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Nestle to invest Rs 5,000 cr in India by 2025: CEO Mark Schneider

Global food and beverages conglomerate Nestle SA is planning to invest Rs 5,000 crore in India over the next three and a half years, Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider said on Friday.

“On top of that, if we see opportunities for merger and acquisition, we will be happy to explore those,” he said.

The investment will be on capex (capital expenditure), setting up plants, and acquiring and expanding the product portfolio of the company.

Nestle operates nine plants in India and is looking at new locations to set up more manufacturing units.

The investment, subject to clearances and approvals, will help in creating jobs.

Sharing the investment plans of the Indian market, which is among Nestle’s top 10, Schneider, in a media round table, said: “The plan compares with the Rs 8,000 crore over the past 60 years after we started manufacturing in this country,” he said.

Nestle has been present in India for over 110 years.

This investment is also for development work, brand building, etc, Schneider said.

In 2020, the company had announced an investment of Rs 2,600 crore to augment its capacities and for its factory in Sanand, Gujarat.

The maker of KitKat recently entered the pet-food segment in the country with Purina Petcare.

Nestlé India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said accelerating the core business of the company would be a focus area.

“(The plan) has three pivots, one of which is continuing the strong momentum of growth the company has had in the last 22 quarters,” Narayanan said.

The second part is to do it in a sustainable manner, and Nestle has taken “significant steps” in that direction, he said.

“And the third part is to leverage new opportunities for growth, whether they are plant-based proteins, healthy ageing, healthy snacking, and leveraging some of the Indian grains into products for the company.”

Schneider said Nestle India’s business had maintained “consistency at very high levels” for 22 quarters, which was “outstanding”.

When asked about investment and capacity details segment-wise, Narayanan said: “It is going to be secular across categories.”

Nestle India’s revenues in 2021 stood at Rs 14,709.41 crore. It had last invested around Rs 700 crore to open its plant in Sanand to manufacture a range of the Maggi noodle.

“This additional investment could mean the company is looking at new levers of revenue growth … this could mean entry into a new category as well,” said Sachin Bobade, vice-president, Dolat Capital.

Vishal Gutka, vice-president of research (consumer and retail sector), Phillip Capital India, agreed.

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