Cobra Beer to set up two breweries in India
Hyderabad, March 30 (IANS) UK-based Cobra Beer plans to invest $20 million to set up its greenfield breweries in India, said the company's founder and chief executive Karan Bilimoria.
While one brewery will come up either in Punjab or Rajasthan, the second will be set up here, the hometown of Bilimoria, who was appointed to the House of Lords in 2006.
Bilimoria told newsmen here Friday that the company was in the process of identifying the land for the breweries. "The first brewery in north India will take off in 15 to 18 months," he said.
He also said that the company had already committed several million dollars to promote the brand and distribution network in India.
The premium beer maker presently has four breweries in India in joint venture with other breweries. The sales in some places have jumped by 400 percent since Nov 2006 and it hopes to soon touch the target of one million cases. "In the next five years we are looking at around five million cases," he said.
Bilimoria said though his company was looking to buyout breweries, there were not many breweries in the Indian market. "The Indian beer market is one of the smallest with the consumption of less than a litre per person per year against 25 litres in China and 99 litres in UK," he said.
While pointing out that beer was unaffordable in India unlike in the UK, he hoped that with the Indian growth story firmly on track, the market would grow in the coming years and the consumption would increase to 20 litres in the next 20-25 years.
He said the decision to set up a brewery in Hyderabad had nothing to do with his emotional attachment to the city. He pointed out that Andhra Pradesh was the largest beer market in the country and the cost of transporting beer from the brewery in Goa was high.
Visiting Hyderabad for the first time after he was appointed to the House of Lords, he said he felt honoured to be the first Zoroastrian Parsi and first man from Hyderabad to sit in the upper house.
Bilimoria, who is also chairman of Indo British Partnership Network, said the largest ever trade delegation from Britain would visit India this year. "Britain and the whole world has woken up to India and I am happy to be a part of this," he said.