UK based Cobra Beer to invest $ 20 mn in India

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 18 January 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: UK-based Cobra Beer has announced of its plans to invest about $ 20 million in India over the next two-three years. It has also made plans of investing up to $10 million in a Greenfield brewery in Hyderbad, which is to become operational by July 2007.

Cobra beer, owned by Karan Billimoria, is looking to promote the brand and create a distribution network in India in the next couple of years. Billimoria informed the media that it is on the lookout for more breweries besides the greenfield plant.

The premium beer maker is also looking to make dent in the sales of the market dominated by Kingfisher beer. It has plans to increase sales to one million cases by early next year whereas Kingfisher sells nearly 36 million cases annually.

"If everything goes as planned, in the next five years we are looking at around five million cases," he said. The company plans to make India the second largest market after UK for the beers sales.

Bilimoria said the company has recently signed a licensing agreement with a Goa-based brewer in addition to one in Rajasthan, but was looking to set up its own Greenfield plant. The company is also exploring tie-ups with brewers in north and south-east India, mentions the owner.

For the promotion of its products and expanding portfolio, Bilimoria said it would come from the 5-10 million dollars that had been set aside. He further added that this did not include the budget for acquisitions.

Stating that per capita beer consumption in India was far too low at 0.7 liter, he hoped that it would increase to 20 liters per person in the next 15 years. This he added provides a huge potential for more players to get into the market as well as the existing players to expand.

In the next few months, Cobra Beer would introduce four new products in India in addition to its lager, strong and double fermented beers.

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