Tata's beverage cos eye
The Tata Group through its two leading
beverage companies - Tata Tea and Tata Coffee
- is looking at developing an Indian brand
for tea and coffee in the Russian market.
The move is aimed at capturing a sizeable
chunk of the Russian tea and coffee market
which is gradually shifting from mass market
products to premium products.
Addressing the 124th annual
general meeting of Indian Tea Association
(ITA) the Union minister of state for commerce
Jairam Ramesh said: "Tata Tea, Tata
Coffee along with some other institutions
are planning to launch an Indian brand in
tea and coffee for the Russian market. This
is being done to increase India's share
in tea and coffee in the Russian market.
In 2006, India has been able to export 32
million kg of tea to Russia, which is nearly
7 million kg lower than the volume tea exported
Russia is gradually embracing
the premium orthodox tea. The average hot
beverage per capita consumption mix in Russia
is the following: the average Russian drinks
three cups of hot beverages daily - half
of the population drink daily two cups of
tea and one cup of coffee.
Percy Siganporia, managing
director of Tata Tea however, refused to
divulge the company's plan to come out with
a brand aimed at the Russian market. "Right
now, it will be too premature to comment
about this. We always look at new countries
to expand our global footprint."
Incidentally, Mr Singaporia's
term as chairman of ITA ended on Saturday.
Aditya Khaitan, managing director of Mcleod
Russel, took over as the chairman of ITA.
Aditya Jajodia, CEO and MD of Assam Company
has been elected as the vice-chairman of
Earlier, Mr Ramesh, who
has been taking active interest to reopen
the closed tea gardens in West Bengal, said
that the Central government will invoke
section 16 (E) of the Tea Act, 1953 which
allows it to hand over the management of
the company to a new promoter if the tea
garden remains close for more than three
months. There are 14 closed tea gardens
in West Bengal.
"We have given one
month to the owners of closed tea gardens
to reopen their estates. If they fail to
take any initiative, we will invoke 16(E)
and takeover the gardens. We will invite
bids which will be evaluated by committee.
The committee will have representatives
both from the state and central government."
Later in the day Mr Ramesh
attended a seminar on agri-export zones
(AEZs) where he said that AEZs have failed
to take off in the country. "Rather
than setting up AEZs, we should try to make
an all out effort to export state specific
agro products in the world market. For example,
West Bengal should try to push pineapples.
Similarly states like Jharkhand, Bihar and
Orissa should make an effort to export cabbage,
litchi and turmeric respectively."