How McDonald’s Conquered India through Localisation

The Golden Arches of McDonald’s have over the years turned into a basic piece of the Indian fast-food scenario. All thanks to localisation, the greatest strategy that this American fast-food giant swears by. Catering to a population that is primarily vegetarian was a challenge faced by McDonald’s, whose star products were beef and pork-based. In a country where cows are deified, this company managed to up its revenue to Rs.93 billion in 2017.

Given India’s long and established street food tradition, McDonald’s has had to double its efforts to keep up in the race, competing and growing each day. Even after serving in India for more than a decade, it still experiences multiple revenue lags and cost blowouts along the way. For the past 11 years, McDonald’s has had to re-invent its product price promotion and distribution strategies repeatedly.

They reinforced the ‘affordability’ mantra via the introduction of the Happy Price Menu which started at only Rs 25. McDonald’s has specific value pricing as well as bundling strategies like combo meals, happy meals, family meals, and happy price menus to improve total sales of the service and product.

Back in 2011, McDonald’s launched a campaign with the tagline ‘Aap ke zamaane mein, baap ke zamaane ka daam ’. This is one of the most accurate examples of how this company, through localisation, attracted customers of the middle and lower-class segments and became the main fast-food hub of India with its unmistakable brand identity.

They further classified their products into 2 categories: the branded affordability (BA) and the branded core value products (BCV). The BCV products mainly include the McVeggie and McChicken burgers that cost Rs.50–60 and the BA products which include McAloo Tikki and Chicken McGrill burgers which cost Rs.20–30.

The happy meal for the children is a great seller among others. By doing so they intend to satisfy consumers with different price perceptions.

‘The menu offered in India is one of a kind’, Here’s how they “Localized” their Brand to adapt to the Indian Market:

• Maharaja Mac instead of Big Mac; Where a chicken patty replaces beef.

• Using ‘garlic free sauces’ catering to hardcore vegetarians.

• Eggless sauces to further localise their products in the Indian market.

• Re-formulating their products using Indian spices.

• Using only vegetable oil for cooking.

In India, McDonald’s is a brand that has turned synonymous with quality, familiarity, and value for money!

By Ira Mahajan
Content Head: Loc-N-Apps



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