By Shalini BhardwajNew Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): Siddharth Rastogi, General Manager, Indian Subcontinent/South-West Asia for Ireland-headquartered Kerry Group, speaking exclusively to ANI, said the multinational company intends to localize a lot of the technologies and integrate them into its existing manufacturing facilities in India as per the taste of the local consumers.
Siddharth also said the Group is currently not present in the market as a consumer-recognizable brand, but service businesses to help their brand.
"We are the brand behind the brands. We supply products to brand owners which actually get used in their products, for example, flavours and seasonings in snacks," he said.
The multinational Group is into nutritional foods, various kinds of food-grade flavours and seasonings, among others.
On working according to the taste of India, Kerry said, "Not really and that is the reason we invest a lot more in localizing our technologies and producing everything here. This helps us to bridge the gap with our customers. This is how we get international technologies, and international concepts, and customize them for the India market.""We also supply to the QSR industry. For instance, we partnered with a leading QSR to create a burger with locally-inspired flavours and ingredients which you won't find anywhere else in the world. If a customer wants to adapt its offering to the Indian market, we come into the picture because we have the global expertise and then we have the Indian expertise. We give them those solutions that they're subsequently able to launch," he said.
Siddharth highlighting Kerry's growth story in India said, "India is a market that Kerry's been really invested in for a decade. And we've been part of the growth story globally. From a demographic and economic perspective, we believe that there is a unique opportunity in India. Therefore, keeping this in mind, Kerry has a diverse product portfolio in the country that helps us service multiple categories and multiple end-use markets. We are making numerous investments in technology, people, and our manufacturing locations. We want to localize a lot of the technologies and integrate them into our existing manufacturing facilities."On localizing products to suit the Indian consumer, he said that Kerry is a company that has a very diverse global portfolio. "The challenge for us is how do we make that relevant for the Indian customers and the consumers. To give an idea, we have close to 1,500 products that we supply to our customers who then use them in the brands that they sell in the market to consumers. Additionally, our manufacturing facilities in the country help us create localized products in a more cost-effective manner, which then help our customers make their business more profitable, and also pass on the advantage to the consumers. With regards to the India growth story, I think the last couple of years have been extremely strong for us here. We have grown more than two, three times more than what the market has grown. We see that as a continuing opportunity to improve our footprint and offer better solutions to our customers," he added.
Siddharth further explained their marketing plans for India. He said, "With a talented team of food scientists and RD people in the country, our focus has always been to best serve our customers and best service their portfolio. Our constant endeavour is to give them technological and manufacturing advantage and marketing insights from India. We have multiple tools that we use to generate these insights and then we internalize these by first learning ourselves and then sharing with customers. We give them input that is very relevant for their upcoming product launches. So, we plan to continue that and plan to continue investing in growing that part of our business."When asked whether the Indian market with different tastes as well as cultural preferences poses a challenge, Kerry said, "It's extremely challenging because the Indian consumer has different preferences and tastes. India has a population of 1.4 billion people and hence this is also a big market, economically. This puts the Indian consumer in a very advantageous position where one can actually demand from brand owners the best possible product at the lowest possible price. We are a value-seeking market and in today's world, with rising commodity prices, and supply chain challenges, it is challenging to continue to provide the best possible solutions to the customers. Thus, keeping the cost in check is a priority to ensure that the balance between the value and what we are delivering to the customer is appropriate. This has been a constant endeavour, and we continuously work towards finding the right solutions so that our customer's brands are successful in the market.""We work with all the big brands across all categories. We have more than 600 customers in India whom we supply our products to," he said. For Kerry, every customer is significant. We believe this market offers the opportunity for every player, and every brand to scale up in a very short period of time. We see our business from a perspective of the next five to ten years. The beauty of the Indian market is that even smaller local players from tier two or three cities have the potential to become big brands if they can get the product right. This has been the case with many of our existing customers who started off their businesses five years ago as small brands. India is one of the few markets in the world to offer this kind of opportunity. We try and make sure that we are as committed to everyone's business as if it was our own," Siddharth explained about future plans and various partnerships with brandsOn business strategy for India, he said, "Our business strategy is very clearly localized. It is to get as close to the client as possible and make it easy for them to work with us. Through our strong integrated portfolio of technologies, skilled team and consumer insights, we offer the speed to market. This helps customers create the right products which are then going to be successful in the consumer market. (ANI)