Nature’s Basket to foray into Kolkata

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on July 18, 2019 Published on July 18, 2019

Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman and patriarch, RPSG Group

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group is planning to introduce its recently acquired grocery brand — Nature’s Basket — in Kolkata soon. The grocery and fresh fruit chain was acquired by Spencer’s Retail in an all-cash deal from Godrej Industries.

According to Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman and patriarch, RPSG Group, the plan is to have 15-20 Nature’s Basket stores over the next few months.

The group is currently on the lookout for locations in the city. The stores will be spread over a 5,000 sq ft, while flagship outlets will be around 10,000 sq ft.

“We are looking for spaces in the city to set up Nature’s Basket. At least 15-20 such stores are being planned,” he told reporters here on Thursday.

Goenka did not specify the investment requirements or the brand positioning.

But he did add that there could be a scenario where Nature’s Basket and Spencer’s could exist side-by-side, with the former catering to the premium segment and the latter to mass-premium categories.

Focus on R&D

“A different brand name has also been registered. But, whether we will go for that or stick to Nature’s Basket is a decision that the board has to take,” he said.

He added that private labels of Nature’s Basket will also be introduced.

According to Goenka, RPSG Group is investing close to ₹100 crore annually on R&D across different segments including FMCG and ayurveda, as well as through Phillips Carbon Black Ltd.

R&D spends have gone up five-fold from the ₹20 crore it spent in FY-19 at a group level.

“We are trying out and researching on a lot of things across categories like personal care, food, FMCG and even specialty black. As and when they materialise, we will look to enter new categories or extend our offerings,” he said.

Phillips Carbon Black Ltd (PCBL), according to Goenka, has spent close to ₹20 crore in setting up the Sushila Goenka R&D Centre at Palej in Gujarat.

The centre is close to the development of two new specialty offerings over the next three months.

“These offerings, if they are successful, will help boost PCBL’s bottomline,” he said, adding that the company is scouting for space across Europe to open a second R&D centre.

Published on July 18, 2019

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