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What Went Wrong With Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts, flagship brands of Jubilant FoodWorks? Boss, Ajay Kaul, “Gone For A Toss”

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Published on September 20th, 2016

Jubilant FoodWorks chief executive Ajay Kaul has resigned after 11 years at the helm of the India franchise of Domino’s Pizza.

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His exit comes at a time when the company, like most its rivals in the quick service restaurant (QSR) business in the country, is going through a tough time with declining same-store sales growth (SSG) with consumers scaling back spends.

Kaul, an IIT as well as XLRI alumnus, joined Jubilant Foodworks in 2005. He will continue in his current role till March 2017. Kaul helped it become the first organised restaurant chain to get listed on stock exchange in the country in early 2010. He also struck an exclusive franchisee deal with Dunkin Donuts in 2011. Under his stint, Domino’s Pizza became the country’s largest fast-food chain beating burger chain McDonald’s under his leadership.

These could be possible reasons of his resignation:

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In April this year, the company had swapped roles of Dev Amritesh, president & chief operating officer (COO), Dunkin’ Donuts India and Tarun Bhasin, president & COO, Domino’s Pizza India, to invigorate the business.

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Amritesh was named the president & chief business officer (CBO) of Domino’s Pizza India, while Bhasin became president & CBO, Dunkin’ Donuts India.

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For the June quarter, JFL announced a 3.2% year-on-year drop in same-store sales — its lowest SSG in seven quarters. The company’s operating profit was down 14%, while net profit fell 31% to Rs 19 crore in the June quarter.

JFL’s management attributed slowing sales to ‘weak consumer sentiment’ in its June quarter earnings, but on the consumption outlook said sales in July and August had improved ‘significantly’, and forecast positive SSG in the July-September quarter.

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