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Former Jubilant FoodWorks CEO Ajay Kaul joins Everstone
Ajay Kaul

Private equity firm Everstone Capital said on Tuesday that it has appointed industry veteran Ajay Kaul as senior director to drive the growth of its quick service restaurant (QSR) business of its food platform F&B Asia, a company statement said.

Kaul, who is the former chief executive of Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd, will also serve as executive chairman on the boards of F&B Asia’s investments in Indonesia, the statement added.

At Jubilant FoodWorks, Kaul made India the largest market for fast-food chain Domino’s Pizza outside the US, the statement said. Kaul, who has nearly 28 years of overall work experience, has also been associated with American Express and TNT India and Indonesia in various roles. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi, Kaul completed his MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur.

F&B Asia, an investment vehicle managed by Everstone, owns and operates several marquee brands such as Burger King in India and Indonesia, and Domino’s Pizza in Indonesia.

The food platform also houses brands such as Masala Library, Farzi Café, Pa Pa Ya, Masala Bar, Harry’s, Pind Balluchi and Duck & Rice.

F&B Asia plans to grow Domino’s Pizza in Indonesia and Burger King in Indonesia and India by 30 to 50 stores each annually. Currently, in Indonesia, Burger King has over 70 stores, while Domino’s Pizza has more than 130 outlets.

Competitive pricing and changing consumer habits are helping QSR chains in a fast-growing market. Many international chains have also flocked to India over the past few years, with specific cuisines and product offerings. However, the market is still fragmented and faces several challenges, including a lack of best practices, high real estate prices, weak supply chains and difficulty in obtaining regulatory approvals.

According to a 2015 report by consulting firm Grant Thornton India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the sector was worth Rs 92,000 crore and was growing at 16% annually.

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