Subway franchisee Rishi Bajoria, standing, addresses the media at the grand opening of his Calcutta store. U.S. Consul General, Henry V. Jardine, left, and actress Koneenica Banerjee look on. The new location is Subway’s 50th store in India.
MILFORD, Conn. — The Subway restaurant chain, famous for its deli sandwiches and pushing a healthy alternative to fatty fast food, has opened its 50th location in India.
According to the company, reaching the 50 unit milestone represents the fact that more than one new restaurant has opened each month, on average, since the Subway brand debuted in India in December of 2001.
The landmark restaurant is located in the city of Calcutta, and is owned by Subway franchisee Rishi Bajoria, who first discovered the brand's sandwiches 10 years ago, while participating in an international student exchange program in the United States.
"I have a passion for food and especially the kind of food that Subway serves — fresh and health," Bajoria said. "When I learned that Subway has opened in India, I immediately started planning to have my own Subway restaurant."
"Although this is my first experience in the food business, I surely plan to have more Subway outlets of my own in the days to come," he added.
According to Subway development agent, Gurpreet Gulri, the Subway brand has been growing steadily in India over the years.
"In the last five years, we have gradually increased our geographical presence throughout all of the major cities in India, and are now focusing on developing in smaller areas," said Gulri. "We are growing by leaps and bounds. There are currently 25 new locations in the pipeline and people throughout India are becoming regular Subway customers."
Gulri, his brother Manpreet and the rest of Subway India team are committed to reaching their next milestones; 100 open and operating units, which they expect to reach by mid-2007, the company said. Its aim is to make Subway the number one brand in India.
"We plan on achieving these goals though aggressive development, advertising, and ensuring that we serve the best product possible, while providing superior service to our customers," said Gulri.
The Subway restaurant chain, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise, with more than 24,000 locations in 81 countries. The chain is also the second largest fast-food chain in the world and has surpassed McDonald's in number of locations in the United States, Canada and most recently, Australia.
Headquartered in Milford, Conn., and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami and Singapore, the Subway chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. The Subway brand was ranked the number one franchise opportunity in Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 Franchise 500 listing. This marks the 13th time in 17 years that the chain has achieved this honor.