Nestlé to invest Rs 5,000 Crore by 2025 in capacity and brand building in India: CEO Mark Schneider

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Nestlé to invest Rs 5,000 Crore by 2025 in capacity and brand building in India: CEO Mark Schneider
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This was Schneider’s first visit to a global market since the Covid-19 pandemic hit as well as the first board meeting in an international market, which is an indication of the importance of India, he told Storyboard18 – CNBC-TV18, in an exclusive interview.

Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has ambitions to invest Rs 5,000 crore in India by 2025, CEO Mark Schneider said during his week-long visit to the country, which is the Nestlé’s tenth global market. The new investments will help the company accelerate its core business in the country and take advantage of new growth opportunities in established and emerging categories.

It was Schneider’s second visit to the country since joining the Swiss food and beverage group from healthcare group Fresenius in 2017, where he was chief executive. This is also its first visit to a global market since the Covid-19 pandemic hit as well as the first board meeting in an international market, which is an indication of the importance and India’s impact on Nestlé’s global agenda, Schneider shared during an exclusive high-profile interview with Storyboard18’s Delshad Irani on CNBC-TV18.

Schneider also said the investment would focus on capital expenditures, expanding and improving Nestlé India’s brand portfolio, acquisitions in emerging segments and establishing new factories.

Today, 99% of what Nestlé sells in India is made in India and the company also has a global R&D center in the country.

Nestlé owns over 2,000 brands globally and is the maker of iconic household brands such as Kit-Kat, Nescafe and Maggi, which is a staple in the Indian pantry and one of the country’s most beloved brands.
Maggi, the undisputed market leader, made a dramatic turnaround when it came back from the brink after the lead crisis in 2015. Packages were pulled from shelves and over 22,000 tons of Maggi had to be destroyed to an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. In the years since, the company has redoubled its efforts to restore trust in the brand and has seen Maggi regain its leading position in the market. But there is increasing competition from established and new players and the challenge of constantly changing tastes and preferences.

The company has also stepped up its sustainability efforts to address the many challenges it faces today, with a focus on the new bottom line – People, Planet, Profits.

In India, initiatives under Nestlé’s “Commitment to Society” relate to the areas of nutrition awareness with the Nestlé Healthy Kids program (launched in 2009) and the Jagriti project to encourage good nutrition practices and food and encourage the use of public health services. In rural development, Nestlé leads Dairy Development (1961) and the Nescafé Plan (2012) to improve the quality and sustainability of coffee sourcing and production. Others include the Spice plan, the Vriddhi project and the Hilldaari project to promote better management of waste collection and segregation.

Nestlé has had a presence in India for over a century and Schneider shared that in the past 60 years since Nestlé started manufacturing in India, it has invested over Rs 8,000 crore in its operations here.

“In 1961 we started our first manufacturing site and so throughout that period it has been Rs 8,000 crore and now in the next three years it will be Rs 5,000 crore,” Schneider told a panel discussion with the media. The investment, subject to board approval, is intended to accelerate core business and increase capital expenditure, development work and brand building with sustainability as one of the main pivots.

Don’t miss the full interview on CNBC-TV18.

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