Companies & Sectors
More occasions to eat out; QSR growth potential good, says Rabobank

Rapid change in food consumption habits in India has spurred domestic and foreign quick service restaurant (QSR) chains to implement aggressive expansion plans. According to a Rabobank report, this growth is set to accelerate

“QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) will be a double-digit growth story in India in the medium- to long-term, as food consumption habits in India are changing fast,” commented Rabobank India Head F&A Research & Advisory (FAR), Asitava Sen.


According to the Rabobank report, “A younger population, higher rate of urbanisation, larger disposable incomes, higher protein consumption, increased participation of women in the workforce and exposure to western lifestyles are leading to the experimentation with, and adoption of, new dietary habits and more occasions to eat out for all levels of society”.


“As a result, we believe the time is right for both global and Indian QSR chains and their supply chain partners to expand in India. This growth will support the development of a new generation of Indian food processors and supply chain partners. We believe that there is significant potential for commissaries to establish themselves as a link between QSRs and food producers and processors”, Sen added.


To sustain the growth, while focusing on quality and profits, QSRs will have to build collaborative and dedicated supply chains from the ground up—connecting local business partners, high quality vendors, the right commissaries and state-wide or nation-wide supply chain solution providers.


Total industry size for the Indian foodservice sector was Rs460 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2011 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% until 2015. Out of this, the QSR segment is worth Rs33 billion ($600 million) and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% over the same period.


At present, according to the National Restaurants Association of India, 50% of the consumers are eating out at least once every three months, and this shift is epitomised by the growing presence of QSR concepts, including many global QSR players.


An efficient supply chain will help provide standard product quality to customers across stores, but supply fragmentation in India is significant, creating quality issues at the ‘back-end’. Limited modern storage and transportation infrastructure adds to the problem, which is even more pronounced in perishable products. As such, capital investments in the upstream and midstream processing parts of the supply chain are critical, especially since food production, processing and preparation on a large scale are just beginning in India.


Relationships between QSRs and their channel partners have worked well in categories such as cheese, poultry and frozen foods in India and there is room for such partnerships to flourish in other key categories of commodities and processed foods.


QSR players prefer to have multiple supplier options to diversify the risk and help in price negotiations. In segments such as poultry, cheese and French fries there are only a few processors currently, but QSRs may look at either developing small players as vendor partners or even consider backward integration into the business.


Nifty, Sensex still under pressure: Wednesday Closing Report

As we suggested yesterday, the market staged a minor rally today. The Nifty remains oversold and the weak rally may continue but there will be sellers at higher levels

The market settled higher on hopes that the government will be able to rein in the current account deficit, as pointed out in the Economic Survey pointed out today. As we suggested yesterday, the market staged a minor rally today. The Nifty remains oversold and the weak rally may continue but there will be sellers at higher levels. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a higher volume of 76.67 crore shares, a day ahead of the expiry of the February Futures and Options derivatives contract and advance-decline ratio of 839:700.
The market opened in the positive tracking firm global cues. Markets in the US settled higher overnight as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke supported the bonds buying initiative and sales of new homes rose more-than-expected in December. The Asian pack, excluding the Nikkei 225, was trading higher on the back of the optimism from the US. Back home, investors are looking forward to the Economic Survey, which will be tabled by finance minister P Chidambaram in Parliament later in the day.
The Nifty resumed trade 24 points higher at 5,785 and the Sensex started off at 19,090, a rise of 75 points over its previous close. Selling pressure in early trade led the benchmarks into the red at around 10.30am. The Nifty fell to 5,750 and the Sensex declined to 18,998 at their lows.
Buying in select stocks soon helped the market recover from its lows. The Economic Survey said that the economy is likely to grow at 6.1%-6.7% in the fiscal 2013-14. However, the Survey is apprehensive about the ongoing slowdown current account deficit. It is optimistic of bringing down inflation to 6.2%-6.6% by March.
Across-the-board buying supported saw all sectoral indices, except BSE IT and BSE TECk, trading in the positive in post-noon trade. gains in the European markets also boosted sentiments back home.
While the Sensex hit its high at around 2.15pm with the benchmark at 19,213, the Nifty stood at 5,818 at its high at around 2.45pm. However, a minor bout of profit taking at the highs led the indices lower at the close of trade.
The Nifty gained 36 points (0.62%) at 5,797 and the Sensex climbed 137 points (0.72%) to end the session at 19,152.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index climbed 0.74% and the BSE Small-cap index rose 0.20%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE Capital Goods (up 2.41%); BSE Realty (up 2.12%); BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.17%); BSE Metal (up 1.11%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.10%). BSE IT (down 0.96%); BSE TECk (down 0.23%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.04%) ended up as losers.
Twenty two of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The main gainers were Bharti Airtel (up 3.29%); Larsen & Toubro (up 3.16%); Mahindra & Mahindra (up 3.03%); ONGC (up 2.91%) and Bajaj Auto (up 2.23%). The major losers were GAIL India (down 1.72%); Infosys (down 1.56%); Tata Motors (down 1.11%); Coal India (down 1.08%) and Hero MotoCorp (down 1.01%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Jet Airways India (up 19.27%) and Suzlon Energy (up 13.85%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Core Education Technologies (down 46.09) and Opto Circuits (down 6.74%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Ankit Metal (up 19.77%) and Surat Textile Mills (up 19.55%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Onelife Capital Advisors (down 20%) and PG Electroplast (down 19.99%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 28 ended in the green. The key gainers were Jaiprakash Associates (up 5.85%); M&M (up 3.38%); DLF (up 3.14%); Bharti Airtel (up 3.09%) and L&T (up 2.95%). The top losers were Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 4.39%); Power Grid Corporation (down 1.98%); Siemens (down 1.84%); GAIL India (down 1.82%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 1.64%).
Markets in Asia settled mostly higher on the optimism from the US. The Nikkei 225 closed lower as the strengthening yen dented the outlook for exporters.
The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.87%; the Hang Seng gained 0.25%; The Jakarta Composite climbed 1.14%; the Straits Times gained 0.21%; the Seoul Composite added 0.20% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.22% higher. Among the losers, the KLSE Composite closed flat, down 0.04 points and the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.27%.
At the time of writing, the key markets in Europe were trading up between 0.11% and 0.19% and the US stock futures were mixed with a negative bias.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares amounting to Rs74.68 crore on Tuesday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities aggregating Rs160.61 crore.
Etihad Airways on Wednesday said it has paid $70 million to buy three slots of the Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways at Heathrow airport in London.  The deal is part of a sale and lease back agreement signed on Tuesday. However, Jet will continue to operate flights to London utilising these slots. Jet Airways jumped 20% to settle at Rs539.15 on the NSE.
Pharmaceutical major Jubilant Life Sciences said the US health regulator has issued a warning letter for violation of manufacturing norms at its facility in Canada. The USFDA had specified in its letter that until all corrections have been completed, it may withhold approval of new applications or supplements listing JHS as the drug product manufacturer. The stock declined 5.16% to close at Rs176.30 on the NSE.
Private sector shipbuilder ABG Shipyard’s largest promoter entity, ABG International, today picked up 3.27 lakh shares of the company for Rs10.13 crore through open market transaction. ABG Shipyard settled 1.15% lower at Rs314 on the NSE.


Quality of meals on airlines is losing out to Indian Railways

The quality of inflight meals aboard Indian airlines have drastically come down while the Indian Railways seems to be going from strength to strength. It is time for a rethink in the way airlines serve flyers

So, how many of us remember the meals on domestic flights within India, which were good enough to discuss at home? As a matter of fact, for many, the inflight meal was best part of flying. Take a look at just some of the photographs from those days, not too long ago.


Even the thali served outside Delhi’s domestic departure, before privatisation, reared its ugly head and laid low all pretences of decent meals at terminals. Take a look at this photo

Indigo Airlines


And then came the great low-fare no-frills revolution. Here, for example, is what you got free of charge on Indigo when they started—a barf bag and a bottle of water.


Soon thereafter, you could start buying sandwiches and soft drinks and stuff, and to-date, their purchased food onboard is one of the best. Plus, they don't make such a fuss if you bring your own onboard, they gladly provide napkins too.



SpiceJet, in the beginning, used to give free cookies. People started grabbing them by the bucket. End of cookies.


It then started with these really healthy whole wheat sandwiches, alas, not found onboard anymore.



Kingfisher Red


Kingfisher Red tried to make amends but it was too late. Still, the concept of its free hot meal in a box was fun.


Go Air


Go Air, when it started, had some really mixed up offerings, like this one below:


Later on, they got better:

Air Deccan


Air Deccan, of course, was from a different planet, so to speak. They tried to refuse me free drinking water. Then, I threw the rule-book at them—commercial passenger licences ensure that ample potable drinking water is to be provided to passengers onboard. After this, they served it, for free. Besides this, their food was nothing much to write home about. 


Air India


Fast forward to present. This is a particularly good meal I had on an Air India flight from Kochi to Delhi about a year ago.


Jet Airways


Jet Airways and its various avatars are now at a point where often you do not know till you board whether you will get a meal, or not, either way, this is dinner on a Chennai-Delhi flight. Compare it to the one above, on Air India?


In the name of “no-frills” you can end up spending upwards of Rs250 for almost nothing, like these:

Take a look at what is on SpiceJet’s website: They make it look very appetising and mouth watering on their website.




Today, fares between low-cost and full-service airlines are often more or less the same. As a matter of fact, Air India is often cheaper on competing routes. This is considering the kind of time and stress involved before boarding a flight and taking into account the fact that you may have missed a meal. This calls for a much healthier and better meal than the greasy sandwiches that many of our airport snack bars seem to serve. Another thing is the fake ‘foreign’ fast food (which is another report altogether) and expensive hot cooked meals which have lost all semblance to value for money by the time it is served.


On the other hand, the Indian Railways appears to be going from strength to strength, and not just on the Deccan Queen but also on the Shatabdi and Rajdhani and Duronto class of trains.


It is about time airlines did what Indian Railways do: Define a meal by weight, charge a reasonable price, and most of all—healthy options. A bowl of salad or fresh cut fruit was always there on the table in the good old days.




3 years ago

yes,I have read your is very good journey food this is done in indian railways rajdhani shatabdi duronto trains......

Akshay Iyer

4 years ago

Interesting article! True, it is indeed sad to know that flights are losing out on food while the Indian Railways capitalize on it. Not so long ago, the food served on all the Rajdhani trains was catered by the Taj group. The quality of food in Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto trains are still appetizing, to say the least. You have even have "Diet Meals" nowadays on certain trains operating on Konkan Railway.

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