McDonald’s opened its first outlet in India in 1996. India was the first country where they decided to serve “only non-beef or non-pork items”. The brand in India is managed by two business entities. McDonald’s stores of North and East India are handled by Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL) — which is a 50:50 joint venture between entrepreneur Vikram Bakshi and the global fast food chain. The stores of South and West India are handled by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd, which is owned by entrepreneur Amit Jatia. Hardcastle Restaurants pays a franchise fee and royalty to McDonald’s for using its brand name. CPRL’s board of directors consists of Vikram Bakshi, his wife and two representatives of McDonald’s. Bakshi was CPRL’s managing director till August 2013, when McDonald’s announced his removal from the position. On September 9, 2013, Bakshi filed a petition with the Company Law Board (CLB) challenging this decision. The CLB is yet to announce its verdict.
In December 2013, during the CLB proceedings, McDonald’s stated that it has approached the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) to resolve the dispute. McDonald’s India argued that as per their joint venture agreement, any dispute between them had to be referred to LCIA for arbitration. Bakshi challenged the move in the Delhi High Court.
On July 21 last year, the HC permitted the fast food chain to pursue arbitration at LCIA. Bakshi then moved the Supreme Court.
On August 30 last year, the SC dismissed his appeal stating that it was upon the London arbitrator to examine if the claims of McDonald’s were tenable or not. The LCIA is yet to announce its decision.
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