Japan's beef bowl restaurant chain enters Indian market

NEW DELHI, NNA - Yoshinoya Holdings Co., Japan's major fast-food restaurant operator popularly known for its beef bowls, is advancing into the Indian market by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Yoshinoya recently set up Yoshinoya India Pvt. Ltd. in Gurugram in the northern state of Haryana, documents filed with India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs show.

"It is difficult to explore store opening without setting up an entity," a Yoshinoya spokeswoman told NNA.

Capitalized at 150 million rupees ($2.3 million), the Yoshinoya group's Indian subsidiary is aimed at owning and running a chain of restaurants and managing franchisees, among other operations, according to the filed documents.

The Tokyo-based firm says it has operated in the United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Cambodia, with its overseas outlets accounting for about a quarter of its roughly 3,200 stores.

The spokeswoman said Yoshinoya will announce its next course of action in India including investment and other details at a later stage.

In the predominantly Hindu country, she said, "It might be difficult that we initially launch a beef bowl restaurant." She noted that some chicken-oriented menus are available in various Asian countries.

Yoshinoya's move comes at a time when Japan is endeavoring to boost accessibility to Japanese food products in India.

Last month, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Japan External Trade Organization jointly announced at an industry forum here some key initiatives, including plans to strengthen food safety cooperation to promote Japanese investment in the South Asian country's food sector.

The Indian confederation says the nation's food market will expand from over $190 billion in 2016 to more than $540 billion by 2020 on the back of such factors as growing disposable income, urbanization, young population and nuclear families. (NNA/Kyodo)