Jan 7, 2009

Business - India;Carlsberg to introduce global brands

Pradipta Mukherjee

Carlsberg, the world’s fourth largest brewery with over 120 brands and a sales revenue of $10 billion, is eyeing 5 per cent share of the Indian beer market this year. The company, which is still in the first year of operations, has so far invested Rs 250 crore in India, and is planning to introduce its global brands over the next few years.

It also plans to set up a greenfield brewery at Hooghly in West Bengal in collaboration with an Indian company Parag Breweries at an investment of Rs 80 crore - Rs 100 crore.

Pradeep Gidwani, managing director of Carlsberg’s India operations, said: “The West Bengal plant will have a capacity of 1.5 lakh hectolitres (hl) and should be operational by the end of this year. Carlsberg will have a 60 per cent holding in the Bengal unit.”

Among its other plans, the company is rolling out Carlsberg brand nationally, after testing it in north Indian markets. Besides, the company will roll out Palone brand soon. “Innovation is the need of the hour and, therefore, our attempt will be to try and create a niche category for all-malt beer in India. Currently, there are no players in all-malt beer, and with innovation packaging and marketing initiatives, we intend to capture 5 per cent market share within the first year of operations,” Gidwani added.

The total beer market in India is currently 12 million hl. Carlsberg’s largest markets currently are the UK and Denmark. In India, its brands are currently available in over 5,000 outlets.

In order to boost on-the-go consumption and impulse purchase, Carlsberg will introduce cans priced at Rs 40 for 500 ml. Currently, a 330-ml Carlsberg bottle is priced between Rs 30 and Rs 60, subject to state-level taxes. Carlsberg entered into a joint venture in 2006 to form South Asia Breweries to build a greenfield brewery in Rajasthan.

Carlsberg holds 45 per cent stake in South Asia Breweries, the Industrialisation Fund for Development Countries of Danish government holds 10 per cent and the remaining 45 per cent is owned by a group of investors led by Carlsberg’s partner in Sri Lanka, the Lion Brewery Ceylon.

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