MNCs’ Indian innovations on global menu

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SummaryWhat do spicy snacks, nimboo pani, hair oil, fairness creams, water purifiers, masala noodles have in common? Indian consumers of course, you would say. Not exactly.

life, packaged foods and beverages are not ideal for exporting to global markets. Which is why companies like PepsiCo are exporting the concept of making Kurkure for selling in other markets.

Yet another multinational, Nestle SA, the Swiss food and nutrition giant, has taken its Indian brand, Maggi Masala Noodles, to many markets across the globe. In addition, the company is planning to take its spice brands specifically developed for Indians, such as Maggi Pulao Masala (in sachets) and Maggi Masala Magic, to other markets. The company is also planning to take its Indian brands Maggi Noodle Atta and Maggi pasta soups outside India.

Recognising the growing significance of Indian innovations, multinationals are increasingly leveraging India as an ‘innovation hub’. In November 2012, Nestle opened its first research & development centre in Manesar, close to Nestlé India’s headquarters in Gurgaon.

“Our R&D centre in India will help us gain important insights into local consumers’ eating habits and taste preferences, as well as greater expertise in using and processing local ingredients to develop products for India and beyond,” said Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s CEO, while inaugurating the centre.

“As with all Nestlé’s R&D centres, it will be part of our worldwide R&D network, enabling us to acquire local knowledge and use it on a global scale,” he added.

Like Nestle, L’Oreal inaugurated its new research & innovation (R&I) centre to study Indian hair and skin specifications and expectations of Indian consumers two weeks back. L’Oréal plans to invest a total of Rs 970 crore in India from 2011 to 2016.

However, not all Indian innovations have been marketed successfully in the global market. For instance, Coca-Cola India found it difficult to introduce its acquired Indian brands Limca, Maaza and Thums-Up in other markets, as consumers found Maaza and the other brands too sweet.

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