.7 per cent year-on-year drop in its standalone net profit for the second quarter at Rs 29 crore as it spent big on opening new stores.
It plans to continue expanding its reach at a fast clip. Kaul said Domino’s is looking to set up 150 new stores every year and hopes to touch 1,500 to 2,000 stores by 2020. He said people like eating pizza in smaller markets such as Patna, Salem and Kanpur as much as they do Delhi or Mumbai.
India got to second rank in the Domino’s universe within 18 years. However, India is a distant No. 2 to the US, where Domino’s operates more than 5,000 stores.
Patrick Doyle, global president and CEO at Domino’s Pizza, said he was not surprised by the India success because of the quality of people the company has.
“India now has more stores than any market outside of the US. Clearly, it is a major priority for us and will continue to be,” he told in an email. So why have Indians taken to pizza in such a big way? Kaul said it’s quite simple — cultural affinity.
“Pizzas resonate with Indian consumption habits as they look like chapatis, have a wheat base, are eaten with hands instead of forks and spoons, and the same pizza is often shared by slices and has either vegetables or chicken toppings,” he explained.
Then there’s the seemingly infinite variety afforded by the mix-and-match aspect of toppings. “We Indians like combinations and variety in our food and a pizza allows all of that, unlike a burger or any