Kolkata, June 1 : Global sandwich franchise major Subway restaurant chain plans four more outlets in the city by this year and eyes raising the number to 15 in the next three years.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar during the 19thedition of FRO 2009 (Retail and Franchise Show), jointly organised by Franchise India and Indian Franchise Association, Subway Development Agent (Eastern India) Rishi Bajoria said there were altogether five
outlets in the country's eastern region and all of them were located in Kolkata.

'The proposed outlets will be either set up beside streets or placed inside a shopping mall. We are finalising the sites and exploring opportunities in this regard,' Bajoria said.

According to him, each outlet, encompassing a carpet area between 250 sq ft and750 sq ft on the basis of location, would entail an investment of around Rs 6,000 per square feet.

Moreover, Shillong, Guwahati and Jamshedpur in the country's eastern region as well as Asansol, Durgapur, Siliguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal are also in the company radar for expanding its reach, he added.

Besides, the firm aimed at raising the number of its outlets to 200across the country this year, up from the current 150. At present, the company was having 20 Subway outlets in Delhi and Mumbai each, Bajoria added.

Asked about such little penetration in North East, he said logistics had been a 'problem' in the region for the want of proper infrastructure.

Subway restaurant chain had currently around 31,000 outlets in 87countries under its brand, of which the US alone housed 10,000.

Meanwhile, Indian Franchise Association Executive Director Colonel(Retd) Upendra Sachdev told UNI that the size of the franchise market in India was assessed at USD 7.2 billion and the figure was poised to touch USD 20 billion by 2013.

Sachdev informed that the franchise segment registered a total growth of 35-38 per cent last year, saying the sectors - education as well as food and beverage – grew by 32 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.

He estimated that the FRO 2009 witnessed business proposals worth Rs 50 lakh, all set to be implemented in the next two-three months

(Posted on 01 June 2009, 1695633804 34O204O181O91)