McDonald’s has been serving us since 1996, either be it our kid’s birthday party or a small chat over a burger and a glass of Coke. This food chain has been with us every time even when we were struggling with our dwindling pocket money or even when we received our salaries and were in a full mood to spend exuberantly. McDonald’s has been extremely sensitive to India’s religious sentiments and hence this chain took almost 5 years to develop the first beef and pork less menu in McDonald’s history.
McDonald’s policy since its inception has been guided by the policy of QSCV (Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value) and was the pioneer for establishing Cold Chain across all its restaurants to ensure freshness. McDonald’s in India is managed by 2 parties separately on the basis of region, Vikram Bakshi managing the Northern and Eastern restaurants under CPRL (Connaught Place Restaurants Private Limited) which has its headquarters in New Delhi while the Southern and Western part is managed by Smita Jatia under Hardcastle Restaurants which has its headquarters in Mumbai.
In an anomalous step, a rift between the CRPL board and the US – headquartered McDonald’s led them to take a decision of closing down 43 out of 55 outlets of this burger giant from Thursday. This radical decision was taken on Wednesday after a board meeting that was conducted on Skype. A specific reason for this surprising step hasn’t been out yet, but it is very clear that it was the ugly fight between Mr.Bakshi and McDonald’s that caused this step.The outcome is certainly not very pleasing for those 1700 people who will lose their jobs. It also said that CRPL, due to this long fight between the two parties, could not renew the required licenses demanded by Indian authorities.
Vikram Bakshi has been involved in a bloody legal battle since August 2013 when he was thrown out from CRPL as the Managing Director of the former and had taken this issue to the Company Law Board (CLB) which hitherto hasn’t given its decision. The burger giant has been fighting a case of Arbitration against Bakshi in London Court of International Arbitration. This step will hurt McDonald’s image as a fast food giant and will have curious consequences. It already got a blow in 2013 when it was reduced to the second position for Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) by Domino’s owned by Jubilant FoodWorks.
It will be interesting to see what this organisation does for its 1700 employees and how they compensate it. Brand Strategist Harish Bijoor has hinted unless and until a firm resolution isn’t adopted things might worsen for the respective food chain.