India, a land known for its rich tapestry of cultures and its unwavering acceptance of diversity, has always embraced the flavors of the world with open arms. From street-side chaats to fine-dining continental cuisine, the Indian palate has evolved into a harmonious fusion of global tastes. Yet, one may wonder, can our taste buds truly bridge the gap between the familiar and the foreign? The answer, it seems, lies in the paradoxical dance of flavors that has given rise to the unique world of Indian-ized pizzas.
While the country boasts a mouthwatering array of international dishes, the Indian penchant for spice is well-documented. Step into an Indian kitchen, and you’ll find a medley of aromatic spices conspiring to create a symphony of tastes. The Italian classic, pizza, hasn’t escaped this transformation. The likes of tandoori and makhani sauces have turned the tables on the conventional marinara, rendering it bland in the eyes – or rather, the taste buds – of the Indian diner.
While culinary fusions are no novelty in India, the tale of Go Pizza stands out as a testament to how adaptation, innovation, and keen marketing can lead to remarkable success. Go Pizza, a venture that took a Korean pizza brand and reimagined it for Indian taste buds, has not only conquered the nation’s appetite but also defied expectations during the tumultuous times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Fusion of Tastes and a Dash of Courage:
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when it comes to Indian food, spice reigns supreme. While traditional Italian pizzas are celebrated for their simplicity, it’s hard to ignore the vibrant array of spices and ingredients that color Indian kitchens. The creators of Go Pizza recognized this truth and seized upon it with gusto. Paneer marinated in aromatic spices replaced conventional meats, and fiery chilies made every bite a journey of flavor. With a sprinkle of cilantro and a hint of cumin, the pizzas harkened back to the bustling street food stalls that line Indian avenues.
However, Go Pizza didn’t merely rely on the Indian palette’s affinity for spice. In a surprising twist, they introduced the vibrant and spicy flavors of Korean cuisine. This move, orchestrated by the ingenious Mahesh Reddy, a seasoned expert in the food industry, marked a groundbreaking shift. Hailing from his stint as the former National Head of Café Coffee Day, Reddy’s marketing prowess played a crucial role in orchestrating Go Pizza’s triumphant entry into the Indian market.
A Bold Move Amidst Challenges:
When Jae Won Lim’s food truck hit it off in 2016, he didn’t even dream of establishing a successful market in India that too during a time as crucial as the pandemic! So, when Go Pizza came to India, he knew for sure it was going to be one hell of a challenge and who dared to take it up? It was Mahesh Reddy who joined the company post-covid. He kept pondering on the ways to launch this branch in India and whether or not this was the right time of all times to launch it as India at the time was not in the best global position.
Mahesh says, in his interview with SnackFax while explaining the situation, “There were no bets available and Koreans were actually handling here and they were scared to be in India,” he further adds, “The first thing I had to tell them is take a chartered flight and send them back to the country” as he stepped up and took responsibility for taking care of the brand in India. However, the negative press release by the global media against India was not making it any easier for anyone which made them even more skeptical about opening their branch in India.
Revolutionizing Pizza Anew:
Apart from handling the external affairs, the responsibility of launching an oval-shaped pizza was not a cakewalk for them either. “An oval-shaped pizza for me itself was a shock,” says Mahesh. Although initially what seemed like the toughest task, seemed out to be their advantage in the game as the oval-shaped pizza sold itself and a huge queue was seen outside the Go Pizza outlet which was just 10 meters away from its competitor.
The Winning Formula:
So, what’s the secret behind Go Pizza’s unprecedented success in a competitive market? Beyond the novelty of the shape and the intrigue of Korean flavors, the brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) takes center stage. Go Pizza’s innovative ‘shape size speed service’ strategy ensures that each pizza is made fresh and ready to devour in just 10-15 minutes – a game-changer in an industry where time is often a luxury. This, coupled with budget-friendly pricing starting at just INR 99/-, struck a chord with budget-conscious Indian consumers.
However, it’s not just about affordability; it’s about quality. Go Pizza’s AI-powered kitchen, a marvel of customization and quality control, adds another layer to their success story. By minimizing costs related to rent and labor, the brand manages to deliver high-quality pizzas at prices that resonate with the masses.
A Slice of Success: From 0 to 25 Outlets:
In a twist that defied all odds, Go Pizza swiftly captured the hearts of Indians. From its modest beginnings, the brand’s trajectory has been nothing short of meteoric. From high-end streets to bustling malls and even airport terminals, Go Pizza’s distinct aroma is now omnipresent. “All the investors were gaga about it, how can this happen in India in spite of Covid,” reflects Reddy.
From skepticism to success, Go Pizza’s journey in India is a story of resilience, innovation, and bold culinary exploration. Against all odds, Mahesh Reddy’s vision and strategy have propelled the brand from ground zero to becoming a staple in India’s gastronomic landscape. With its cheesy, perfectly baked slices, Go Pizza is more than just a delight for the taste buds; it’s a testament to the power of understanding local preferences and transforming them into global triumphs. As Go Pizza continues to win hearts across the nation, it stands as a flavorful reminder that even in the face of challenges, a fusion of vision and taste can create a truly unforgettable experience.