Norwegian parent wants more local food on MTR’s plate

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 21, 2016

Sanjay Sharma, CEO, MTR Foods

Keen to build foods portfolio in more States

It has been nine years since Norwegian conglomerate Orkla acquired MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms) but it still has a penchant for more local companies to strengthen distribution in the country.

“At the moment our presence is limited to a single state (Karnataka), but we would like to build our foods portfolio across more States in India. We would like to acquire more companies to build distribution across the country,’’ said Tino Bendix, CEO, Orkla Foods Danmark.

Bendix is in India as part of the Executive MBA class of 2016 of IMD of Switzerland’s India discovery expedition to understand the potential of Indian food brands.

In 2011, MTR acquired Pune-based company Rasoi Magic, a brand in the ready-to-cook category. Since then, it has been scouting for more food companies, but this time it would be about enhancing distribution through the acquired company.

While MTR Foods has a distribution reach at two lakh outlets, Orkla expects to enhance this number.

“Basically we are looking at food companies who have robust distribution and if they happen to own some brands, we do not mind buying them as well. The purpose is to expand the distribution network and gain speed by identifying food companies in other States which can help us grow in this market,’’ he added.

MTR has been steadily building its ‘India-specific’ portfolio with segments such as spices. “Almost 36 per cent of our turnover comes from spices and masalas and is the largest category in our portfolio,’’ says Sanjay Sharma, CEO, MTR Foods.

Orkla has almost 90 per cent of its business restricted in the Nordic region in the countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. “Orkla believes in acquiring local brands and building them. It has already invested ₹150 crore in its Indian subsidiary,’’ added Sharma.

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Published on March 21, 2016
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