Japan’s largest curry rice chain CoCo Ichibanya is entering the Indian market and expects to open its first restaurant early next year in Delhi-NCR. Mitsui & Co has formed a 60:40 joint venture (JV) Ichibanya India with Japan-based Ichibanya, which owns curry chain Coco Ichi, and plans a combined investment of USD 3 million (about Rs 20 crore) in the Indian market to establish its network here, a statement said.
The JV would directly own and operate outlets, and also has plans to franchise the CoCo Ichi brand throughout India, it further added.
The partnership marks Mitsui’s, which is one of the largest and prominent global trading and investment companies of Japan, entry into the restaurant business in India.
Ichibanya operates 1,264 outlets of Coco Ichi in Japan and 180 restaurants globally across US, UK, China and South East Asia as of June 2019.
“With a population of over 1.3 billion and a rapidly growing middle-income class, we believe the time is right to launch the CoCoICHI brand and concept in India, one of the world’s largest food and beverage markets,” Mitsui & Co EVP and COO of the Asia Pacific Business Unit Taku Morimoto said.
“By investing in businesses with direct consumer touch points, we aim to create connections with our established portfolio of businesses, industrial expertise, and deep customer networks to stimulate further growth,” he said.
Mitsui & Co is present in India since 1950 and has investments in sectors spanning from steel, power infrastructure, chemicals, logistics, motorcycles, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and television shopping.
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