How GOPIZZA leveraged local consumer trends for India expansion

Leveraging K-dramas and K-pop craze, GOPIZZA aims to captivate India’s market with unique Korean fast food towards global expansion.

Korea-based pizza chain GOPIZZA is skillfully leveraging local trends to bolster its expansion in India.

Leveraging the global craze for Korean culture, including K-dramas, K-pop, and cuisine, GOPIZZA now aims to captivate the Indian market with its unique blend of fast food and Korean culinary influences powered by $25m from a Series C funding round last year.

In a recent interview, GOPIZZA Global CEO and Founder Jae Won Lim highlighted the fortunate alignment between the company’s growth trajectory and the surge in popularity of Korean trends.

“We were very lucky to have this Korean craze grow as our business grew. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of Korean entertainment through platforms like Netflix and the booming K-drama and K-pop scene exposed a lot of Indian customers to our culture,” Lim told QSR Media Asia.

In India, GOPIZZA India CEO, Mahesh Reddy shared his insights into the impact of the Korean craze on the Indian consumer market. He noted that the pandemic confined families to their homes, leading to increased consumption of Korean content.

“Watching these shows, we could see a lot of Korean culture, fashion, technology, and cuisine, which naturally piqued the interest of Indian audiences,” Reddy said.

Both Lim and Reddy noted the importance of incorporating cultural influences into QSR brands’ strategies.

Lim stressed that in today’s connected world, customers seek novel and exciting experiences that align with global trends. “Customers are looking for something new, something fun. Having a Korean element, which is deemed to be fun and cool, gives us an advantage,” he said.

Reddy echoed this sentiment, stating: “With the Korean craze and K-dramas, we distinguish ourselves from other competitors. Being a brand from Korea makes us stand out and gain acceptance.”

Discussing GOPIZZA’s expansion plans, Reddy outlined their strategy for growth in India. The company has successfully launched in South India, starting in Bangalore, and plans to expand to various locations, including airports, malls, high streets, and more.

“Our strategy is to be available for everyone, everywhere,” he said. The brand is set to reach 50 outlets by the end of the year, focusing on cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

On a global scale, Lim emphasised GOPIZZA’s rapid growth trajectory, targeting 250 stores this year across countries including Korea, Singapore, India, and Indonesia.

The company aims to broaden its reach, with plans to enter Thailand's market soon and set a target of nearly 500 stores by the following year. Lim’s vision is ambitious, targeting over 10,000 stores globally within the next decade.

With its strategic focus on cultural alignment and innovative expansion plans, GOPIZZA appears to be well-positioned to make a significant mark on the QSR landscape.

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