...As Business Becomes Profitable
PepsiCo India claims to have made its pure juice business Tropicana profitable now. Tropicana operations have broken even this year and we are making a decent net profit, PepsiCo India Holdings chairman Rajeev Bakshi told the FE.
Though in its infancy at the moment, the project vision, however is about seven years, according to PepsiCo India executive director, exports and external affairs Abhiram Seth. If successful, it can put Punjab and India on the citrus map of the world. Apart from that, it would mean 100 per cent localisation of orange juice and Pepsi becoming the supply center to other regions, Mr Seth said while speaking to FE.
In the first phase, Pepsiwith technical help and expertise of Tropicana Coplans to import processing-focused citrus variety from multiple sources like California, Florida and Brazil into Jallowal, Punjab. These varietiesthe first lot of trees is arriving in a months timewill be then monitored in a 10,000 sq ft screening house or a quarantine facility which has been developed by Pepsi.
Based on the response, this will be followed by setting up a facility for nurseries and gradually five to six demonstration sites will be set up from where seeds will be given to farmers. Typically, this should happen in three years period. And if things are propitious, then processing facilities should begin within five years, Mr Seth said.
Pepsi, Mr Seth, said is not investing much at the moment except in the quarantine facility and technical know-how. Its largely a Punjab government initiative, he said. He, however, added that the long-term objective is to go for contract farming.
Tropicana juicesavailable in orange, apple, grape variantsare currently imported in a concentrate form which are later reconstituted at a plant in Baramati, near Pune, and vacuum packed into Tetrapaks after paying an import duty.
Pepsi is already involved into contract farming of potatoes, tomatoes, groundnut and chillies. Its export turnover is nearly about Rs 350 crore.