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The YO! China Story...

A group of 6 people started India’s first Chinese fast food chain called Yo! China. Founded by 6 dynamic entrepreneurs – Ashish Kapur, Ajay Saini, Joydeep Singh, Sampat Talwar, Arun Chadha & Mandhir Soni – Yo! China’s first restaurant started in May 2003 at Gurgaon’s MGF Mall. “There are 350 million middle class people who eat 3 meals a day.

That’s approximately a 1000 million meals a day opportunity! For such an opportunity we didn’t see national restaurant brands. There were many regional players but not many national and definitely none in Chinese. This inspired us,” says Ashish Kapur, MD, Yo! China explains the thought process behind the launch of this enterprise. “Yo! China is a unique concept as it offers quality food at budget prices in a speedy service & international style ambience,” he adds. Strategies like these have made Yo! China India’s largest Chinese fast food chain.

F&B retailing has some peculiar challenges in this country. New entrants and SMEs are bound to face these to a bigger extent. “Finding passionate service staff, building an efficient supply chain and getting the costs of rental right are the key issues,” says Ashish. He explains how Yo! China addresses them.

“The frontline crew needs to be passionate about giving the guests an ‘experience’ rather than a meal. To ensure this we have started a training school and a formal management training programme with recruits from leading hospitality institutes.” The nascent supply chain system in the country is a problem particularly in the food business where freshness & consistency are very important. “We are working with various suppliers to achieve the required level of consistency. In some cases we are sourcing from overseas,” explains Ashish. Getting the right location at the right price too is a big challenge. Ashish feels that to sustain a high growth environment the rental cost in India must be stabilised to a more reasonable level.

Currently Yo! China has 30 outlets across 12 Indian cities. In a short time, it has created a good market presence. “The vision is to grow to 300 outlets over the next 3–4 years. We want to offer convenience to our guests and be ‘infinitely available & immediately accessible’,” says Ashish. Ultimately, its about reaching out to your customers in every possible way. Although there are many Chinese restaurants in the unorganised sector, Yo! China has limited branded competition. But Ashish isn’t really worried about competition at this stage. “In fact, we would be happy to see more branded Chinese chains as this would help grow the market. We need to create a branded supply for Chinese food like in the pizza & burger segment,” he says.

The Yo! China team is very passionate about serving quality Chinese food. It is determined to make Yo! China India’s favourite destination for dining out! “This passion has helped us overcome numerous challenges that all entrepreneurs face,” he says. True, being passionate about work is the key ingredient in the success recipe. SMEs need to add the right amount of other elements like product innovation, quality service, branding, pricing strategy and so on. Yo! China’s progressive success is good enough evidence.

source Economic Times
Niranjan Mudholkar, TNN

The YO! China Story...

A group of 6 people started India’s first Chinese fast food chain called Yo! China. Founded by 6 dynamic entrepreneurs – Ashish Kapur, Ajay Saini, Joydeep Singh, Sampat Talwar, Arun Chadha & Mandhir Soni – Yo! China’s first restaurant started in May 2003 at Gurgaon’s MGF Mall. “There are 350 million middle class people who eat 3 meals a day.

That’s approximately a 1000 million meals a day opportunity! For such an opportunity we didn’t see national restaurant brands. There were many regional players but not many national and definitely none in Chinese. This inspired us,” says Ashish Kapur, MD, Yo! China explains the thought process behind the launch of this enterprise. “Yo! China is a unique concept as it offers quality food at budget prices in a speedy service & international style ambience,” he adds. Strategies like these have made Yo! China India’s largest Chinese fast food chain.

F&B retailing has some peculiar challenges in this country. New entrants and SMEs are bound to face these to a bigger extent. “Finding passionate service staff, building an efficient supply chain and getting the costs of rental right are the key issues,” says Ashish. He explains how Yo! China addresses them.

“The frontline crew needs to be passionate about giving the guests an ‘experience’ rather than a meal. To ensure this we have started a training school and a formal management training programme with recruits from leading hospitality institutes.” The nascent supply chain system in the country is a problem particularly in the food business where freshness & consistency are very important. “We are working with various suppliers to achieve the required level of consistency. In some cases we are sourcing from overseas,” explains Ashish. Getting the right location at the right price too is a big challenge. Ashish feels that to sustain a high growth environment the rental cost in India must be stabilised to a more reasonable level.

Currently Yo! China has 30 outlets across 12 Indian cities. In a short time, it has created a good market presence. “The vision is to grow to 300 outlets over the next 3–4 years. We want to offer convenience to our guests and be ‘infinitely available & immediately accessible’,” says Ashish. Ultimately, its about reaching out to your customers in every possible way. Although there are many Chinese restaurants in the unorganised sector, Yo! China has limited branded competition. But Ashish isn’t really worried about competition at this stage. “In fact, we would be happy to see more branded Chinese chains as this would help grow the market. We need to create a branded supply for Chinese food like in the pizza & burger segment,” he says.

The Yo! China team is very passionate about serving quality Chinese food. It is determined to make Yo! China India’s favourite destination for dining out! “This passion has helped us overcome numerous challenges that all entrepreneurs face,” he says. True, being passionate about work is the key ingredient in the success recipe. SMEs need to add the right amount of other elements like product innovation, quality service, branding, pricing strategy and so on. Yo! China’s progressive success is good enough evidence.

La Calypso to widen footprint across India

Goa-based La Calypso Hotels Private Ltd is planning to extend its footprint across India with a whopping investment of Rs 350 crore to set-up seven five-star properties by 2009.

It will develop hotels at Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad and a resort on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

While the Mumbai, Bangalore and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway properties will be targeted at domestic and international tourists, the other four hotels will cater mainly to the business traveller.

“The Hyderabad hotel is taking shape and is expected to be ready by November this year. The business class property will focus on the city’s booming IT industry. Work on other projects is expected to start by this year-end and is slated for completion in a record time of two years,” said Kaushal Khanna, chairman and managing director, La Calypso Hotels Pvt Ltd.

Since its inception in mid-2005, La Calypso Hotels Pvt Ltd has carved a niche in Goa¿s hospitality industry with its maiden property along the Baga beach in north Goa.

“We plan to position ourselves at the top of India's hospitality industry. Currently, we are upgrading our three-star property in Goa to the five-star category.

Though the refurbished hotel will be ready by early December, 2007, we will apply for a five-star rating only next year,” Khanna said.

Lemon Tree Hotels expands into Aurangabad & Indore






From Moneycontrol


http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/pressnews/lemon-tree-hotels-expands-into-aurangabadindore/23/10/308148


The Lemon Tree Hotel Company announced the addition of Hotel President Park in Aurangabad and Hotel Planet in Indore, to the Lemon Tree Hotel network, today. Lemon Tree Hotels has acquired these hotels in Indore and Aurangabad effective 15th October 2007, on a long term lease.

Both hotels will continue with the existing names till the end of 2007 and will be shut down in the first half of calendar year 2008 for extensive renovation and refitment to meet Lemon Tree brand standards. The refurbished properties, aggregating over 180 rooms, will subsequently be re-launched as Lemon Tree Hotels before the end of calendar year 2008.

The transaction value amounts to approximately Rs.40 crores inclusive of deposit and renovation/refurbishment costs, and exclusive of revenue share over the term of the lease.

Mahajan & Aibara were the sole advisors to the transaction.

Patu Keswani, Chairman & Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels says “The addition of these two hotels to the company is value additive from two perspectives: it immediately extends the distribution of Lemon Tree Hotels into two key emerging cities and will also enable the company to test the validity of its business model via inorganic growth.”


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