NEW DELHI: A decade after global brands first set their sights on India, a second wave of smaller retailers and brands is poised to enter the country, new data suggests.

According to figures compiled by Franchise India, more than 50 such brands – more than half from the US and Singapore – intend to launch in India within the next six months.

The franchise solutions business, which is assisting brands such as Korres, Migato, Evisu, Wallstreet English, Pasta Mania, Lush Addiction, Melting Pot, Yogurt Lab and Monnalisa, with issues such as getting regulatory clearance and finding partners, indicated that as many as 3,000 stores could open, many in lower tier cities and relatively untapped areas.

"The first retail wave happened a decade ago when bigger retailers and brands entered India," said Gaurav Marya, chairman of Franchise India Holdings.

"Now, it's the turn of small and mid-sized brands as they look to cash in on the open retail policy and huge gap in the market for branded products."

A government decision to allow 100% foreign ownership for retailers selling food products manufactured in India has been the factor in the food and beverage category attracting the most interest – with 18 new entrants in this space – despite leading QSR brands fighting for customers.

"India's current growth and development make it an ideal target for the brand," said Andrew Withers, chairman of Southern Fried Chicken, a British quick service restaurant that runs 700 franchise stores globally.

"Chicken products are the major non-vegetable food in the country," he added, "making our menu ideally suited to the market."

Tax reforms and the growth of cashless payments are also helping to boost modern retail generally: 13 new entrants are in the apparel and lifestyle category.

"India is a fast-growing market, huge in size, but Monnalisa's target is concentrated in Tier 2 and 3 cities, allowing us to more easily reach our final users," said Thomas Bessi, overseas sales manager, Monnalisa SpA, a European children's wear retailer.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff