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Sagar Ratna set to go global


Seizing the govegetarian movement, which is gathering steam around the world, home-grown restaurant chain Sagar Ratna is set to open stores abroad starting with the US, the UK and Canada, Roshan Banan, son of entrepreneur Jayaram Banan of Sagar Ratna and Swagath fame, told TOI. The Banans on Monday said they bought back the 77% stake that they had sold to private equity fund India Equity Partners (IEP) for Rs 132 crore in 2011. Although, they refused to divulge the buyback price, the market was rife with speculation that Sagar Ratna was sold back by IEP at around 40% discount. The group, however, denied the speculation.
“We will foray overseas through the franchisee model,” said Roshan Banan, MD of Ocean Pearl Hotels, which runs a chain of hotels apart from restaurants such as Sagar Ratna and Swagath. Currently, the group operates around 90 Sagar Ratna stores. It plans to triple the number in three years through a mix of company-owned stores and franchisee-led ones. Interestingly, yoga guru-turned entrepreneur Ramdev has also shown interest in launching a vegetarian restaurant chain under the Patanjali brand to compete with the likes of McDonald’s, KFC and Subway. “While travelling abroad, I have seen a growing interest for vegetarian food due to its health benefits,” he had told TOI. “Patanjali will also look to take its restaurants to those markets.” For instance, the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 360% in 10 years, according to a survey by the Vegan Society, making it one of the fastest growing lifestyle trends in what has traditionally been a meat-consuming market. “If you look at trends in developed markets, meat-eating is slowly taking a backseat,” said Arvind Singhal, founder of retail consultancy Technopak.

Source: Times of India

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