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Innovation vital to beat competition: Dunkin Donuts COO

Dev Amritesh, Presedent and COO, Dunkin Donuts in an interview to CNBC-TV18 spoke about the company’s plans to on dealing with competition and outlook for the business going forward.

According to him, to keep competition at bay or be one-step ahead, it is imperative to constantly innovate and reinvent.

The company plans to open around 30 more store by the end of this year, adding to the 54 stores they already have.

Below is the transcript of Dev Amritesh’s interview with Shweta Kothari on CNBC-TV18.

Q: Do you visualise lot of competition from foreign players going forward?

A: There is a lot of competition in the Quick service restaurants (QSR) and food service market in general not just from the foreign players. Lot of new foreign players have entered the market in the last couple of years but also a lot of interesting entrepreneurs are starting their own chain of restaurants, people who are bored of doing their regular job.

One of the most glamorous things that people like to do is to open a restaurant. So, there is a lot of competition, lot of new brands are entering the market but at the same time probably consumption is not growing at the same pace. So it is not like consumption is at its all time high or anything like that right now. So it is a tough place to be right now.

Q: And how are you gearing up for the competition?

A: Our focus is more on consumers and what they are looking for and what we can do. Our focus is more on the trends not just within the category but outside the category to constantly innovate, to come up with new solutions, to continuously reinvent ourselves and be the best that we can be. That is the best way to deal with competition instead of being really obsessed about what they are doing, our focus is on what we could do better.

This year we plan to open about 30 restaurants. If you look at past-we ended the last financial year at 54, so 30 restaurants is what we are looking at. Therefore, somewhere in the mid-80s is where we will end up in this year in terms of number of stores.

Q: And what percent of revenues does India contribute to overall Dunkin Donuts’ business?

A: Dunkin Donuts has more than 1,000 thousand stores around the world and its revenues are about USD 7 billion, so 84 stores would be a small decimal point.

Q: But is it a growing market at all?

A: Yes, India of course presents an interesting opportunity but I have said there is lot of supply right now in India and lot of brands are entering the market right now but yet in the long term India continues to be very exciting market and we are very bullish about the market’s potential in the medium to long term.