Mitsui, Ichibanya to launch Japanese curry chain in India
NEW DELHI, NNA - Major trading house Mitsui & Co. and Coco Ichibanya curry house operator Ichibanya Co. are preparing to take Japanese-style curries into the Indian market.
Mitsui on Monday announced the establishment on June 28 of a joint venture with Ichibanya to directly run outlets and franchise the popular curry house brand throughout India, the spicy dish's traditional home.
Capitalized at 187.5 million rupees ($2.7 million), Ichibanya India Pvt. Ltd. is owned 60 percent by Mitsui and the remaining 40 percent by Ichibanya.
The joint venture plans to open the first outlet in India's national capital region early next year. Mitsui said in a statement that the joint venture marks its foray into the restaurant business in India.
Ichibanya India aims to open 10 directly owned outlets within five years after establishing its flagship store and 20 franchise outlets in the following five years, a Mitsui spokeswoman told NNA, adding it is searching for potential local franchisees.
Ichibanya India will use the same Japanese curry sauces in India that it uses in Japan but may serve dishes with naan bread rather than rice, she said.
Ichibanya opened its first overseas restaurant in Hawaii in 1994. In addition to 1,264 domestic outlets, the curry house chain ran 180 outlets in 12 countries and regions as of the end of June. (NNA/Kyodo)