The equipment firm already has two plants in India under its smaller Flavorite business and Heat and Control, as well as an office in Chennai. Plans for its additional manufacturing plant are set to receive the final go-ahead in the coming weeks and will see the company’s current Heat and Control plant absorbed into the planned facility.
Bobby Kane, sales manager for Heat and Control, said timing was right to heavily invest in India – a snack market set to soar to $4bn by 2018, according to Euromonitor International.
“The market in India is growing in the 20+% area year on year. We’re investing more in India; not just an increase in people but an increase in presence with new facilities, new manufacturing and buying up smaller, local companies,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com at last week’s Anuga FoodTec in Cologne.
“We already have a good position there with a very active office and very active team, but we’re finding that as they get stretched, we’re adding more people both in the support side as well as the customer-facing side.”
The final red tape
Heat and Control decided on a manufacturing facility to increase its base in the country, Kane said.
“Timing is imminent but the red tape in India is a bit different to here. We’re hoping to be clearing the final hurdles in the coming weeks,” he said. “There will be a significant financial investment going in.”
The facility will develop a range of machinery lines, including potato, tortilla and nut machines, to serve India’s local market, he explained, but also other areas like Europe if needed.
“We opened our factory in China for the Chinese market but now it’s doing some of the European market too, so we would imagine the same for India. I can see pretty quickly that the growth in India will be fast,” he said.
Catching mid-level snack makers
Kane said India’s snack sector comprised of a number of large international firms like PepsiCo that were driving up quality expectations in the market.
As growth continued, he said, smaller, mid-level players would start to aim higher to compete with the multinationals and would therefore need to consider equipment upgrades and purchases.
“The theory with this plant is that these mid-level companies can grow into it.”
Asked how much Heat and Control anticipated the mega plant to bolster business by, he said: “We hope to quadruple sales eventually.”