Nestle has an accelerated an investment plan of ₹5,000 crore till 2025 to grow its India business faster. The investment stems from what Mark Schneider, CEO, Nestle SA, describes as heralding of an “Indian age” in its business.

“We’re not only talking about an Indian decade here ... but about the Indian age as we see the development take off, driven by digital acceleration,” he said.

Speaking at a select media roundtable on Friday, Schneider stressed that Nestle will invest more in India in the next three-and-a-half years than it has spent in the past 60. “That should give a sense of our accelerated investment plans,” he added.

‘Meaningful contributions’

India is among the top 10 markets for the Swiss packaged food major globally. Schneider pointed out that the investments will not just be on ramping up manufacturing but also in expanding R&D capabilities, brand building and making “meaningful contributions” on the ground. “From our side, it’s an open cheque book and complete willingness to support the India business at every step of the way,” he stressed.

Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & MD, Nestle India, added that the company’s fresh investments will be on growing core business and tapping new opportunities. Nestle India currently operates nine manufacturing plants in the country, employing about 6,000-7,000 people.

‘Advantageous position’

Responding to a query on macroeconomic conditions, Schneider said inflation is a key concern globally but India is relatively less impacted compared to other large markets.

“I think India is in a very advantageous position. Of course, there are inflation concerns, but you see such a strong underlying volume demand from a rising middle class and due to growing income levels. That overpowers some of the concerns that may come from inflation. Overall, as a company, we’re very committed to responsible pricing and keeping products affordable for all strata of society. But, I think India is less-touched than many other large markets, because of the strong groundswell of economic growth that we’re seeing,” he added.