Challa Srishant, Managing Director of CCL Products(India) ltd, which has just achieved the milestone of $ 1-billion mark in market capitalisation, is the second generation leader at the homegrown coffee manufacturer.

In an exclusive interview with businessline, he speaks on the outlook for the global coffee industry, and the company’s expansion plans.

He announced a capex of Rs 800 crore on expansion, which includes a new project in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 400 crore. The company is also expanding its capacity in Vietnam by investing another Rs 400 crore.

He feels the price of coffee is unreasonably high in the Indian market, owing to very high import duties on coffee products.“It is as high as 100 per cent. It needs to be brought down to 30 per cent so that Indian consumers will get access to a variety of coffee products. This is not going to impact farmers as they still have protection,” he points out.

CCL Products scrip, which closed at Rs 665.85, is trading at Rs 664.10 -1.75 (-0.26%) on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.