Sodexo bets big on India, to grow business with new offerings

Written by R Ravichandran | Chennai | Updated: Mar 19 2014, 16:57pm hrs
SodexoSodexo will look at introducing some of its prominent products, including gift vouchers for family healthcare, to maintain its No 1 status in Rs 20K cr market.
Sodexo, the euro-19-billion facility management, food services, gift coupons/vouchers major, is betting big on India.

Having entered into the Indian market way back in 1997-98 with meal and gift passes, the company now expects the

countrys contribution to its overall business to grow from single digit to double digits in the next few years.

The company will look at introducing some of its prominent products globally, including gift vouchers for family healthcare, child care coupons to maintain its numero uno status in the Rs 20,000-crore per annum outsourced services market (as all three segments), said Michel Landel, global chairman and CEO, Sodexo.

Having acquired two companies Radha Krishna Hospitality Services. located in Mumbai, and MacLellan, located in Chennai, in the last five years, the company not only became the market leader in both the segments but wants to enlarge its scope of activities beyond gift vouchers and coupons to food services and facility management, Landel said.

We have been growing at 15-20% per annum on both physical assets as well on the business front. We will certainly look out for more such acquisitions, provided they strategically fit into companys growth plans, he said.

Given the huge opportunity in a country like India, Sodexo will certainly analyse introducing new offerings and the company is looking at child care coupons, healthcare vouchers under our gift/voucher offerings in India.

To a question on challenges the company was facing in the country, Landel said, The biggest challenge for us in India is manpower. Though graduation is not the criteria for our recruitment, however, training them with adequate skill sets, right behaviour, right attitude, service obligations on the global lines is important to maintain our clients. Our retention rate is 95% on both clients as well as staff and we are happy with that.

In fact, this is the fastest growing business for us in Asia as well as in South America as more and more companies support this concept.

In India, we are issuing 500 million gift vouchers per annum and more than 3 million users are using this across 30,000 affiliates, he added.

The company has over 400 clients across corporate, education, healthcare, remote sites, sports & leisure with a presence in 1,400 sites and has 40,000 employees.