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(June 26, 2001) NEW DELHI -- McDonald's Corp. is investing $5.1 million to open eight more restaurants in India this year to its existing 28 outlets.

The fast-food chain will open six restaurants in the adjoining areas of New Delhi and two in the western region.

"The overwhelming success in Delhi prompted us to venture in markets like Jaipur and Mathura [both in the Northern India]. We are also going to strengthen our position in Chandigarh and Ludhiana," said McDonald's India Marketing Director Madhurima Bakshi.

McDonald's has taken a cautious approach to promoting itself in India, restricting promotions to local media and cinemas. Last year, four years after entering the country, McDonald's broke its first national advertising campaign. Mudra Communications handled the $2 million campaign.

Recently the controversy generated by allegations of beef oil being used in some of the restaurants' preparations had caused protests in front of its head office in New Delhi and also near outlets in Bombay. -- Ritesh Gupta

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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