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BOMBAY, INDIA: To most North Americans, the golden arches of McDonalds restaurants means beef burgers. Not so in India, where the fast food chain has infiltrated the country since 1996 by using a clever marketing program that avoids offending both the culture of the land and the Indian pocket book. The company sells no beef or pork products and segregates vegetarian and meat preparation and cooking. The outlets sell chicken, fish, and mutton along with their vegetarian selections of potato cutlets and aloo tikki burgers. The restaurant chain got started in Bombay and Delhi and now plans to increase its outlets from 26 to 80. The middle-class customer base is estimated to be at least 100 million in these major cities. By the year 2003, over US$150 million will be invested in India as McDonalds further expands in the west and the north as well as opens outlets in Bangalore, in the traditional south land. In order to stay competitive, the company has focused on volume sales with low pricing. A family of 2 or 3 can eat out for about $1.40. Vikram Bashi, head of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, McDonalds joint venture in Delhi is quoted as saying, "We've proved that there is a place for the burger in India."