On the companys acquisition strategy, Ajoy Misra, MD and chief executive officer of TGBL, said, The main criteria for our acquisitions is that these markets must have a large consumption base for coffee and tea. We have a big appetite for acquisitions as we want to grow in these categories.
After seeing the progress of its joint ventures with Starbucks and PepsiCo, TGBL is looking at strategic alliances in both domestic and global markets. Our strategic alliances have worked well for us. We are now open to joint ventures for growth. At present, we have 46 Starbucks stores in India. We will be increasing the number soon, said Misra. TGBL had inked a joint venture with Starbucks in 2012.
On the rationale behind the acquisition of Australias MAP coffee brand, Misra said Australia is an important geography for TGBL as the consumption of coffee is growing faster there. Our coffee play is still small and we want to grow it. We are open to similar opportunities elsewhere too, he added.
To drive volumes, TGBL is looking at cross selling opportunities of its domestic and acquired brands across the world. We have taken the Himalayan Water brand to Singapore and we are looking at other geographies too. We have taken Tata Tea to Canada and it has already gained 1.5 % market share there. We have taken the Eight O Clock coffee to Canada, Misra said.
In domestic markets, TGBLs Tata Tea currently leads the pack in the branded tea sector. According to Misra, TGBL is leading by value and volumes in this sector. 'In fact, we have increased our lead in last two years. Our market share stands in mid 20% in both value to volume, added Misra.
To sustain its leading edge in the branded tea markets, TGBL is betting big on its Tetley brand and green tea products to bring in volumes.Our biggest thrust is in the green tea area. We have recently relaunched Tetley green tea with vale additions. Our specialty play will be around Tetley brand, said Misra.
With its rural initiative Gaon Chalo, TGBL has now extended its reach to villages in 14 states across the country. We have expanded our rural penetration through Gaon Chalo. Our share of rural sales has shown encouraging results with this rural initiative, said Misra.
At present, the companys product range includes Tata Tea, Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water, Tata Water Plus and Tata Gluco+, Good Earth tea, Grand Coffee and Eight OClock coffee.