Nestle is all about ‘Make-in-India’ and ‘Made-for-India’: CMD Suresh Narayanan

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 19, 2020 Published on May 19, 2020

Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India

At a time when the Central government is pushing the “Vocal for Local” messaging, Nestle India on Tuesday said “Make-in-India” and “Made-for-India” has been the key focus for the company for decades. Despite disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Swiss major’s local arm, also said that focus on India has not been diluted and its investment plans, including setting up of the ninth factory in Gujarat, are on track.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India, said, “The Prime Minister in his address was referring to strengthening ‘Make in India’ and focussing on manufacturing in India which unfortunately has reached different kind of interpretations in some quarters. We have a presence in India for nearly 108 years and are a listed company with 7,200 employees who are 99.7 per cent Indian. We operate eight factories in the country that employ Indian factory workers, closely work with Indian dairy, wheat, spice and coffee farmers and humbly contribute to the Indian exchequer. Our brands have been loved by consumers in the country for decades.”

“Therefore, I believe in every sense of the term Nestle India, is all about Make-in-India and Made-for-India,” he added.

Replying to a query on government’s recent decision to sell only indigenous products at CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) canteens, Narayanan said the company has submitted details of its products, as sought by the concerned authorities, on whether its products were made in India, whether raw materials were sourced from India or whether they are imported.

As the country enters into lockdown 4.0, Nestle India said that its factories have now ramped up capacity to about 70 per cent with about 50-60 per cent workforce on an average, in line with government norms and hygiene protocols.

“At our factories, with our permanent workforce, the manpower footprint has been fairly strong. They are coming back gradually, as we are constantly communicating with them on their concerns. At our warehouses and other locations, where we have contractual workers, situation has improved in the past few days,” Narayanan said. The food processing industry has recently also urged the government to allow companies to increase workforce to about 75 per cent at their factories, in green and orange zones.

For now, the company is prioritising manufacturing only those SKUs of brands, for which it is witnessing consumer demand. “In line with emerging consumer trends, we have recast our innovation pipeline. We are also evaluating all our brands and SKUs and trying to see which will be positively impacted and need to be accelerated,” he said.

Outlining the challenges for the consumer products industry in the coming quarters, he said, “Factors such as the robustness of underlying demand for brands, depending on whether they are essential or discretionary, will change the equation for many consumer product companies. Also, other key factors will be ability to ramp up of manufacturing capacity, constraints around labour and infrastructure deployment and whether MSME suppliers are able to ramp up their capacities as part of the entire supply chain.”

Changing consumer behaviour

Talking about changes in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic, Narayanan said, consumers are increasingly looking for trustworthiness, health, safety and nutrition in products.

“While opportunities for premiumisation and large-sized SKUs will remain, as pantry loading is here to stay, consumers who have limited budgets will also be downtrading. Our product portfolio is geared up for both these opportunities. We are also preparing ourselves for trends such as greater focus on health and wellness and focus on immunity boosting products,” he added.


Published on May 19, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.