INDIA'S SACRED COWS CAN stop fretting: McDonald's won't be requiring their services. The burger behemoth announced it will open its first franchises in India early next year--but without Big Macs. Deferring to the country's Hindu tradition, which prohibits the consumption of beef, the company instead will serve chicken and fish, as well as vegetable burgers. It's the first time the fast-food company has excluded beef from its menu. New Delhi consultant Dilip Cherian thinks other multinationals should follow McDonald's culturally sensitive lead: "It's not going to be one grand American burger that sweeps through India," he says.

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