After India’s economic reforms and liberalization in 1991 many foreign brands were looking to enter India.
McDonald’s saw huge potential in India and started preparing its entry plan.
To help them understand the tastes and preferences of the Indian consumers McDonald’s began looking for an Indian joint venture partner. It finally formed joint ventures with 2 different partners.
The market for West and South India was targeted through a Joint venture with Hardcastle Restaurants and the market for North and East India was targeted through a Joint venture with Connaught Plaza Restaurants.
Finally, McDonald’s opened its stores for public in 1996. However, it faced a big problem at that time.
India being a country with so many diffeien consider cultural and religious factors in India.
Beef and pork being an integral part of the menu for McDonald’s in the Western countries it was difficult for the company to formulate a menu without beef and pork items in India.
McDonald’s initial products in India were burgers, fries, vegetable nuggets and beverages.
However, it was in the year 1998 when McDonald’s came up with a breakthrough innovation- the Aloo Tikki Burger.
The McAloo Tikki Burger was a unique proposition that brought the familiarity of Indian cuisine and the novelty of the very humble potato patty being used to create a burger.
The combination of a potato and peas patty with special Indian spices coated with breadcrumbs served with sweet tomato mayo, fresh onions, and tomatoes in a regular bun was an instant hit.
Also, McAloo Tikki was priced at only Rs 25 (later price reduced to Rs 20). So, the consumers had a great product at a very affordable price.
McDonald’s also advertised the product aggressively further fuelling its success.
Seeing McAloo Tikki’s success, McDonald’s came up with many innovative products which went on to become big hits like Pizza McPuff, McVeggie, etc.
McAloo Tikki burger became the face of McDonald’s menu innovation in India. And that is how a global brand’s local innovation helped them to win the hearts of Indian consumers!