Pret A Manger in India: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance uses a British coffee and sandwich chain | Techno Glob



New Delhi
CNN Business

One of the world’s richest men launches Pret A Manger in India, adding the British brand of cafes and sandwich shops to a massive business empire that spans energy, retail and telecommunications.

A unit of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries conglomerate said on Thursday it had entered into a “long-term master franchise partnership” with Pret A Manger and “launched and built the brand in India”.

Darshan Mehta, managing director of Reliance Brands, said in a statement that the partnership was rooted in the “strong growth potential” of the Pret brand and the food and beverage industry in India.

With its people of 1.3 billion and growing rapidly, India is a key market for international food brands, including coffee shops. In 2012, Starbucks (SBUX) opened its first store in the country, partnering with a unit of India’s largest conglomerate Tata Group.

Mehta said that Pret A Manger – which means “ready to eat” in French – has strong brand recognition in the South Asian country.

Pret A Manger opened in London in 1986 and now has over 500 stores in the UK, US, France, Dubai and Hong Kong. Last September, he announced plans to double the size of the business within five years, including entering five new markets by the end of 2023.

Reliance Brands said it would “open the food chain across the country beginning with major cities and travel hubs,” but a spokesperson declined to share further details.

This is not the first time that Ambani has struck a deal with a major British brand. In 2019, Reliance bought iconic toy store Hamleys from its Chinese owner C Banner International for around £68 million ($88 million).

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani is currently worth $93 billion, making him the second richest Indian and the ninth richest person in the world.



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