Swiss packaged food major Nestle, which announced plans for ₹5,000-crore investments in India over the next three and half years, said its open to inorganic growth opportunities in the country.
Mark Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Nestle S.A, said the fresh investment has been planned to tap into organic growth opportunities through capacity expansion in India in terms of factories or research centres. “On top of that, if the right opportunity comes for M&A and if it’s a good fit, we will be very interested in exploring that,” he added.
In line with plans to achieve accelerated growth, the company is gearing up to tap into emerging segments in India such as plant-based protein, healthy snacking and leveraging on Indian grains to develop products. On the cards is also strengthening its play in the nutrition space through its Nestle Health Science portfolio. It is also stepping up focus on growing its pet foods business in the country.
Talking about impact on supply chain due to volatility in macroeconomic conditions in recent years, Schneider said, “ One of the key trends that has accelerated with the pandemic, especially in the food and beverages segment, is growing focus on building local and national supply chains. Fortunately, in India, 99 per cent of what we sell is made here. But in some other parts of the world, we’re now working on making supply chains less vulnerable.”
Nestle was not hit hard by supply chain disruptions barring a few instances, he said. “ But it’s a wake up call for everyone that supply chains need to be more local, resilient and cannot be dependent on one source,” he added.
Responding to a query on what governments can do to boost consumption, Schneider said, “ Inflation is a major economic concern. So bringing it back under control, where you don’t have significant distortions, will be a major accomplishment.”