Bharti Enterprises in JV to foray into F&B sector

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 27 2009, 08:18am hrs
Bharti Enterprises has ventured into food and beverage products in partnership with the Singapore-based Del Monte Pacific and is planning an investment of Rs 100 crore in the current financial year.

The joint venture has launched a range of food and beverage products from Filipino-based Del Monte Pacific that includes fruit drinks, packaged fruits, ketchup and sauces, apart from several Italian products for the Indian market.

The joint venture is also planning to set up a new facility near Hosur where production of fruit juice and other packaged food will start. Under the FieldFresh brand fresh fruits and vegetables is supplied to modern retail, and processed food like fruit drinks, packaged fruits will be sold through the Del Monte brand.

While declining to give specifics on what kind of revenues he is expecting from each vertical, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprises, said, Going forward, I think we would see that two-thirds of the revenue coming from processed food segment and the rest are from fresh foods segment". FieldFresh currently exports 270 tonne of baby corns and sweet corns and now it is venturing into fruits like banana, mango and apples in the domestic market.

Aiming for the top ten slot amongst food companies by establishing a strong retail presence we will also leverage growth avenues in the B2B segment also, informed Sanjay Nandrajog, CEO, FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd. Currently FieldFresh Foods are supplying to quick service restaurants, bakeries and ice cream manufacturers.

The facility, near Bangalore, will be operational by 2010. "We will start (manufacturing) two products, especially juice drinks in cans and pet bottles in the first phase," Mittal said. Del Monte products will be launched in 15 Indian cities by the end of this year.

Around Rs 150 crore has been spent through the joint venture which came into place around two years back.