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Domino's eyes a bigger slice of the Indian QSR market

Pizza giant aims to double its market slice in the QSR category by becoming a meal-time replacement for Indian customers

Murugan Narayanswamy

Holding a 70% market share in the Indian pizza market is not enough for Domino's and the global chain is now working towards doubling the size of the market by creating pizza as a meal-time replacement.

The company is banking on its 'value for money' mantra to expand its slice in the quick service restaurants (QSR) category.

"The company that holds 70% of the market share has plans to create the market and not just gain the share. With the concept of coming up with new trends and innovations, Domino’s has always tried to gain the quantity of pizza consumption," said Murugan Narayanswamy, Sr. VP Marketing, Domino’s.

While the QSR market is quite small in India (2-3% of total food market as per a Crisil report), it is reportedly growing at 25% per year, making it the fastest growing market in the world. Factors driving this growth are an expanding middle class, a young population and more dual-income families.

The eating out and home delivery culture in India is in its infancy and many local and international brands such as Yum and McDonald's are vying for a bigger share.

For Domino's, India is currently the largest market where it has more than a 1,000 stores.

Speaking about their value for money concept that would drive company's next phase of growth in India, Narayanswamy said, “We provide pizza mania which starts at Rs59 and we aim to create pizza as a meal-time replacement. Can you tell me about a place where you can get a meal in a hygienic environment at just Rs 59? We want to ensure that depending upon the consumers we should give them value in terms of price. We are very close to the consumer and we try as much as we can do to match up their expectations. Whatever the kind of products and services we provide, it contributes to our ‘Value for money’ perception.”

Recently, Domino’s came up with improvement in its pizza like more tasty crust, bigger toppings, more cheese and much more. Coming up with the new product refresh, the brand is aiming to give consumers a better delivery of the product to encourage the frequency of consumption and to lure new people.

“To include the crust phenomenally, we have increased both the sizes and the amount of toppings along with the changes in our sauce as well. Not just this, we have come up with the decision of using more cheese without the change in prices of our pizzas. Though, it was a tough decision for us to make but in the long run it will prove to be beneficial for us and will make our consumers happy,” added Narayanswamy. 

To grow beyond the pizza market, the Jubilant Foodworks-owned franchisee in India has also launched a burger pizza. The move is likely to get more new customers.

With KFC trying pizzas and Domino’s coming up with burgers, the fast food market battle in India has intensified.

“In our case, when we launched the ‘burger pizza’ the logic was very clear and different and it has nothing to do with competition anyway. There are certain consumption occasions which are not shareable and individual in nature. Though it is called a burger, the advertising is about pizza and not burger. Our innovations are always based on some insight and it is called ‘burger pizza’ by its name, rest it is actually a pizza," Narayanswamy said.

Talking about the 21-year journey in India, Narayanswamy said, “If you look at our journey, it has been about getting pizzas into the houses. We have always stood for pizzas and delivery and we have always tried to establish the consumer trust in the brand. Whatever we have done to date, we aim to create far more pizza consumption which will make our consumers happy.”

He said that the biggest challenge any brand faces today is ‘consumer expectations’ as today, people are becoming evolved, going abroad, looking at food shows and their food knowledge is also growing.

“Consumer expectation is a big challenge for us along with the digital ecosystem as today, lot of things are happening at just one click Also, how to increase the consumption is another challenge we are facing.”

Speaking about the digital medium for the brand, Narayanswamy, explained, “Digital is a brilliant system for us as it acts like a reflection to us. The system is technologically evolving and one need to be established as a technological giant in order to become a strong digital brand. We take a lot of effort in digital channel and we will continue to increase our effort, our content creation, our ease of ordering and our application. Being a matured digital brand, we will try our best to be updated regarding what is happening in the ecosystem.”

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