When I saw the first Mad Over Donuts (MOD) outlet in Bangalore, my excitement levels reached a new high. Finally, here was the chance to discover real donuts, the way that God had intended it, and I was not about to let that opportunity slide. Of course, it didn’t hurt that it was during the promotional stage, and they were literally giving the donuts away.
However, that was back in 2008, and since then the Singapore company has had to deal with aggressive expansion by rival companies, like Dunkin Donuts. To counter that, Lokesh Bharwani, maintained a cooler approach, growing at a slower steady pace. MOD added just 50 stores in 4 cities over the last 8 years.
Fortunately, for all of us donut lovers, Bharwani has chosen 2017 as the time to go for hardcore expansion. They plan to open 18 outlets in 2017 and branch into 15 more cities in the next 5 years. From a current revenue of 40 crore a year they expect to multiply it to 250 by 2020.
Bharwani has chosen to strike now, after years of steady growth, and I admire his strategy. He now plans to expand into the Middle East and South East Asia. Bharwani has adopted the time-tested proverb – slow and steady wins the race, and it seems to be paying off.
MOD has spent the last couple of years, tweaking their core team, focussing on product innovation, and introducing online delivery systems. They have learned many lessons about the Indian consumer. Their favorite one (obviously) that the Indian consumer does have a palate for donuts (unsurprisingly).
With over 100 years of baking expertise put into MOD donuts after extensive research and development, it’s not surprising that the end result mirrors perfection. While most of their ingredients and equipment are sourced from Singapore, MOD is also adopting a Make in India initiative.
Marketing experts reckon that MOD could achieve what Dominos has, in making the product a mass offering.
Ankita Aggarwal, head of marketing at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, believes that the focused marketed strategy adopted by MOD will help them enormously. Dunkin Donuts has left a space for donuts as they also have burgers, she assesses.
Brand strategist Harish Bijoor believes that MOD has played the safer, eastern route as opposed to the bravado of the west. However, the careful preparation and strategy implemented over the last few years, could also be a worry as new brands have entered the area. Bijoor believes that Krispy Kreme will be the one to beat as they meet all the criterion required by the average donut consumer.
Bharwani, knows that the size of his company allows him to adapt quickly to market changes and implement them effortlessly. He maintains, that the once the donut market in India goes from niche to mainstream, there will be plenty of room for more than one player. Turning negative into positive Barwani believes that all that is required is a multi-brand approach.
They say that the hare never made it but the tortoise did, and for MOD, we certainly hope so!