Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Dec 23, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Dairy & Dairy Products
Marketing - Strategy
Corporate - Mergers & Acquisitions
Paras scouts for dairies to expand national presence
P.T. Jyothi Datta
NEW DELHI, Dec. 22
FROM scouting around for suitable dairies to acquire, to intensifying efforts to deliver Paras products at your door-step the Paras group has lined up a slew of activities in the forthcoming year towards increasing its presence in the national dairy scene.
Touted to be the second largest supplier of poly-pack milk in the Capital, after Mother Dairy - Paras is actively looking for dairies that it can acquire, particularly in other metros, to establish a national presence.
Mr K.K. Bhadra, Head of Marketing Milk with the Paras Group told Business Line that the company was open to acquisitions, provided two basic requirements were satisfied access to good quality milk and quality processing infrastructure. Though contract manufacturing was the order of the day, he said the company was not open to such alliances as it was difficult to keep a check on quality.
Another initiative that the company has embarked on is a pilot project to have a dedicated Paras retail outlet where all company products would be available under one roof. While this plan was still at a nascent stage, he pointed out that it made more economic sense, as it was a one-time investment, as against a multi-vending outlet, which was a recurring expenditure for the company.
The idea was to have a `Paras privilege club', where consumers could call for all their products and have them delivered at a time convenient to them. "Given that product differentiation across the brands is difficult in this segment, it is the services that will make a difference," he points out.
And rightly so, considering that the dairy segment has long-distance runners such as Amul, Mother Dairy, Nestle and Britannia. Paras's dairy segment is an estimated Rs 300 crore business and the company expects to double this by March 2004. Also on the anvil are innovative products such as drinking yoghurt and flavoured milk. Paras is also looking to re-introduce its table-butter in the market with a more contemporary packaging.
While the company is also present in the bottled water business, with its Paras brand of water, he said the company was open to diversification into "both related and unrelated business areas."
Meanwhile, the company is looking to boost its exports from Rs 40 crore in the last fiscal to about Rs 60 crore in the current fiscal. Mr P.N. Kanth, General Manager-Marketing, VRS Foods Ltd ( a Paras Group company) told the correspondent that exports were expected to increase on two accounts. Intensifying exports in the present markets, besides tapping new frontiers. Paras exports its full milk powder, casein, demineralised whey powder and skimmed milk. At present, the company exports to the US, Germany, South-East Asia, West Asia and Africa. It is looking to enhance its presence in these markets and look at new markets, he said.
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