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Jumbo King Vadapav

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Dheeraj Gupta It is many things to many people -- it is simple, tasty, and yes, very cheap. But it is certainly not the stuff of dreams, especially the global kind. What then was Jumbo King's inspiration for weaving an entire fast food chain around this very inconspicuous product, namely, the vada pav?

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imple actually. Here was a product available at almost every nook and corner of Mumbai, hugely popular and selling for as little as Rs 5. But

the people selling it had absolutely no vision for putting any kind of consistency or expertise around it. In many ways, vada pav resembled the burger sold in the United States for just 15 cents before McDonald's made a grand appearance and decided to throw their might behind it. Instinctively, we sensed a huge opportunity in this product, which could be branded, had mass appeal and was already selling in the city. We knew we were taking a big risk. With Mumbai and Thane alone consuming nearly 18 to 20 lakh (1.8 to 2 million) units ofvada pav a day and stiff competition, mainly from the street, why would people come to us? Only because we were selling to people a product they were already consuming every day, but with an important value add -- hygiene.

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pplying the 80:20 principle, we were confident at least 20 per cent people would see the logic behind opting for a hygienic vada pav and

consume our product. And that's how Jumbo King was born. Our first outlet came into existence on August 23, 2001. Power to vada pav One of our first tasks was to find a bakery that would supply us breads that were exactly 3.75 inches in diameter, 1.5 inches in height and 50 grams in weight. Our pattie too was made to order: 2.75 inches in diameter, 1 inch in height and 40gms in weight. All existing bakeries were in the unorganised sector and made it amply clear that we couldn't get our kind of bread; at least not for the kind of volumes we were buying (at that point in time, we were buying only 500 breads a day).

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hey even blamed my MBA education for what they thought was an essentially impractical view of the way business is done in the real world. It

was only when I explained to them that not getting the exact size of bread would mean spoiling the taste and consistency of my product that they eventually relented. However, what happened in the process was that I had to even resort to the threat of debit in the event I got a bread that was 10 gm heavier or lighter than my requirements. This is our story then. But today, it's a completely different scenario. With 36 outlets in Mumbai and 9 in Gujarat, we are now in a position to buy as many as 35,000 breads per day, that too from two different bakeries. And because we have huge volumes and have a lot of standardisation, suppliers are finding it worth their while to put automation around manufacturing 35,000 units of exactly the same bread and the same patties.

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n addition to the two bakeries, we have two more vendors; one, which does the patties and the sauces, and the other, which does the dry or

ambient temperature distribution, which is nothing but room temperature distribution of products such as bread, wrapping paper, etc, which don't need any temperature control. The patties on the other hand contain water, and hence, they have to be cold distributed at 5 degrees centigrade. The bread and patties are delivered on a daily basis, while other products are distributed just once a week. Fortunately, we've managed to keep the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) low so that it translates into larger volumes being distributed at fewer locations. We've now been around for over eight years and our suppliers know what to expect from us. For instance, we consume two tonne potatoes every day, so they know they can block a fixed order of 60,000 kg potatoes per month, i.e., 720,000 kg potatoes per year. For gram flour too, it's a fixed order always.

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ore importantly, there's a reasonable amount of trust and goodwill built and suppliers know we will pay on time and consume what we've

promised. Of our existing outlets, half are company-owned and the other half are franchisee-owned. We've outsourced all our manufacturing so as to avoid any conflict with our franchisees. Each store is manned by around seven people, so Jumbo King has an almost 200-strong staff. With a strong supply chain firmly in place, we are now trying to position Jumbo King as the most preferred eating option for any person who is on the go and in a hurry. It's a finger food; one that does not need a plate, a spoon or a fork to consume. Wherever people are in a hurry, they can quickly grab a Jumbo King before, say, getting into a meeting or the next lecture or the next train journey.

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ll they need to do is visit the nearest Jumbo King outlet, buy what they want and polish it off in two minutes or simply head for the next pit

stop, Jumbo King in hand. We sincerely believe it makes a lot of sense because it is priced correctly and is reasonably filling so that you don't stuff yourself too much and spoil your next meal. Maybe, people think that though we compare ourselves to McDonald's, we fall short on expectations in terms of actual execution but the truth is we are still a baby as compared to McDonald's. Possibly, the only advantage we have over them is that today, we can use even more and better machines to streamline processes even further. Although how we do it, how we make Jumbo King world-class, is entirely up to us. . .

JUMBO KING VADA PAV - A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Faculty Contributor: Seema Gupta, Assistant Professor Student Contributors: Ankur Bhargava, Anuj Pradhan, Mayur Kapur, Pranay Shetty
In a space dominated by foreign giants, a small local player Jumbo King Vada Pav tries to make his mark by a judicious mix of creativity, identification of the right customer and efficient use of the resources at its disposal. The critical question is: can it grow to become the market leader in this category? The article analyses the various aspects related to brand building and brand positioning in the given context and looks at the role to be played by different media channels to achieve the desired marketing results.

With the rapid growth of fast food chains, catering outlets and food joints across the country, the Indian fast food industry is slowly witnessing a rapid turnaround from being a small, indigenous and an unorganized practice to a multi-billion, lucrative and highly specialized business. Alongside the likes of McDonald's, Subway and Pizza Hut, a large number of Indian food chains are ready to give the foreign giants a run for their money. A prominent name in this category is Jumbo King Vada Pav. Given its unique value proposition and strong local positioning, it can quickly become a tough competitor to other food chain franchises, Indian or otherwise. It needs a strategy to optimally utilize its resources to achieve effective results in terms of customer attraction, increasing sales, advertising and proper use of media. This article provides an integrated marketing view of the various strategies suitable for a fast food joint like the Jumbo King.

Jumbo King - The Journey So Far
Jumbo King began its eventful journey to brand the vada-pav on 23rd August 2001. Deriving inspiration from the western fast-food model and applying it to Indian cuisine, Jumbo King was launched with the intention of addressing the constitutional right of the common man to have access to hygienic food at affordable prices. Today, Jumbo King is the largest seller of vada-pavs in Mumbai, and the first company to launch a marketing campaign built around Mumbai's most popular food item1. Jumbo King currently has 43 stores, mostly in Mumbai and other towns in Maharashtra. Around 150,000 vada-pavs are sold every day in Mumbai alone2. The realization is clear - there is still a lot of untapped potential in the market, and expansion is a must for growth in the future. However, taking the concept of selling vada pavs outside the city of Mumbai is a big challenge. Moreover, increasing awareness and sales even within Mumbai alone poses significant challenges. Hence what is required is to find a distinct gap in the market, target an expanded customer base, reposition accordingly and send out the message as creatively and effectively as possible.

Competitive Positioning - Filling the Gap
While players like McDonald's, Haldiram's, Nirula's etc have focused on a lifestyle positioning with a view to attract middle class families, other players like Pizza Hut, Dominos etc have tried to attract customers with their proposition of quick service and a large product variety on offer. A price conscious but pleasureseeking middle class Indian consumer has certainly taken up this new wave of fast food in good spirits. On the other hand, Jumbo King has till now targeted the middle and lower class commuters and workers mainly in Mumbai and has positioned itself based on the attributes of price, quantity and local taste. To grow exponentially and expand into other markets, it is essential to target the right type of customer. In today's changing scenario, students, professionals and daily commuters have become prominent customer segments and Jumbo King cannot afford to overlook them, given their high propensity to consume snacks. Repositioning involves identification of the right customers, in addition to the existing ones and also understanding what the customers really want from the product. In Jumbo King's case, the new target group of professionals, students and commuters makes it imperative to emphasize quick service, cleanliness, taste and affordability. At present, it is observed that most of the food chains and outlets, Indian or otherwise, are banking on the extensive variety on offer and the ambience of the joint. There is hardly anything specifically adapted for people who are constantly on-the-go. Moreover, few outlets target medium and low income groups significantly. Hence an association needs to be developed between Jumbo King and travelers which will position it as the obvious choice for daily commuters and the medium-to-low income groups. This will significantly garner more leverage when it comes to expansion outside Mumbai since positioning on price, hygiene and service is a good bet to build on in a new market.

Creative Strategy - Making the Difference
Identifying the right advertising objectives before embarking on a creative strategy is crucial to the success of the entire marketing plan. This aspect becomes even more critical when one is dealing with a repositioning due to previously entrenched perceptions of the brand. An essential feature of the product (vada pav) which should be considered is that it doesn't need a person to ask the question again and again - "Should I buy it or not?". People buy vada pavs whenever they feel hungry and don't think twice about it. Hence to make something unusual out of the ordinary, the strategies of advertising should include highlighting the benefits of the product in creative ways, running an awareness drive to attract new customers and projecting vada pav as a snack which can change people's lifestyles. Identifying the right advertising objectives becomes even more critical when one is dealing with a repositioning due to previously entrenched perceptions of the brand.

In Jumbo King's case the advertising objectives are mainly twofold - building the category need for snacks as an alternative for proper food and building brand equity for Jumbo King. The 'Indian fast food' category needs to be popularized among the target audience as a convenient way of having a hygienic snack when in a hurry. In what is largely an unbranded market as of now, Jumbo King has a unique opportunity to create a brand identity for itself similar to that of McDonald's in the US. Creating such an identity would entail associating the brand with local flavor, fast service, convenience and travel. As an example of a brand identity creation strategy, one can consider suitable modifications to the company's logo to make it look more stylish and convey the impression of speed, while retaining a number of elements manifest in the old logo. Another exercise can involve developing brand taglines to be delivered in regional languages (Marathi is the obvious choice in the present case). Catching the attention of commuters, most of who are in a hurry, is not an easy task and therefore identifying bottlenecks (which require commuters to wait e.g. elevators) where the message can be effectively delivered is crucial. Even in modes of delivery both traditional and nontraditional modes of advertising should be employed.

Traditional Advertising
For a brand that is small, largely regional and warrants a small budget, the most effective means of reaching out to the public is through the print medium. Small billboards, placed in strategic locations where commuters wait (like on buses, trains, ticket counters, petrol pumps etc), can be most effective in pushing the consumer towards an impulse purchase. Slogans like "When your tank is full, why let your stomach go empty?" and "The law says you can't drink and drive, but who ever said anything about eating?" can effectively be used by Jumbo King at petrol pumps and traffic signals. Again catchy statements like "Isn't it time for your stomach to get a top-up too?" can be used in front of mobile shops and general stores. Bigger billboards and posters at railways stations and on trains and buses reinforce brand identity. They can appeal at an emotional level to the consumer regarding the spirit of the city they live in and tie that in to the brand. A possible campaign of this type for Jumbo King will emphasize the intimate relation of the food chain with Mumbai city and its people and will aim at binding the spirit of living in Mumbai with the brand that signifies speed, affordability and pride in eating a local snack.

Non-Traditional Modes of Advertising
Indian snacks are not exactly renowned for health and hygiene. Since Jumbo King belongs to this category of food items, PR campaigns could be an effective tool in dispelling any such concerns that a consumer may have. Newspapers, magazine articles and press releases talking about the quality of food at Jumbo King and its stringent adherence to hygienic standards can go a long way in changing customer perceptions about the category and the brand. PR campaigns talking about the entrepreneurial stories of the young founders of initiatives like Jumbo King can give a lot of publicity to the concerned brand and this comes at no cost. Other innovative means of reaching the consumers like printing out city maps or train/bus timetables (with information on Jumbo King's outlets) for commuters and distributing them can be employed. Being a low involvement product with a target customer group that is mostly 'on the go', the challenges of reaching this segment are many. Designing a really great advertisement and putting it on TV or a big billboard on the road in all probability will not translate into sales. Creative advertisements must be complemented with equally creative ways of placing these advertisements so that they are noticed. Jumbo King is about speed and convenience and hence locations and objects which are associated with these attributes (like bus-train time tables, guides, road signs etc) should be used to integrate ideas with their execution as a part of the Jumbo King identity.

Media Planning - Showing the World
Both the traditional as well as non-traditional strategies for advertising offer great opportunities for creative marketers to show off their skills in convincing people to buy their products. Preparing a catchy and innovative advertising campaign is no easy task and a well prepared creative plan can work wonders for the company and its products. But that is just one side of the story. A marketer may have done an excellent job in identifying the target audience and preparing an excellent commercial for them, but what use is all that if it doesn't reach them? That is where an effective media strategy comes into the picture. One needs not just be creative and different in terms of preparing ads, but should also be adept at executing those well prepared ads to perfection. Media planning is all about determining the media habits of consumers in the target group and formulating how this knowledge can be exploited to reach the target group effectively. For a budget conscious brand like Jumbo King, it becomes even more important to have a judicious mix of media since targeting all media channels (TV, print, radio etc) can be prohibitively expensive. Different media channels can have different impact on the customers at different costs -

Print Media
This can be a very effective medium for the franchise since it has the maximum reach among the target audience. Since Jumbo King is a budget-constrained and predominantly regional brand, local language newspapers and magazines can be cost effective sources of advertising.

Television Media
Television is a very popular source of entertainment amongst students and professionals and this popularity can be tapped by Jumbo King for reaching these people who form a substantial portion of its target audience. Again regional channels will hold the key for Jumbo King since they are cheaper and not averse to advertising 'insignificant' products like vada pav.

Radio Media
Jumbo King can also make use of FM radio channels to send across their message, cheaply and effectively. FM radio is a very popular entertainment source for commuters and professionals and hence the message can spread across far and wide at minimal cost.

Internet Media
Since Jumbo King aims to target students and professionals, internet can be a very important medium for advertising in the future. Strategies such as blogs, banners, websites etc can provide good publicity to Jumbo King with minimum cost incurred and also create an interactive environment for customers to provide their views about the company and the product. Another important part of the media stratagem is to evaluate expenditure by competitive brands. This provides an idea of the relative performance of brands corresponding to the spending done. In the present case, Jumbo King's competitors like McDonald's, which have large budgets, can afford to go for Continuous/Pulsing strategies (advertising regularly or with very short breaks) on TV. But for smaller players like Jumbo King, it is necessary to carefully choose the advertising media and formulate a proper timing strategy, also taking factors like future growth and expansion into consideration.

Conclusion
Devising a marketing plan for any brand requires a combination of consumer insights, creative thinking and strategic execution. An integrated approach needs to be reiterated to effectively bring out the intended message to the target consumers. In Jumbo King's case, it is of utmost importance to position the brand along parameters such as affordability, local taste and quick service since these features can differentiate it from the existing competition. The target audience should incorporate the new breed of potential customers like students, professionals etc which will play a key role in determining the success of brands in the future. Creative techniques assume a very important role for upcoming brands like Jumbo King since they are looking at getting new customers and expanding to new markets. Innovative ways of disseminating messages can work wonders in such situations. Again, media planning is an integral part of any creative strategy and for Jumbo King to reach to maximum number of prospects; the sources should be picked judiciously. In a nutshell, brands like Jumbo King have a lot of potential and given the right mix of strategy and advertising, such brands can achieve phenomenal success in the future.

bout Jumboking Foods Pvt. Ltd
The Jumbo King brand was founded by Dheeraj Gupta, a Hotel Management Graduate with a Masters degree in Financial Management. Dheeraj not only put up his own single product stores but also convinced others to invest in the brand through the franchise model. The vision has grown to encompass many cities and states, and Dheeraj believes that vada pav has as much universal appeal as the burger.

Franchise Information Jumboking operates as a fast food retail chain on franchise basis nationally. Investment in the correct technology, engaging partners like Johnson Diversey and inducting experienced professionals in the team from the food and marketing sector, Jumbo King is making a sincere attempt to upgrade the unorganised fast food industry.

Master Franchises Jumboking is presently looking for master franchisees who can invest into 8 to 10 outlets at a time. Please contact us for more information. Key Benefits and Opportunities From day 1 the franchisee will becomes a part of a successful business model and derive the benefits of a trusted brand name. The company has a fully automated central kitchen and a modern bakery providing world-class quality products. Thus you are in the restaurant business without the headaches of manufacturing. The company has very good purchasing power, which enables it to source raw materials at prices much lower than any individual restaurant. The company helps the franchisee in recruiting well-trained staff and provides continuous training to help them implement the quality, service and cleanliness standards. The highlight of the franchising model is that any franchisee adhering to the company’s standards can build multiple stores and increase his income many times over. Testimonials ''On my visit to Mumbai in 2004 I saw a Jumboking Vada Pav being served. I was surprised and fascinated to know that it was our own local street food VadaPav prepared in a very hygienic condition and wrapped in food grade paper as burger. This was the day which saw the start of revolution in fast food chain “Jumboking”, culminated in national growth and poised for international expansion. Today I have first Jumboking outlet in Akruli-Kandivali, second in Bazar gate-V.T and third upcoming outlet at Thakur Village-Kandivali, Mumbai. Mr. M Mody, Successful and proud franchisee of Jumboking. He is also a franchisee of Blimpy sandwiches in USA. Requirements from a Franchisee • Investment of Rs.10-12 lac for express counter and Rs.15-20 lac for restaurant format store. • Reatil Space of 300--1000 sq.ft ownership / lease basis • Time commitment of 10/12 hours per day to Jumboking business Recruitment Process All Mumbai and Thane based enquiries are called to Mumbai Office for Jumboking presentation. Shortlisting is done for a second round where prospective franchisees are given details of project profit and loss account. In third round M.O.U is signed and franchisee is given hand book detailing how to make Jumboking outlet operational For outside Mumbai/Thane a presentation is given in respective cities, then second follows and third round will be conducted in Mumba
Jumbo King Vada Pav
Would you be able to resist delicious roadside food - if it were hygienic? Dheeraj Gupta, the Jumbo Vada Pav King, bet you couldn't. Now every day, at least 40,000 people prove him right.

Quick Facts
Entrepreneur :Dheeraj Gupta Age :33 Company :Jumbo King Foods Pvt. Ltd. Based in :Mumbai Founded in :2001 Industry :Hospitality/ Service / Travel

Business Summary

Retail chain/ quick-service restaurants branding roadside food

The Idea Ironically, it wasn't the Mumbai-ite's love of the vada pav that initially inspired Dheeraj Gupta. Though biting into one of the piping-hot treats, consisting of deep fried potato dumpling served in a lightly-buttered bun, may be elevating, Dheeraj's original inspiration for Jumbo King Vada Pav was much more prosaic. While visiting London, Dheeraj stayed with a friend who owned a Burger King franchise. "That's when I saw how their business worked," he says. Dheeraj was fascinated by the fast food franchise business. "Back in India, I happened to come across a book about the person who set up McDonald's. It inspired me tremendously and I decided to follow the same model." But he wanted to give the business an Indian flavor. "Vada pav was the obvious food choice because Mumbai-ites love it," he says. Vada pavs are one of Mumbai's favorite roadside fast foods. Dheeraj took his idea further - he was willing to bet that, for snacks they knew were hygienic, people would pay him more than twice the price than they would pay for a vada pav from a traditional street stall. So in August 2001, Dheeraj set up an outlet called Chaat Factory close to Malad station, a suburb in Mumbai. "I wanted to sell hygienic chaats in the market. But I started with vada pavs only." His success selling this one snack focused his attention, and he renamed the company Jumbo King Vada Pav.

The Opportunity It turns out that vada pavs are a young person's food. In fact, a feasibility study performed by Jumbo King showed that 75% of vada pav purchasers are 16 to 25 years old. Also, surprisingly, the majority of people purchasing the snack hail from the higher income brackets. At Jumbo King, Dheeraj and his team are therefore playing into some important trends: more young people today have money to spend; and at the same time, they are increasingly health- and hygieneconscious, wanting to know that they are receiving good quality food. Jumbo King, explains Dheeraj, "is riding on this generation." Thousands of street-side vendors still dominate the quick food market, and placed among these, Jumbo King is distinctly different. "Right from deciding to use paper to wrap the product in, having processes and systems in place, branding a common Mumbai-ite's food, to running the business like the Western style fast-food giants, we have constantly innovated, dared and gone against the tide." In one area, Jumbo King maintains a more traditional outlook - like all retailers, they focus on location, location, location. Today, all Jumbo outlets are located near railway stations. By combining the elements above, Jumbo King seems to have come up with a successful "secret sauce". Today the company has 30 outlets in Mumbai, two in Surat, one in Ahmedabad, one in Baroda and one in Pune.

The Money A loan of Rs. 2 lakhs kick-started the business. Growth has been helped by the fact that the business can generate quick cash flow: the first Jumbo King outlet at Malad made money from day one. "All the money from the business was ploughed back into buying the second store," says Dheeraj, who used to take back home a salary of only Rs. 5,000 a month. Dheeraj has been creative in funding additional growth, tapping different sources. He took a bank loan to open the third store at Andheri (W). The fourth store became the first franchised store of Jumbo King. Since then Jumbo King has followed the franchise model. How will Jumbo King fuel future growth? Dheeraj and his team feel they would like to bring in investors, but only after they reach the 100 store mark. "The money from this investment will take the product to a completely different league," says Dheeraj passionately.

The Team Initially there were a lot of objections. "Everyone told me I was mad to waste my hotel management degree by selling vada pavs. But I was determined to make it a success," explains Dheeraj. Dheeraj started Jumbo King along with his wife and four employees, who helped with cleaning, packing and maintenance. "We did all the accounts ourselves at the end of the day at the store. There was no office." Gradually, he integrated franchisees into the system. With the support of his wife Reeta, also an MBA, Dheeraj has managed to expand the Jumbo King team to a total of 35 employees, with an increasingly professional set up. In fact, they have brought in a CEO, and are looking for senior people to join the team. Dheeraj puts forward a mature perspective, "The idea was to get in people who have seen larger businesses, and who can anticipate issues of scaling better than I can."

The Company - today and tomorrow What started off as a tiny experiment in 2001 has expanded to 35 outlets in five cities, catering to about 40,000 people every day. This translates into some solid financials. This year, Jumbo King is looking at a turnover of Rs. 18 crores (almost $5 million) and with rapid growth to a projected turnover of Rs. 60 crores in 2008-09. Dheeraj anticipates continued growth in the fast food Indian market for Jumbo King. He believes "the Indian market can easily accommodate 5000 stores in 8-10 years time. We are looking at Jumbo King doing a billion dollars worth of revenue by then," he says. Looking beyond India, he adds, "With such a huge local population and such a huge expat population, I don't see why there can't be 12-15,000 Jumbo King stores all over the world."

And, it's not just independent vada pav stores that he's considering. Dheeraj wants to expand into food courts and malls. "Vada pavs have the potential of becoming a big category by itself, with many brands competing in this category. And we have an early mover advantage" says Dheeraj

What keeps you awake at night? That we are far from reaching an absolute comfort zone, where our company has become anti-gravity, says Dheeraj. He explains that even with 35 outlets today, he's still plagued with the same fears that he had when he started. "Now with new outlets in other cities we are playing the wait and watch game again. We are relearning all over again. We need to see the sustainability of the model. And we feel the same fear of what happens if it doesn't work. After all, it's not daily food for people outside," signs out a nervous Dheeraj. Jumbo King vada pav launches first outlet in Bangalore Published: Friday, Oct 21, 2011, 17:48 IST By Sunayana Suresh | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Mumbai’s favourite vada pav joint Jumbo King launches its first outlet in the city and it surely doesn’t disappoint

There’s nothing as quick and easy as a vada pav, which is not too messy, filling and can make a good option when you’re on the go. Jumbo King, the Mumbai-based chain, brings Mumbai’s favourite street snack to Bangalore. Located right next to Jyothi Nivas College and in between the many IT offices, it has just the right set of people it caters to. This fast food joint has the typical vada pav, with the lahsun chutney (red garlic powder), fried chilly and a piping hot aloo bonda stuffed inside a bun. They also have some interesting variations of the popular snack. The most popular variations are Cheese Vada Pav and the Schezuan Vada Pav, the latter especially is a hot favourite because of its spice factor. They also have another interesting variation, the Chole Vada Pav, where chole cooked in makhni gravy is laden on top of the pav. The other variant is the Paneer Vada Pav. In case you like the plain ol’ Mumbaiya vada pav, they even have some innovations without any of these additions for the purists. The pav can be grilled and also butter grilled. There’s another quick snack on their menu called the Jumbosa. It is a savoury snack which is fried and is much like the samosa, but shaped like a spring roll. The best bit about this joint is that all the items on the menu are priced around Rs50 to Rs60. The Jumbosa is priced at Rs15. Jumbo King Vada Pav is located next to Juice Junction and Jyoti Niwas College, Koramangala and a meal for two will cost you Rs200.

The Story of Jumbo Vada Pav
To the Vada Pav Patrons, with All Due Respect

thinktank, Yahoo! Contributor Network

   

Dec 12, 2008 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here." MORE: Hygiene



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I am walking to the dadar station. My stomach commands being filled. I, being an obedient slave, move to a stall. "Jumbo King" it says. I order a cheese Vada Pav. I like the hygiene of the place. And the prices. Seriously, there's nothing like the humble Vada Pav when you want a filling meal for little money. and when Jumbo Vada Pav is around, you don't compromise on anything, not even the hygiene. Hygiene tops their list of priorities, others being uniformity and offering something better than the market. They offer you a Vada Pav 1.5 times the normal size at a 10 % higher price. Nice deal, isn't it? I am enjoying my vada pav. The man in front of me insists on tells me how Dheeraj babu built his entire enterprise starting from one single shop. And every bit of it was really worth a narration.

Dheeraj Gupta, the owner of Jumbo Vada Pav is an MBA. He belongs to a business family. Inspite of his family sweet business he invested 15 lakhs to set up a a plant that made sweets with a longer shelf life, in a bid to develop the sweet business the way we have for chocolates. He did receive family support for his venture but the business did not go too well and had to be closed down soon. But Dheeraj, a fighter refused to surrender and went to UK to explore opportunities for export in the UK. Well, he did not have even a small idea how this trip was gonna change his life and of the fast foodsegment in the country.

He and his wife were eating at Burger King. It was then that the similarity between the burger and the Vada Pav struck them. And that's how the idea of starting a chain selling vada pavs, in a hygienic way came into being. Nice observation, I thought. "But what's the secret for this exponential growth from one to 44 in such a small time?", I asked.

Its not just the idea, a lot goes into the execution. Having learnt from his first failure, Dheeraj and his wife did a proper study before they got into business. They studied the Mcdonald's model intently. To the extent that dheeraj even worked in McDonald's for 10 days to get a clear understanding of their operations. With the plan in place, began the first store, outside a railway station. The selection of the place was strategic too. The Mcdonald's model could not be completely adopted. It had to be customised to cater to the low income group: the very ordinary man. And Dheeraj babu did a wonderful job. He offered a much needed place to sit, at a convenient location, at a convenient price and above all, hygiene and for the highly savoured Vada Pav.

Well, if you hit the right place in the right manner, then nothing like it. Inspite of his family's anticipations, he succeeded in selling vada pavs.. and not just selling, making it a brand name. And there he is, with all his enthusiasm and energy " if a burger can be listed, then why not Vada Pav?

Oh well and I tell myself "if Dheeraj babu can make it, then why can't I?" its all about the zeal and the belief in one's idea. The food sector seems to be really promising. We don't as yet have an organised fast food industry. After all, what is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? We are all taught to be patriotic at school. Everyone has been showing us the way for so long...

Jumbo King looking to expand in India
13 Aug 2012
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Indian QSR retail chain Jumbo King is expanding its footprints into non-traditional vada pav markets, outside of Mumbai. The company has successfully launched its area developer plan and it has recently launched its Bengaluru and Aurangabad markets keeping with its expansion plans. Dheeraj Gupta, Founder and Managing Director, Jumbo King, said, “The area developer for a new city invests in the first two Jumbo King stores. We get to assess the keenness of the area developer and his ability to engage the consumer in the new city.” Once the developer demonstrates his ability to run the brand's store efficiently and profitably, he is then awarded the right to develop the balance stores in his area. Such new markets should have the potential to develop at least 30 Jumboking stores. Of the 30 stores 20 percent have to be owned and operated by the primary area developer directly. The developer then gets rights to sub-franchise in his selected area of operation. The company is looking for franchising to power its growth. The brand is currently evaluating locations in Goa, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad/Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Vizag.

MUMBAI: With a view to fuel its expansion, Mumbai-based Jumbo King Foods has chalked-up a Rs 75 crore investment over the next three-year period. "We will invest around Rs 75 crore by 2011 for expansion that would include establishing franchisee stores, company-owned stores and kiosks. We plan to raise money through private equity for our expansion," Jumbo King's Managing Director, Dheeraj Gupta, said here.

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