‘Next 100 years will be opportune business in India'

| Updated on: Mar 30, 2011
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What is the company's central strategy for India?

It is totally in line with what we want to be as a company. Through our products we want to grow with the country's growth. We are going about our business and yet are a part of the society. It is about creating shared value. It is linked with long-term vision in India. Hundred years in India and next 100 years will be opportune business in India. You build your business and yet do justice to your shareholders by linking up with society at large in everything you do. It is both upstream and downstream. That is how we have been going about our business since we started here. We are engaged in education. We are focusing on three areas – nutrition, water and rural development. These three areas help in creating shared values.

Are you happy with what you have achieved in India, both financially and in terms of shared value?

We are motivated. We are satisfied in the sense that it is a stable delivery of our own commitments and more importantly, it's a reflection of something well done and it has the face of continuity in the future which is what satisfies us. Our commitment has been towards society. That is reflecting in the results and it is motivating, which is why we are looking to the future.

The company's portfolio in India is much smaller than the one you have overseas. Why?

I would say that in India we have quite a good footprint. It is true some products like frozen foods are not there in India. But then you have to look at the capabilities to do it even if we want to bring the items here. Cold chain has to be there to a certain minimum level. Therefore, some categories aren't there because we cannot deliver them with a quality assurance.

The Government has announced measures to beef up the cold chain in its latest Budget proposals. Are you planning to look at developing a cold chain or going in for some other measure?

Antonio Helio Waszyk: The good news is that now the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food Processing are together. It was badly needed and brings the two dimensions of food processing together … It doesn't mean we will get into processing or cold chain distribution. This is not to say that to a certain extent we will not benefit from it. It is a very good measure by the Government to link farm-to-fork. Also, it is good that they have provided incentives for reducing waste. Whether we plan to set up warehousing is what we need to look at. But it is not our immediate plan …

You met the Prime Minister. What did you discuss with him? How did the meeting go?

He met us in his busy schedule which is the strongest signs of being well received. It was also one of the most motivating moments to say that we are here.

Antonio Helio Waszyk: The Budget is the actual consequence that the Government is moving from manufacturing into food processing. He was praising not only Nestle but the entire food industry for the commitment to the country and he was very positive about what has been done. But considering what needs to be done, the continuation of another 100 years of Nestle …

What's the biggest challenge for you in India?

The opportunities are huge for the country too. How do we develop at the right pace and build the resources and infrastructure in a balanced manner and do that in a way that it is inclusive is the big challenge. How can we have a society that is developing in a balanced way so that you have a deepening middle-class. The stability of a country is linked to the middle-class … whether it is inclusive is a big challenge.

Published on March 30, 2011

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