Being McQueen

There is a sight to behold at the Mumbai headquarters of McDonald’s. The beaming clown Ronald McDonald is seen standing with folded hands doing Namaste, a hat tip to the way the brand has been Indianised. And the mascot isn’t the only thing that has been desi-fied. Be it the menu, pricing or advertising, each aspect of the fast food brand has been customised.

The brain behind this Indianisation is Smita Jatia, who is the MD of Westlife Development, which operates McDonald’s in West and South India. Expanding from one store in 1996, the company currently owns and operates 300 restaurants in the country. Between 2014 and 2019, sales have also grown to Rs.14.01 billion at CAGR of 13.82 %. And, all this has been under Jatia’s watch who has been heading the business over the past two decades.

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