Timely monsoon will bring demand stability and spur growth this year, while the fast growing e-commerce channel will provide good opportunities in the future, said Nestle India CMD Suresh Narayanan.
“The monsoon at least this year, seems to be on time. We are an agro-based economy by large, and to that extent, it augurs well…We look forward to stability of demand and hopefully better growth,” Narayanan told PTI. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted an average monsoon this year, which has already hit the Indian coast.
While, referring to the recent big ticket investments in e-commerce space, he said this channel would improve and grow further in coming years. “We welcome the opening of newer channels… Together with the strengthening of backward linkages into the agrarian economy, we should see improvement in the over all pace of business and also the contribution to the business,” Narayanan said.
Nestle India, which has crossed Rs 10,000 crore sales in 2017, would continue to pursue its growth here with expansion of product portfolio, he added. “Growth would come from existing and new portfolio,” he said. The company, which had suffered setback after a five-month ban on its popular instant noodles Maggi in 2015, has introduced several new products in food and chocolates and confectioneries categories. It has also pulled back some of them after evaluation.
“It’s an ongoing programme, we are consistently trying to evaluate our products and I am happy to say about a fifth of our growth is coming from new products,” he added. On upcoming products, he said that Nestle has already announced the launch of breakfast cereals, which would be a significant move. “Now we have secular growth across categories and that is something we would like to continue,” he added. Maggi now has around 60 per cent market share of the instant noodles segment.
“We are at little over 60 per cent of the market share and I think we have got a healthy traction of the business. New innovations have seen good responses and I am happy with the progress which has been made with so far,” Narayanan added. Maggi commanded a market share of around 75 per cent prior to the five-month ban in 2015.
On being asked whether Nestle would be able to cross that figure in the future, he said, ambition is always there and we are trying to get as close as possible to where we were.”