After a protracted battle and years of uncertainty over franchise rights for McDonald’s outlets in North and East India, Sanjeev Agrawal, chairman of Delhi-based M M Agrawal Group, has emerged a winner.
Agrawal, 55, will now be responsible for operations at over 160 outlets for the American burger giant in the two markets that are considered the largest (North) and fastest-growing (East) in the country’s consumer goods space. Together, with McDonald’s, he will be focused on “modernising our restaurants, enhancing digital consumer engagement, and offering more personalised service and menu items tailored to their local flavour,” said Barry Sum, director of corporate relations for McDonald’s in Asia.
“Agrawal has a strong understanding and passion for the McDonald’s brand, insights into the local market, and a proven track record of driving quality and innovation in the food and beverage and hospitality industries. He is the right strategic partner for McDonald’s to grow our brand presence in North and East India,” he said.
Founded in 1964 as Superior Group of Industries by former Member of Parliament-Rajya Sabha late M M Agrawal, it got its current name after 2006. As Agrawal, the elder son of M M, took over the reins after his father’s demise, he gave it a new name. Today the group’s interests are spread across diverse sectors — from hotels and colas to offshore services for oil and gas industry.
It forayed into the food and beverages space in 1987, when the group set up Moon Beverages to bottle drinks for India’s cola king Ramesh Chauhan. The firm that M M Agrawal Group terms as its ‘flagship company’ for beverages business began bottling Thums Up, Limca, Maaza, Gold Spot, RimZim, and Bisleri for Chauhan’s Parle Group.
Later, in 1994, following Coca-Cola’s re-entry into the local market, Moon Beverages became the authorised bottler of the cola giant and is manufacturing and distributing drinks like Coca-Cola, Limca, Sprite, Maaza, Thums Up, Fanta, Minute Maid, Coke Zero, and Kinley. It works as a co-packer with Coke through another company — Hindustan Aqua — which bottles Coca-Cola beverages.
While MM had laid the foundation of the group, it is in fact Agrawal who is credited for its success in the fast-moving consumer goods space.