Raza Pirbhai had a significant task ahead of him when he became the CEO of KFC Pakistan in 2014. After over a decade of neglect, the company—a major worldwide fast-food chain—was sluggish in the nation. During Pirbhai’s tenure, sales have increased significantly, the number of shops has tripled, and during the previous eight years, there has been an astounding 30 percent compound annual growth rate. This turnaround tale not only exemplifies his great leadership but also provides useful advice for reinvigorating a well-known business.
The effects of neglect had been felt, and the company’s stockholders were debating whether to keep operating or sell. Pirbhani remarks on the abrupt change: “We now do the amount that we were doing yearly. As a result of Pirbhai’s visionary leadership, KFC Pakistan is now the Yum KFC restaurant chain’s fastest-growing market globally.
A thorough analysis of the situation at KFC Pakistan was the first step in Pirbhai’s transformative process, which resulted in the closure of underperforming locations. He started a culture revolution after realizing that the success of the company hinged on its employees. Pirbhai personally selected talent and promoted an open, approachable culture built on respect, love, and compassion.
“The organization’s people are its most crucial cornerstone. The key will be to instilling the proper culture in them and to empower and nurture them, says Pirbhai. The comeback of KFC Pakistan has been greatly aided by this customer-focused strategy.
Another crucial component of the recovery approach was addressing operational difficulties. Pirbhai found major issues such staff attire and food safety that need rapid care, as well as deteriorating infrastructure and run-down businesses. He changed the executive-heavy hierarchy of the management structure to a more approachable and field-focused one.
According to him, “We made all the changes. The names of the managers were changed to coaches. Our office’s name was changed to restaurant support center. Therefore, we focused on everything and made sure that everything was in alignment, says Pirbhai.
Pirbhai understood the value of correctly presenting KFC Pakistan in the market from a marketing perspective. He repositioned the company in line with its basic principles, emphasizing value, cleanliness, and affordability. To appeal to various client categories, KFC Pakistan launched a variety of value meals with the intention of being a go-to brand rather than a rare option.
The technological efforts and foresight of KFC Pakistan were crucial during the COVID-19 outbreak. Long before the crisis, the business created and released an app, giving it an advantage over rivals in delivery and digital services.
“At the time, none of the mainstream or regional food suppliers had the necessary delivery equipment. Since there wasn’t really any other player accessible, the flow really began to come to us, says Pirbhai. Despite its extraordinary success, KFC Pakistan still has to contend with challenges including inflation, currency volatility, a lack of supplies, and political unpredictability. Pirbhai is aware of the impact on margins but is still dedicated to providing exceptional service despite these obstacles.
The company’s long-term objectives include double top-line growth, adding 10 to 12 new locations each year, and increasing technology spending to improve the consumer and staff experience. The importance of giving back to the community has been emphasized by Pirbhai by stating that “We firmly think that supporting the community, caring for our employees, fostering the proper culture, and inspiring and energizing the team are the true necessities.”
KFC Pakistan is a shining example of how visionary leadership, a strong organizational culture, operational excellence, and a commitment to social responsibility can revitalize an iconic brand and secure its future in a competitive market as it continues to prosper under Raza Pirbhai’s direction.