Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Nov 14, 2002
Nirula's scouts for strategic investors
A Nirula's outlet in the Capital.
NEW DELHI, Nov. 13
NIRULA & Co Pvt Ltd is scouting for strategic investors to facilitate its expansion plans on the operations front, a top company official told Business Line.
"While we will continue to be a privately-held company, we are looking for strategic investors with synergistic businesses for operations expansion, and are in talks with several players," the official said. He, however, declined to divulge the names of players the fast-food chain is in talks with.
According to the company, the chain's systems-wide sales turnover is Rs 100 crore currently.
While the fast-food chain has a total of 60 outlets, all of which are located in and around Delhi and the National Capital Region, the official said that the company was exploring tapping other Northern cities subsequently.
"We are heading towards Punjab and other Northern cities. We are working on our supply chain logistics," he said.
These 60 outlets include conventional dine-in restaurants, pastry shops, bars, ice-cream parlours, hotels and coffee shops.
A highway Nirula's restaurant at Panipat is already operational, while more highway restaurants are being planned.
The official denied that the company was planning an IPO within the next few years, as reported recently by a business daily.
Meanwhile, the fast-food chain on Wednesday announced that its `nutri cookies' with fortified nutrition for street kids, have been endorsed by the American Soyabean Association. Available in 250-gm packs priced at Rs 35 each, the cookies are being retailed at Nirula's pastry shop outlets.
The company had forayed into packaged food retailing last year with condiments, jams, pastes and sauces.
Bets on ice-cream cafes
Coffee cafes may be the flavour of the day, but the homegrown Nirula's has spotted opportunity in standalone ice-cream cafes.
While the prototype of the first Nirula's ice-cream cafe already exists, another four will become operational by the end of the current calendar year, a company official told Business Line.
All five cafes will be located in and around Delhi, and these will be small-format outlets. The cafes are being called 21s. "Without real estate costs, investments in each ice-cream cafe would average anywhere in the range of Rs 3-5 lakh," he said.
In addition to ice-cream, the cafes will retail beverages, snacks and desserts.
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