Cargill to broaden India portfolio, invest Rs 15 bn in coming years

Representative image
Cargill India is expanding its presence in the country and has prepared a plan to broaden its portfolio, which includes aqua feed and aqua premix, animal feed, plant for transfer fuels, strengthening edible oil brand, corn wet milling, and cocoa products for catering to the needs of chocolate making companies. Around Rs 15 billion in investments has been committed by its parent for the Indian market over the next few years. 

Cargill is already supplying cocoa products like cocoa powder, cocoa butter and cocoa liquor to global chocolate giants. Cargill is also exploring investment in the cocoa and chocolate space in India. Now, the company plans to prepare these product mixes in India and supply them to domestic Chocolate companies.

As of now, cocoa products are largely imported because they are duty-free while making them in India requires importing cocoa beans, which attract 30 per cent import duty. Cargill India Chairman Siraj Chaudhry said, "The government should consider the proposal to change this inverse duty structure to promote 'Make in India'."

Cargill has a few brands – Nature Fresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo, and Rath Vanaspati – in India, and the company is prominent in edible oils and aata (flour). It is already supplying to meet the edible oil requirements of global quick service restaurant (QSR) companies in India and major food companies. It is also supplying glucose and maltodextrin to leading food and healthcare companies. Cargill India's other plans include expanding or acquiring new units in the area of aqua premix and animal feed-nutrition.

"We have also set up a plan and started last fortnight for manufacturing natural transformer fuel from edible oil, which is much more environmentally friendly and useful in green cities that are coming up," said Chaudhry. This is a first in India as, so far, this fuel is made from mineral oil.

Cargill has set up a storage facility for grains and oilseeds in Karnataka and a part of its future investments will go towards expanding the company's storage capacity. Already, an investment of Rs 1 billion is underway for storage. Cargill India has also acquired an animal feed plant in Andhra Pradesh that the firm will spend money on to improve technology and for its expansion. 

Animal premix required for making animal feed will also be a focus area and, whenever an opportunity arises, "we may also go for an acquisition", Chaudhry said.   

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel