Patanjali claims to take on KFC, but its anti-MNC stand is self-destructive
To challenge MNC restaurant chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Patanjali will venture into the business
It was the early 2000s, and as a reporter I was on the trail of the country’s biggest food marketer venturing into categories as diverse as pizzas, ice-cream mixes and value-added milk confectionery. There was a bravado in the way the top team of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) — popularly known for and as Amul after its larger-than-life brand — was dismissive of multinational firms dominant in the new markets it was entering.
“We know the modus operandi of the MNCs. We’ll embarrass them everywhere,” one senior manager told me. In fact, going by the tone and tenor of the conversation I had with the top team at GCMMF’s Anand headquarters that sultry July afternoon 14 years ago, it was clear to me that anti-multinationalism, an article of faith with the cooperative besides cost-competitiveness, was getting the better of this otherwise fine institution.
Not that the deep-pocketed multinationals that GCMMF was taking on at that time were intimidated, but any competition from the country’s largest integrated food marketer could not be taken lightly. For a while there was a din in the north Indian markets on Amul’s plans for frozen Utterly Delicious ready-to-cook pizzas and Snowcap ice-cream mixes.
Fortunately for GCMMF that bravado didn’t last long, and the firm quietly withdrew from the new markets, letting the Domino’s, Pizza Huts and Perfettis rule the roost. Today, GCMMF is a much stronger firm, with revenues of over Rs 20,000 crore, and a target to more than double it to Rs 50,000 crore in the next four years. It is investing Rs 5,000 crore in its core milk procurement, processing and manufacturing facilities across the country.(read more)