WIB to invest on Jollibean, KRR expansion in India

The investment will be for the opening of 30 KRRI restaurants and 75 Jollibean kiosks within 5 years

By FARA AISYAH / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

World Iconic Brands Hospitality Pte Ltd (WIB), the agency responsible for commerce development of Jollibean and Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR), is expected to invest US$50 million (RM205 million) for expansion of the two brands in India.

The investment will be utilised for the opening of 30 KRR International Corp (KRRI) restaurants and 75 Jollibean kiosks in India, within a period of five years.

WIB MD Gaurav Marya said the company is expected to open the collaboration’s first branch early next year.

“Overall, we are looking at an investment of US$50 million for the expansion plan.

“We will spend the next six to eight months researching and understanding the preferences of Indian consumers.

“The idea was not to just do it, but to do it right. We are targeting to open the first branch for the partnership in early 2019,” he told reporters at the signing ceremony between Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood) and WIB in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Jollibean’s expansion to India will be its first outside Singapore, while KRRI already has one restaurant in Chandigarh, India.

Gaurav said India, which has a young and big population with an improving infrastructure, is projected to be a great venue for various businesses especially in the food and beverages (F&B).

“It is the best time to invest in India now, especially for Malaysian companies that are looking for expansion,” he added.

Under the agreement, both parties will establish a framework for collaboration with progressive discussions, exchange of information, development and investment updates for the relevant commercial expansions.

Jollibean, KRR and Starbucks Malaysia are the brands currently under BFood group.

WIB is owned by Franchise India — Asia’s largest integrated franchise solutions company — which manages 400 brands and has 45 offices in India as well as six overseas offices.

BFood CEO Sydney Quays said the company aims to reach as many cities in India as possible through the collaboration, hence, choosing WIB as the partner.

“Tentatively, we are looking to open 30 KRR outlets and 75 Jollibean kiosks in five years, but I think we potentially have the capability of doing more than that as well.

“I also expect the expansion plan to contribute positively to the group in the future,” he added.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by KRRI senior VP Luis Daniel and Gaurav, while witnessed by Quays.