New Delhi: McDonald's estranged partner Vikram Bakshi Sunday said another 16 out of 84 closed outlets in Delhi-NCR have re-opened after a new logistics partner ColdEX was engaged. Nearly 84 outlets, mostly in east India and some in the north, including Delhi, had to shut down on December 25 after Bakshi-led CPRL's logistics partner Radhakrishna Foodland discontinued its supply services, alleging reduction in volume and non-payment of certain dues, among others.
Bakshi had on December 28 opened 16 outlets with the supply from the new logistics partner. "Another 16 outlets have re-opened in Delhi and NCR as of now and more will open very soon," Bakshi. McDonald's India has, however, alleged lapses in food quality and safety level by "all facets of the supply chain" saying the new distribution centre is not approved by it and post termination of franchise pact with CPRL, it has not been able to verify if the outlets are complying with applicable McDonald's food safety, supply and operations standards.
Bakshi had earlier hit back saying the US-based food chain follows "different standards" for India compared to other countries and continuously ignored the food quality concerns raised by him for the past four years.
Bakshi-led CPRL, the 50:50 joint venture franchise with McDonald's, runs 169 outlets in north and east India even after the food chain in August terminated the agreement over management issues, among others, saying the termination is illegal and the outlets will run till the courts decide in the matter or there is an amicable solution with McDonald's India. Both the parties are fighting the battle at various courts, including the NCLT and the Delhi High Court as also the London Court of Arbitration. The major tussle started after Bakshi was ousted as the MD of Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL) in 2013, following which he approached the NCLT, which reinstated him to his position. McDonald's has challenged the same in the appellate tribunal NCLAT.
On the other hand, Bakshi has challenged termination of the franchise agreement and both the parties are fighting it out at the respective courts. Meanwhile, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has asked Bakshi to sell his stake in the JV firm CPRL to McDonald's, which is pending at the Delhi High Court.
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