Blog: Dean BestFrom Harry Ramsden's to 'Harry' Krishna?

Dean Best | 21 January 2010

Fish and chips may be a distinctly British dish - but food lovers in Beijing or Bangalore could soon be swapping their Peking duck or curries for plaice or cod.

Harry Ramsden's, perhaps the best-known fish and chip shop chain in a sector swimming with independents, has been sold to UK entrepreneur Ranjit Boparan, who is eyeing the markets of India and China for expansion.

Boparan is best known in our channel for heading Boparan Holdings, the UK food group behind poultry business 2 Sisters, but he is a big fish in the restaurant trade, having bought the Fishworks chain last year.

Mr Boparan's wants to build Harry Ramsden's presence in the UK, where the business has 36 shops in a country of over 10,000 fish and chip outlets.

However, like many in business, he is looking east for further expansion.

"India and China are seen as ripe for growth," a spokesman told us this afternoon (21 January). "In India, for instance, the biggest protein is fish."

The spokesman said expanding east was very much a "medium-term" ambition. "We've got to get it right here first," he insisted.

Nonetheless, Boparan is aiming to hook consumers in China and India with a classic British dish.


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