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Famous Brands enters India with Debonairs Pizza

JSE-listed Famous Brands has announced its expansion into India, with a pilot Debonairs Pizza restaurant set to open in Mumbai in July 2013. In the short-term, five restaurants will be opened in Mumbai, India's main economic hub and its wealthiest city. Famous Brands said Mumbai had the highest gross domestic product of any city in south, west or central Asia and it has appointed a master licence partner in the territory to manage the business. "Entering the Indian market is as much about our partners as it is about the market. They will give us local knowledge advantage which is critical to the sustainability of this venture," said Famous Brands Chief Operating Officer, Darren Hele, in a statement. The Master License agreement has been concluded with family-owned Diwa Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the Parekh Group conglomerate. "Whilst Debonairs Pizza is Africa's biggest pizza brand and the Group is confident of exporting the concept, in-depth research has shown that the model must be relevant from day one, and be re-engineered to fit the Indian market," Hele said. "In this regard, our Debonairs Pizza offering in Mumbai is all about a customised menu – with a strong vegetarian bias; local flavour profiles developed in conjunction with our partners; and innovative product offerings designed to support the cost conscious 'grab-and-go' Mumbai consumer. It is also about a bespoke trading format which factors in that access to retail trading space in high density markets such as this are at a premium. "There are very strong factors driving growth

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