McDonald's prefers China to India

HYDERABAD, AUG. 14. Despite its pro-reforms image and high profile IT sector attracting global attention, India is not on the top of the agenda for McDonald's which still feels China is a better market for now.

Speaking at a conference on "China v India" at the Indian School of Business (ISB) here on Saturday, Peter Tan, Vice-President, McDonald's, Asia, said, "By and large pure returns are not wonderful in China, but overall returns to investors are terrific". On the other hand, he felt, India still lagged behind in infrastructure, had a difficult operating environment and consumer base (for McDonal's) was smaller than that in China. Perhaps in 5-10 years things could improve, he felt.

McDonald's has only 50 restaurants in India against 600 in China. It had 17,000 restaurants in the U.S., which has one-fourth the population of India, he said pointing to the consumer potential. However, India continued to be an important market for growth opportunities, along with China, he observed.

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