Mirah Group, a diversified business group with interests in food and beverage (F&B), hospitality, travel and international trading, is scaling up its real estate business and consolidating it under a single entity, said a top executive. The group, which runs popular restaurant chains and food stores including Rajdhani, Mad over Donuts and Manchester United Cafe and Bar, has completed around 10 real estate projects in the past decade. But it is only now that the group is organizing and branding the business under a new entity, Edifice Properties.
“We are looking to develop large mixed-development townships in Mumbai and Pune,” said Gaurav Goenka, managing director, Mirah Group. The first project is a 300-acre township in Nagpur, which has received funding in the form of foreign direct investment from a subsidiary of Bank of Scotland. The second will be a township in Pune, and the third, of 200-300 acres in Thane, is in the land acquisition stage.
In the F&B space, Mirah Group, known for expanding through acquisitions, is in talks to buy stakes in both domestic and international brands. “International brands are coming in by the dozen and we will look at picking up stakes in brands that are scalable and have a USP (unique selling proposition),” said Goenka.
The firm intends to invest around Rs.200 crore in this space in two-three years. It will expand Rajdhani, its flagship brand, from 35 outlets to 50 in a year and Mad Over Donuts to 100 from the current 35. Cafe Mangii, which is present only in Mumbai, will travel to Bangalore and Delhi and expand from five to 15 restaurants.
Mirah also runs a chain of hotels under the brand name, Citrus. From the current lot of seven hotels, it plans to open another seven that it will itself build, own and operate. Besides running its own F&B outlets, last year, Mirah Hospitality, a part of Mirah Group, invested Rs.40 crore and acquired a 26% stake in Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, which runs cafes and fine dining restaurants such as Mocha and Smoke House Deli.
Saloni Nangia, senior vice-president at retail consultancy Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, said that with the fast pace of growth in the number of people across socio-economic strata eating out and ordering in, the F&B space in India will only grow from where it is today. “While a lot of modern retail will move online, F&B, still being an experience-related business, will continue to grow,” she said.
Retail consultants said the F&B sector will continue to draw the attention of investors such as private equity and venture capital funds. Jacob Kurian, a partner at Asia-focused private equity fund New Silk Route, said the fund is exploring opportunities in the sector. New Silk Route is in talks to buy a stake in Adiga’s, a south Indian restaurant chain.