As an increasing number of young adults in India take to American-style fast food meals, health experts worry about the possible toll on public health.
Dr. Sailesh Mohan, senior research scientist and associate professor at Public Health Foundation of India, criticized the aggressive advertising and marketing that portrays fast food restaurants as "the cool place to eat," saying that they target impressionable children and young people.
"This is detrimental to long-term lifestyle choices and will have implications for the next generation vis-à-vis the increased burden of chronic diseases on the youth," said Dr. Mohan.
Health experts aside, international fast food chains have not encountered much opposition in India, especially compared to big-box foreign retailers like Wal-Mart. Experts in the retail and consumer field say that this is largely because unlike Wal-Mart, international fast food chains are not seen as replacing existing eateries.
"Both Wal-Mart and McDonald's have a very positive impact on the value chain, but the perception is different," said Ms. Nangia of Technopak. "People think that big-box retail chains can impact the local companies. While that's not true, that's the perception and that's what the political posturing in the country is."
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Yet foreign chains will find that operating in India has its challenges. Like every good business, restaurants need to know their customers, which in India means no beef products, as in McDonald's case, or no egg, as in Krispy Kreme's case.
"The first major challenge for new entrants in the market is menu differentiation and menu creation," said Mr. Sain of Everstone Group. "You have to come up with a good sense of taste and localization without compromising your core product."
The supply chain also presents a challenge, he said, as there are no existing cold chain networks or national suppliers that can deliver across different locations for various products.
"A lot of international players want to come in but when they come and check the scene on the ground, they realize that it's not that easy," said Mr. Sain. "There's a lot of hard work ahead for Burger King and for anyone who wants to come in, a lot of capital you have to invest, a lot of 'roll up your sleeves and get down into the execution of the business' that is required."
However, analysts argue that international chains opening in India today are much more likely to succeed than a few years ago.
"The initial entrants such as McDonald's have done a lot of the hard work — they had to create a market, educate people, change their menus to adapt to Indian taste, create a supply chain network," said Mr. Mishra of Ernst & Young. "The people who are coming in now can learn from those mistakes and successes, so that is a big advantage."