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Baskin Robbins in search of lost glory

19-July-2005
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Baskin Robbins in search of lost glory

Baskin Robbins India today operates through over 135 franchisee outlets spread across 39 cities and towns in the country. It claims to be posting profits continuously for the past three years now and is targeting a retail turnover of over Rs 22 crore this fiscal.

Continuous store growth and aggressive marketing in the institutional category are key drivers in this growth story, and this is expected to continue this year with special focus on Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). An exciting area seeing a lot of retail action is the mall and multiplex space, and for Baskin Robbins, this presents an exciting avenue.

Pankajj Chaturvedi, CEO, Baskin Robbins, said, “The situation today is completely different from, say four years ago. Baskin Robbins came in at a time when there was no other international food service chain around and a lot of expectation and buzz was built up in the initial phase. Somewhere in the middle, the brand did lose ground, particularly on the price perception and image. However, today I can proudly say that Baskin Robbins is one of the best performing fast food/quick service chains in this country.”

He further said, “Four years ago we consciously went in for a change of image in line with the latest international look – Store of the Future Concept – and this has served us tremendously. All stores opened since have been as per this, but the real success has been in converting practically all existing stores to this new vibrant look. Our other area of concern has been service, which is being actively pursued now through a dedicated training team in all regions. As for price, while we are premium, the difference today as compared to when we launched is marginal. The perception exists yes, but I am confident that if we are able to deliver the right product and experience to our consumers, price will no longer be a constraint – people are more than willing to spend now on the condition that they are given world class service and products.”

Marketing, too, is expected to get a boost with an aggressive plan in place to pump up sales at franchisee level as well as build a buzz about the brand through strategic media campaigns.

Over the past couple of years, Baskin Robbins had been revamping its existing stores as part of an initiative to bring them in line with the new international image. This year, having more or less achieved this target, the company is concentrating on creating more value in the franchisee chain.

Baskin Robbins is looking at multiplexes as an additional option, which is strategic in nature. “While multiplexes definitely offer an opportunity to expand our sales and number of outlets, they also offer very important and visible brand positioning. The way we watch films is changing rapidly nowadays and multiplex culture is driving this growth. We see immense potential in this respect,” Chaturvedi affirmed.

The coming months will see a fairly large BTL campaign around the new menu, which is initially being launched in Mumbai and Delhi, and once the systems are in place, will be rolled out nationally. Given this, a BTL thrust would balance out costs and deliverables nicely.

On the targets for the year end, Chaturvedi said, “We clocked growth rates of about 30 per cent last year – our primary target remains to emulate if not exceed this.”

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