Big Idea

West asian wonder

Maroosh goes for a big bite of India's QSR market

Soumik Kar

There’s nothing unusual about the seaside promenade at Carter Road in Mumbai’s suburb of Bandra on any given weekday evening. There’s the same old cool breeze blowing, carrying with it the scent of chilli and mayonnaise. There’s the same old brightly lit narrow lane off the promenade, packed with people, dogs, street vendors and fast food joints. Adding to kathi-roll king Carter’s Express and Café Coffee Day facing the sea are a smattering of recently opened QSRs such as Mad Over Donuts, Maroosh, Dumpling King and WOW Popcorn, making the locality the place to be for the peckish. After all, the hundreds flocking to the seafront are more in the mood for a quick bite than a fine dining experience. 23-year-old IT professional Robin Luthra, for instance, couldn’t care less whether her favourite snack chicken shawarma is a Lebanese dish or Chinese. “It doesn’t really matter. It’s the best thing available here,” she says, eyes fixed on the mayonnaise dripping off her roll. Maybe it is the quasi-global nature of the suburb or the migrant urban professionals that populate it, but the popularity of QSRs serving up world cuisines has shot up recently. At the very least, it could be why an August 2015 report by Technopak on the food service market in India pegged the size of the QSR market at Rs.272,680 crore in 2014, projecting a figure of Rs.423,140 crore by 2020 at a CAGR of 8%.