Edible Arrangements announced the signing of a master franchisee agreement with Hiten Bajaj for the development of 20 units throughout the Republic of India over the next four years. The first location is expected to open by the end of the year in Mumbai. With this agreement, Edible Arrangements is now available to consumers in 10 countries outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Bajaj studied at the American University in Dubai and secured his bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration from Southern New Hampshire University, Boston. Four years ago he launched Mosaic Live Communications, an event management company in Dubai that specializes in high-profile corporate affairs and product launches.

“We are very excited to welcome Hiten into our system and introduce Edible Arrangements to consumers in India,” says Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements Inc. “As the founder of a prestigious event company, Hiten is well versed in client service and hospitality, making him an ideal brand ambassador and we wish him the best of luck with the opening of his first store later this year.”

Edible Arrangements has more than 970 locations, with the goal to reach 1,000 units by the end of 2010. The company has experienced strong growth in 2009 with the opening of 74 new stores and franchise agreements for more than 85 locations in the U.S. and internationally.

As part of its aggressive growth strategy, Edible Arrangements is seeking to add several new development agreements in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and other areas of the U.S., while expanding its presence to Japan, South Korea, Jordan, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, and Egypt. In addition to finding qualified new franchisees, the company’s growth strategy includes continuing to grow its existing franchise base into enterprise multiunit operators.

“Edible Arrangements is an exceptionally unique concept that will be well received during the continuous celebrations and ceremonies that occur year-round in India,” Bajaj says. “Additionally, there has been a recent shift in consumer behavior with many opting for healthy eating and lifestyles making Edible Arrangements a perfect fit for a country like India where there is no product like this.”

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