Pret A Manger, UK Sandwich Brand, Will Open In India

A company owned by Asia’s richest person has agreed to open Pret A Manger coffee and sandwich shops across India. Under a franchise deal, the chain will be administered by a unit of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries.

It is Reliance Brands’ first foray into the country’s expanding food and beverage business. The company also owns India’s largest retail chain. The first location is set to debut in Mumbai early next year.

“Our partnership with Pret is rooted in the strong growth potential of both Pret as a brand… also of the food & beverage industry in India,” Darshan Mehta, the managing director of Reliance Brands said in a statement.

“We’re looking forward to working with them on what is our most ambitious global franchise partnership to date,” Pret A Manger’s chief executive Pano Christou added.

Pret A Manger, which translates to “ready to eat,” was created in London in 1983, with the first location opening the following year. After the original company went bankrupt, college mates Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe purchased the trademark and opened their first store in 1986.

The company presently has 550 stores in nine areas throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Reliance Industries announced a franchise arrangement with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in the United States last year.

The transaction aided the company’s position as India’s top brick-and-mortar retailer.

According to Forbes magazine, Ambani has a personal fortune of roughly $95 billion.

Dhirubhai Ambani, the 65-year-late old’s father, created a textile factory that would eventually become Reliance Industries. It is currently one of India’s largest companies, with operations in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecommunications, and retail.

Reliance Industries’ chairman is Mukesh Ambani. The Ambani family owns 49 percent of the corporation.

The family also has tens of millions of pounds in assets in the United Kingdom. Ambani’s Reliance Brands Limited purchased the toy shop Hamleys for an unknown sum in 2019.

Reliance Industries paid £57 million for the iconic British country club Stoke Park last year.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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