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INTERVIEW

“QSR is the best industry in India at present”
Monday, 19 September, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
99 Pancakes is India’s one-of-its-kind QSR chains, which specialises in offering a variety of pancakes with more than 45 outlets in 15 cities across the country. The brand also intends to add technology with taste to reach more people.The prime goal of the brand is to reach every corner of young India and provide each and every customer a unique experience, and best taste at an affordable price. It offers Mini Holland Pancakes with a variety of toppings, and has open kitchens where pancakes are made live. Vikesh Shah, founder at 99 Pancakes, shares his thoughts about the current scenario of the food and beverage industry, the brand’s journey, plan for sustainability, and more, in an email interview with Kimberley Fernandes. Excerpts.

How would you describe the current scenario of the food and beverage industry?
I see great opportunity as people want to explore new trends and with changing food habits it is the best market to be in.

Tell us about the brand’s journey from opening its first store in June 2017 till date.
After opening our 1st outlet we reached 50 plus outlets with our franchise model in couple of years. In Covid times we went down to 30 stores and now we are growing our presence with COCO (Company Owned Company Operated) model pan India. We plan to open 100 new stores by next year.

Who are your primary target customers, and why?
Age group from 15 to 25 years are our main customers as they like to explore food and hangout for new concepts. We are also targeting kids as they too are super excited about pancakes.

What is the company’s long-term plan for sustainability?
We want to make pancakes an everyday food craving for Indian market. Will be opening 100 more stores in next couple of years, introducing our premixes and other FMCG products in longer term and will cover all tier 1 and tier 2 cities, including metros.

What are the key factors that would differentiate your brand from the existing brands in the market?
We are the first to launch pancakes in India. It’s a unique concept with live pancakes made in front of your eyes. It’s the experience that makes us different from others. We also serve amazing cakes and desserts which is also becoming our important category.

What are the challenges faced by QSR chains in India?
I think QSR is the best industry in India at present. It has one major problem in terms of cold chain and logistics management. If that is sorted then this market can grow exponentially.

Give us your thoughts about the concept of open kitchens on the rise in India.
Covid has taught people the importance of hygiene. Now people want clean and healthy stuff. Hence, open kitchens impart trust and are most successful in satisfying customer’s demand for hygiene.

What was your last fiscal year like and what are you expecting?
Last year was a roller coaster ride because of Covid. This year we are pretty much stable and will grow 3X in terms of revenue.

What are the company’s plans on future collaborations?
We do more and more collaborations with lot of kids channels and healthy products. We are also exploring to cross promote with a lot of TV channels who target a young audience.

Do you plan on launching new outlets in India and foreign markets?
Pancakes are a very commonly consumed product worldwide. So,yes we will be activating our international growth plans too as we progress in Indian market.
 
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