Our largest product portfolio upgrade is underway: Jubilant FoodWorks CEO

Jubilant FoodWorks CEO Pratik Pota
The country’s largest food service retail chain Jubilant FoodWorks, which runs the Domino’s franchise, managed to increase its same-store sales by 6.5 per cent during the April-June quarter, the highest rate since June 2015. Pratik Pota, chief executive officer of Jubilant FoodWorks, shares his plans in an interview with Arnab Dutta. Edited excerpts:

Has consumer sentiment begun to turn favourable? What factors worked for you in the June quarter?

A favourable macro-environment is not in sight yet. What worked for us in the first quarter was a change in strategy. We shifted from deep discounts to offering customers assured value and low prices every day. This helped shift the consumption pattern from occasional to spontaneous. We moved from day-based discount offers to lower prices on all days and it brought new customers on board and the frequency of buying among existing customers increased. 

It also helped change the perception of the brand among consumers from one that runs on discounts to one offering value for money. With the festive season round the corner, consumer sentiment should improve.

Has Jubilant FoodWorks got its proposition right this year?

Propositions have to keep evolving. We have to ensure that we stay relevant with the changing realities. Product innovation is a key driver for us. We are now working on improving our product offering and the largest ever upgrade of our product portfolio is currently underway.

Will the new value-added products increase costs? Are you considering price hikes?

With the new launches the cost of production will go up significantly. We have allocated Rs 100 crore for the new campaign and the initial cost increases. But we do not intend to hike prices. The incremental cost will be compensated by productivity and efficiency.

How do you plan to manage Dunkin’ Donuts as losses mount? What are your plans for new outlets?

We plan to open three to five Dunkin’s Donuts stores this year but our focus is not on expansion. We aim to cut losses by half by March 2018 and break even next year. We plan to open 40-50 Domino’s stores this year, which will require an investment of up to Rs 45 crore.

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