Sunday, September 04, 2016

McDonald's is not selling food in India

It is selling professionalism, hygiene and process.

Chicken burgers are available elsewhere too.  Aloo tikki is a staple of Indian street food.

But upwardly mobile folks all go to western fast food joints.  There are birthday celebrations and dates in McDonald's.  Haldiram's etc. are doing reasonably well, but there is a lingering suspicion that behind the scenes the bania must be cutting corners in terms of either material quality or training.

In developed countries, where all three of the above are ubiquitous, McDonald's is a matter of convenience and cheap food.  However, in India, all three are scarce.  People go to McDonald's to experience the features of a western developed country: modern machines, quality control, trained and courteous employees, quick service, etc.

Western fast food is unhealthy, though probably no more than Indian fast food (dosa, pakoda, paratha, etc.).  It is the brand and what it represents that makes the opening of a McDonald's or a KFC outlet an event in a small town in India.

One might criticize big corporations for various reasons, but it is clear to me that there is immense need and desire for people in poorer countries for the higher quality and streamlined processes that can only happen with planning, technology and investment.

At least, till that quality and process-orientation becomes more common in the society at large.

1 comment:

Arun Kumar said...

Your article reminds me of my recent read called "emyth". It talks about designing an enterprise such that the customer experience (Internal and external) is always predictable irrespective of the scale business achieves. The author argues that its only possible if we carefully think and plan each process in detail in advance which in turn will set the enterprise for success. I find it true in home, companies and even in a country.