TVS Industrial & Logistics Parks Pvt Ltd, the Mumbai-based entity under the TVS Mobility Group, plans to invest ₹1,500 crore next financial year to expand its presence in smaller and emerging cities like Siliguri, Guwahati and Indore. It currently has 10 million sq ft of warehousing space, with plans to increase it to 13 million sq ft by the end of the next fiscal, said the company’s COO, R Manikandan.

“A warehouse every 400 km in the eastern region,” is the company’s strategy, he said; “this is working well with presence right from Tamil Nadu to the North-East,” he told businessline. The company is now present in 13 cities; it plans to enter 5-6 cities every year.

The company has penetrated into some of the top eastern markets like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Cuttack and will soon enter Siliguri and Guwahati. These markets are not that big when compared with tier-1 or tier-2 markets. However, they are emerging markets with a potential to be 1 million sq ft in total. These markets will evolve over a period of time, he said.

Emerging markets

For example, in Hosur, the company started with two lakh sq ft of warehousing space, but ended up with two million sq ft. It is the same in Coimbatore and the smaller markets will also grow strongly in future. For instance, in Madurai, major fast moving consumer durable (FMCD) companies like Haier that used small facilities are moving to Grade-A warehousing facilities as volumes have gone up. A similar transition is happening in smaller and emerging cities, he said.

On the reasons for entering Siliguri, Manikandan says this town in West Bengal touches four countries — China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. There is no trade with China. However, the Bangladesh border is just ten km, and Nepal and Bhutan borders are less than 75 km. There is a strong cross-border trade between India and the three countries. People come for one day, buy the material and go back to their respective countries. This system has been going on for many years, he said.

The pharma industry is large in Siliguri, while there will be good demand from sectors like FMCG, FMCD and e-commerce. The first phase of the facility should be ready at Siliguri in August, he added.

The Siliguri facility, around five lakh sq ft, will be just 4 km from the Bangladesh border. “We are also working to have a facility at Agartala, which is very close to the Bangladesh border,” he said.

Manikandan said the company will set up the first facility in Central India at Indore. The first phase of the facility should be ready in August, he said.

According to Manikandan, the company was growing at 40-45 per cent. Some of the company’s top customers include Alstom, Flipkart, Cars24, Nestle, Croma, Voltas, Haier, Ather, First Solar and TVS Supply Chain Solutions.