American burger giant McDonald’s has bought out its estranged Indian joint venture partner’s stake in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (CPRL), thereby taking complete control of operations, run by Vikram Bakshi-managed CPRL in North and East India. CPRL is now wholly owned by McDonald’s India Private Limited (MIPL) and its affiliate (McDonald’s Global Markets LLC, MGM), following a settlement with the former JV partner, McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) said in a media release. Robert Hunghanfoo, the release added, has been appointed head of CPRL.
“Accomplishing a mutually agreed settlement in this matter means that our customers can now look forward to a reinvigorated, consistent and uniquely McDonald’s experience when they visit us,” Hunghanfoo said in the release.
Bakshi, who signed the JV as an equal equity partner with McDonald’s Corporation in 1995, established the first McDonald’s restaurant in India in 1996 and brought the McDonald’s experience to millions of customers in the market. “We wish him well as he embarks on the next phase of his life and career,” added Hunghanfoo.
McDonald’s restaurants in north and east India have been temporarily closed to conduct a comprehensive assessment of operational protocols and employee training. The existing managers and crew will continue to be employed during this temporary closure and will be actively involved in activities to re-open the restaurants.
“Our top priority is to deliver the highest quality restaurant experience to our customers,” added Hunghanfoo. “While we are confident this will result in the best possible experience for our customers, we sincerely regret any inconvenience the temporary restaurant closures may cause,” he said.