Baskin Robbins is eyeing 30 per cent growth this year to cross the Rs 25-crore sales mark in India.
The company, which has been present in India for more than a decade, is still fighting the popular consumer perception that it is expensive vis-à-vis other homegrown brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy.
This year, Baskin Robbins hopes to generate growth by improving infrastructure as well as its service network, instead of taking the brand to more cities.
The CEO of Baskin Robbins Franchise India, Mr Pankajj Chaturvedi, told Business Line: "We are already present in 40 cities through 135 stores. This year we want to concentrate on improving infrastructure and services, instead of expanding to more cities. We will get into multiplexes and malls in a bid to expand our reach."
Baskin Robbins has forged tie-ups with Adlabs to open outlets at all their multiplexes, beginning with Mumbai.
These outlets will be owned and operated by Adlabs and supported by the operations and training team of Baskin Robbins.
Also, the company has signed a similar deal with PVR to open outlets in each of their multiplexes.
Mr Chaturvedi said that though Baskin Robbins has maintained prices over the last two years, the company is finding it tough to counter the widely held notion that its products are expensive.
And with the VAT regime adding to the costs of the franchisees, there just may be another round of price increase in the offing.
"The implications of VAT are just becoming clear to us. Ours is a 100 per cent franchisee operation in India - if costs rise, the franchisees want to pass them on to the consumer. There could be a 12.5 per cent increase in prices as a result of VAT."
According to industry estimates, the organised sector ice-cream market in India is worth about Rs 700 crore.
It has been growing at a lower rate of 7-8 per cent for the last two years but is expected to double growth rates this year on increased penetration of mass brands and because players are launching host of new products at new price points.