Entrepreneurs must listen to the marketplace and innovate, fine-tune their product/service offerings to grow new business. McDonald’s is a great example. Every April McDonald’s India executives hold an offsite meeting to chart the brand’s future growth plans and consider modifications to its menu. At the 2009 meeting, the team felt that while McDonald’s India had an excellent array of vegetarian products, there was no ‘premium’ – priced above Rs 50 – offering on this platter. It decided there should be one. Abhijit Upadhye, menu management and supply chain head, was given the responsibility of creating it.
That was the starting point of a two-year-long saga that culminated in the launch of ‘McSpicy Paneer’ in end-March this year, which has proved so popular that most McDonald’s Indian outlets keep running out of stock every day.
India is the fast food chain’s global vegetarian hub. It is also the only country where McDonald’s does not serve its iconic Big Mac, since the burger patty contains beef. Until recently it was also the only country where McDonald’s served vegetarian burgers, though lately, the United Arab Emirates has been picking up McDonald’s vegetarian products too, primarily to cater to the expatriate Indian population.