Tata Tea plans JV to boost
India brand in Russia
Tata Tea is teaming up with Tata
Coffee and a few other institutions to aggressively
promote Indian tea brands in Russia. Russia
has traditionally been one of the strongest
markets for Indian teas and the move is
aimed at regaining India's market share
Tata Tea managing director
Percy Siganporia said that plans were still
in a fluid state but confirmed such a proposal
has been floated. "A new enterprise
will be formed which will promote Indian
tea brands in Russia," Siganporia said.
He, however, did not divulge further details.
Siganporia was speaking to reporters on
Saturday at the Indian Tea Association's
annual general meeting.
Union minister of state
for commerce Jairam Ramesh, who was also
present in the ITA meeting, said that Russia
is currently the second biggest importer
of both tea and coffee from India. Russia
accounted for 20 per cent of India's coffee
exports during 2006-07, close behind Italy
at 27 per cent. It imported 32 million kg
of Indian tea of India's total export basket
of 185 million kg.
While Russia, Iraq and
Pakistan have remained a stronghold for
India's tea exports over the years, the
Union commerce ministry has identified new
markets in Egypt and Iran. The ministry
is keen to set up a tea marketing office
in Cairo for which it has written to East
India Hotels Ltd, which currently operates
a luxury hotel in Cairo, seeking help.
"We are hopeful that
the tea marketing centre will be a reality
soon," Ramesh said. Earlier, the ministry
had planned to set up a similar centre at
the Air-India office in Cairo but had to
back out owing to objections from the landlord.