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‘We will be rolling out Wai Wai City in multiple formats to reach larger audience’

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 11:45 Hrs  [IST]

Wai Wai City, the pioneering quick service Noodle bar brand from the house of CG Corp Global, has caught the attention of foodies across all age groups within a short span of time for its interesting and flavourful pan-Asian delights prepared with fresh ingredients in front of the customers, a unique concept within QSR. Varun Chaudhary, Executive Director, CG Corp Global, in an interview shares the business sense behind this brand expansion of their popular FMCG noodle brand, Wai Wai, and the market opportunities they see for the concept both in India and abroad with Hospitality Biz.

Q How was the Noodle bar concept of Wai Wai City originated, and how did the concept help your Noodle Brand Wai Wai widen your market base? What is the kind of innovation that has gone into creating concept around Noodles?
For years, Wai Wai’s instant noodles have had a popular and committed following amongst school and college students. Wai Wai City, a ready to eat noodle bar, was a step in the brand’s evolution of taking it closer to the consumer, giving them multiple options along with making the space a preferred place for friends to catch up and enjoy their favourite snack.

Since our offerings resonate closely with the younger audience, our outreach initiatives are targeted mainly toward young adults (18-35 years) across metros and tier-II cities. Beyond our immediate target market, we have also noticed that the concept is also enjoyed by young families (30-45 years).

Indian culinary palate is expanding and people have been welcoming new tantalising cuisines inspired from the east and west. Wai Wai quick service noodle bar offers a Pan-Asian delight in a wholesome box. The menu offers an array of noodle dishes cooked in interesting styles influenced by Oriental flavours. The live kitchen has four types of noodles such as Classic, Chopsuey, Roasted and Pan-Fried noodles, with seven different sauces, 18 vegetables, 10 toppings and five add-ons to choose from. It is an aromatic experience as well as a visual treat to see each dish being prepared with fresh ingredients right in front of the customers.

Q Which are the different formats of Wai Wai City that you are planning to roll out in coming months? What are your strategies for metros and non-metros?
There is and always be a huge demand for the convenience and comfort offered by QSRs. Our lively interiors, friendly service and comfortable ambience at affordable prices have already set us apart from existing players in the market. Additionally, we will be operating and rolling out our outlets under multiple formats: stand-alones, kiosks and food courts, to reach a larger audience. We will also be rolling out Wai Wai City food trucks to cater to the on-the-go market very soon.

Wai Wai City is the extension and evolution of our widely popular FMCG brand Wai Wai. With a market share of 27%, our products cut across regional, social and economic barriers. These factors have made it easy for us to introduce our bold, vibrant and yet approachable QSR format. We feel this will help us break into tier-II cities as well.

Q What is the kind of investment that you are planning to build Wai Wai City brand across India in the next one year? What are the different business models that you are looking at forging for expansion – own outlets, franchisee, etc.?
After the launch of the flagship outlet in Hauz Khas Village, Wai Wai City has finally gained momentum and has currently opened outlets in Noida, Pune, Bengaluru, Siliguri and Hyderabad with Chandigarh in the pipeline.

Our operations have been built on the strong foundation of a stellar distributor, vendor and sales network spread across the entire country. While certain international players may already have a huge presence in the market, our deep understanding of local markets not just in the metros but also in smaller cities gives us an edge over other players. Therefore, plans are to explore multiple formats - food courts, self-standing kiosks, standalone outlets, highway formats and an integrated format. The set ups will be developed across malls, information technology (IT) parks, offices, airports, hospitals, colleges, high streets and so on.

With a whopping investment of INR 250 crore, plans are to grow the brand to 1500 outlets both in India and across other countries through franchise route.

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