Call it instant or junk food, but the pizza vies for a share of Indian palate
Everytime the employees of a software company in Jayabheri Silicon Towers have to work late, the boss orders pizzas, the American MNC picks up the tab and the employees call up home: “Don’t cook for me.” At the other end of the world in Somajiguda, college students wait for the happy hour before they walk the road to the nearest pizza joint. And at children’s birthday parties, it is no longer samosas and soft drinks, but pizzas and soft drinks.
A nation hooked to pizzas? You bet. According to industry figures, the pizza chains in India have a revenue of Rs. 600 crores, with Domino’s and Pizza Hut having 75 per cent share of the market. If Pizza Hut sells 1.4 million pizzas, Domino’s wants to sell 5 million pizzas by 2011. Don’t scoff. Just 10 years back, when Pizza Corner started its operations near Tarbund, marketing the freshness with a show window preparation of kneading, baking and cutting as against the pre-baked base that was being passed off a pizza, people laughed: “It looks nice but who will eat this fat roti with sabji on top.” Now the people laughing are the pizza franchisee owners as Indians eats 3 million pizzas a month.
This is not to say everything is hunky dory. It is a world of constant reinvention. Only a few months back, a pizza franchisee had to fold up operations on the Raj Bhavan Road only now, there’s another one near the MMTS station that has cars parked all over the road.
So, if Pizza Hut has a World Food Festival going on, Domino’s has launched its range of Chinese Pizzas. Not exactly Chinese, it is the Chinese fusion that most Indians are happy tucking into.