The former head of McDonald's India, Vikram Bakshi, invests in foods startup Aku's

The former head of McDonald's India, Vikram Bakshi, invests in foods startup Aku's
Vikram Bakshi, the former managing director of McDonald's North and East, has acquired an equity stake in home-grown premium foods startup Aku’s backed by do-it-yourself (DIY) western-cuisine foods company The Brrgrr Co. This is Bakshi’s second coming in the burger business, after McDonald's.
Confirming the development, Bakshi said the deal is in the form of equity investment. Declining to disclose other details of the deal, he said the brand will be scaled up “to a much larger audience than it already is”.
The Brrgrr Co posted on one of its social media pages that it has raised funds from Bakshi. The Brrgrr Co was co-founded in 2020 by Delhi-based chef Akriti Malhotra, and currently sells hand-crafted fresh buns, patties and sauces, according to information on its website. “The time is ripe to upgrade the burger culture in India. Their positioning connects with the present demand of millennials and Gen Z,” Bakshi said.
Gourmet western-style foods is a niche but growing space, and the past year has seen scaling up of specialised brands such as AvoBeet and Feta from Nino Burgers, Louis Burger and Speak Burgers.
However, the mass western-style fast foods space saw large quick-service restaurant chains reporting either declining or flat growth in the March quarter, as consumers downtraded to lower ticket sizes and multiple lower-priced boutique brands such as Leo’s, Tossin, GoPizza and MojoPizza started to take away share from the larger companies.
In May 2019, McDonald’s announced it had reached an out-of-court settlement with Bakshi, with the US-based chain buying out Bakshi’s stake in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL) that operated McDonald's restaurants in north and east India, after a prolonged legal battle. Prior to that, Bakshi had led McDonald’s operations in north and east for close to two decades.