Nestle India Ltd, a subsidiary of Nestle SA, the Swiss major in food and beverages, plans to invest nearly Rs 500 crore on a mainly Maggi noodles and confectionery-manufacturing plant in Gujarat next year.

This would be the eighth plant of Nestle India in the country.

It also has Bihar on its radar for the ninth plant as part of its aggressive business expansion policy in the western and eastern States by doubling capacities. So far, Nestle India has focused on the southern and northern States for dairy and beverages divisions, Mr Antonio Helio Waszyk, Chairman and Managing Director, told Business Line here.

As the Chairman of FICCI Food Processing Committee, Mr Waszyk also briefly met the Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, during the business body’s National Executive Committee meeting in Gandhinagar last week. He said Nestle is scouting for 50-100 acres, preferably around Ahmedabad, for its proposed plant.

“We are in an advanced stage of preparation and would finalise the plans by mid-2012. If things go according to our plans, we would start manufacturing in 2014-15,” he said.

For its Maggie noodles, Nestle India would also procure wheat locally in Gujarat. About the company’s business plans in the eastern region, he said the company is actively looking at options. “Bihar is also on our radar.”

However, he clarified that Nestle has no plans, for now, to enter the dairy sector in Gujarat where Amul is in a commanding position.

Nestle procures 13 lakh litres of milk from one lakh farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Nestle India had set up its first production facility at Moga in Punjab in 1961, and now has seven manufacturing plants in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh, the last one set to open in March 2012. Also, its R&D Centre at Manesar, Haryana, will start next year.

The company currently works in four divisions: milk and nutrition, foods, coffee and beverages and confectionary. Its net sales in FY2010 were Rs 6,255 crore and net profit was Rs 819 crore. The Nestle Group sales in FY2010 were nearly CHF (Swiss francs) 110 billion.

(This article was published on December 19, 2011)
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