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Pepsico lines up $500 mn for India

30-March-2005
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Pepsico lines up $500 mn for India

PepsiCo will invest $300-500 million in India over the next three to five years and take Kurkure, the snack food it has developed in India, to overseas markets, PepsiCo President and Chief Financial Officer Indra Nooyi said here today.

“We are studying the possibility of taking Kurkure to markets like the US, UK, Australia, South Africa and West Asia, which have large populations of Indians,” Nooyi told newspersons at a briefing.

If the plan works out, it will be only the second instance when a multinational fast-moving consumer goods company has gone global with an Indian brand. In the past, Unilever has taken the Fair & Lovely brand abroad and the cream is available in over 30 countries.

Talking at the sidelines of the briefing, Manu Anand, managing director of Frito-Lay India, said Kurkure could be available in overseas markets within 12 months.

Launched four years ago, Kurkure is PepsiCo's largest snack foods brand in India with a 40 per cent share of sales. According to Anand, Kurkure could be positioned as an Indian snack abroad and the company would accordingly work out a communication campaign.

Snack foods account for about 25 per cent of PepsiCo's sales in India at the moment. But Nooyi indicated that the ratio could rise.

“Our snack foods business has grown five-fold in the last four years, driven largely by Kurkure and Lays. Five years ago, we had 50,000 outlets; today, we have over half a million,” she said, adding: “We are planning to triple the business in the next 3-4 years.”

In order to grow PepsiCo's business sin India, Nooyi announced today fresh investments of $300-500 million. While 60 per cent of this investment will go into beverages, the remaining 40 per cent will be in snack foods, Nooyi said. “Snack foods requires a lot more infrastructure to roll out,” she added.

This will take the company's investments in the country to over $1 billion as it has already pumped in $700 million along with its partners. “India is a rising star and its performance has been spectacular,” she said.

PepsiCo's business in India has grown four fold in the last five years and it is ranked number five worldwide in terms of revenues for us. I am bullish on India and looking at the market as a long term bet,” she said.

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