Mondelēz pumps in $15 million to open first global R&D centre in India

The centre, the 10th such facility for the company globally, will create and innovate products for brands in the Chocolates and Beverages categories

e4m by Eularie Saldanha
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 8:57 AM

On October 31, FMCG major Mondelēz International – which has been operating in India for over 70 years - inaugurated its first global research, development and quality technical centre in India. Located close to its factory in Thane, Maharashtra, with an investment of $15 million, the centre will create and innovate products for the company’s global brands in the Chocolates and Beverages categories. This will be the 10th technical centre in the world for Mondelēz International and the first to focus on product development across all portfolios of chocolates and beverages. The 11th one is in the works and will open in Mexico City.

Speaking on setting up a technical centre in India after almost seven decades of existence here, Deepak Iyer, Managing Director, Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd. said, “R&D has been embedded in this country for 40 years and this is the third phase. We renewed it in 2011 with an upgraded facility and this is a complete state-of-the-art centre with a $15 million investment.”

(L to R) Deepak Iyer, MD, Mondelez India, Michelle Pickering, Vice President Research, Development & Quality - Chocolates, Mondelēz International, Rob Hargrove, EVP, Research, Development and Quality, Mondelēz International, Tim Cofer, Chief Growth Officer, Mondelēz International, Maurizio Brusadelli, EVP and President AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa), Mondelēz International unveil the global Research, Development and Quality Center at Thane, India on Wednesday

Rob Hangrove, EVP, Research Development and Quality, Mondelēz International said, “We’ve been doing research and development in India for quite a few years and this represents stepping up of our capability by enabling us to become part of the total global network, taking advantage of the collaboration that happens all around the world.”

India is the fastest growing market in the world and critical for the accelerated growth ambitions of Mondelēz globally, as it is home to the highest market-share position for the Chocolate category.

On the importance of India as a market in the global perspective, Maurizio Brusadelli, EVP and President, AMEA, Mondelēz said, “India is a big country and the population in India will continue to grow. We’ve proved how important India is with the many things that we did in the last 70 years, investing in technology and manufacturing. It is crucial and will continue to be super-relevant for myself and for the company.”

The Research, Development and Quality Center at Thane

Elaborating on Brusadelli’s views, Tim Cofer, Chief Growth Officer, Mondelēz International said, “I continue the commitment to invest in India, to our belief in the disproportionate growth that we can procure from India. We made a massive investment in South India a few years ago to open a state-of-the-art chocolate-making factory, that employs 50% men and 50% women, which we’re very proud of. India is a critical market for us and we will continue to invest in its growth.”

“Our focus here in the Thane Indian technical centre will be on two of our biggest categories, i.e., Chocolates and Beverages, which are two critical categories for our business not only in India but also all over the world. The expertise from India in these categories, combined with our global network, will help us create and innovate products that consumers all around the world love and we will have the satisfaction and pride that it was made starting right here in Thane, India,” Cofer added.

As a global team, the Research, Development and Quality technical centre of Mondelēz International has around 2,400 people, including process engineers, nutritionists, food scientists and consumer scientists who will focus on consumer science, packaging and productivity, to develop its products. The new R&D centre is also part of the company’s strategy to invest $65 million in developing a global network of state-of-the-art technical hubs strategically positioned around the world.

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