Global food & beverage conglomerate Nestle SA plans to invest ₹5,000 crore in India in the next three-and-a-half years by 2025, its CEO Mark Schneider said on Friday.
The move will help the company accelerate its core business in the country and leverage new opportunities for growth.
The investment would be in capex (capital expenditure), setting up new plants, acquisitions and expansion of the product portfolio of the company. Nestle, which currently operates 9 plants across India, is also looking at new locations to set up manufacturing capacity.
The investment, which would be subject to clearances and approvals, will also help in creating more job opportunities in the domestic market.
Sharing the investment plans of the Indian market, which is among Nestle’s top ten markets, Mr. Schneider in a media round table said the Swiss food & beverage company has an investment plan of ₹5,000 crore through 2025.
“When you look into the investment in this country and the investment plan through 2025, we are talking about ₹5,000 crore and that compares to ₹8,000 crore over the last 60 years when we started manufacturing in this country,” he said.
Nestle is present in India for over 110 years but started its manufacturing activity in the early 1960s, he added.
“In 1961, we started our first manufacturing site and so in that whole time period it has been ₹8,000 crore and now in the next three years, it will be ₹5,000 crore,” he said.
This investment is not only for accelerating and ramping up capex alone but also goes into a whole lot of development works, brand building and meaningful contributions on the ground, Schneider said.
Nestlé India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said that accelerating the core business of the company would be a focus area.
“It is definitely a highly accelerated plan that we are looking at. This has three pivots” such as continuing the strong momentum of growths that the company has in last 22 quarters,” he said adding.
The second part is do it sustainably, and the Nestle had took “significant steps” in that direction.
“And the third part is really to leverage new opportunities for growth, whether it is plant-based proteins, healthy ageing, healthy snacking, leveraging some of the Indian grains into products for the company,” Mr. Narayanan said.
Mr. Schneider further said Nestle India’s business has maintained “consistency at very high levels” for 22 quarters, which is “outstanding” and “truly stunning” and is a complete willingness for “open chequebook” support every step of the way.
The investment would be on organic growth such as capex and putting money into facilities such as existing factories or research centres.
However, Mr. Schneider also added: “So, on top of that, if we see interesting opportunities for M&A, we will be very happy to explore those.”
When asked about the investment and capacities details segment-wise, Mr. Narayanan said: “It is going to be secular across categories. It is not going to be in particular categories.” However, he also added, “probably we are looking at new locations for factories as well. It could be a big part of the ambition that has as a company.” Nestle India presently operates nine factories employing roughly 6,000 people.
“The ambition to invest ₹5,000 crore would have a significant increase in direct and indirect employment as well,” he added.
Nestle India’s revenue in 2021 stood at ₹14,709.41 crore. It had last invested about ₹700 crore to open its plant at Sanand in Gujarat to manufacture a range of popular instant noodles Maggi.