Nestle S A, the $101-billion Swiss food and beverage giant, yesterday announced plans of setting up its first R&D Centre in India at a cost of around Rs226 crore (CHF 50 million).
Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle will be setting up over 240,000 square feet R&D facility at Manesar, close to its Indian headquarters in Gurgaon, which will be operational in 2012.
This investment by the maker of Nescafe coffee, Maggi noodles and KitKat chocolates among its 6,000 other brands, will help to further strengthen its R&D capabilities in emerging markets, where the company expects sales to reach 45 per cent of total by 2020.
Among the oldest global food companies in India, Nestlé has had a presence in India since 1912 and today operates seven factories located across the country. Its sales in 2009 reached Rs5,222 crore.
In July 2010, Nestle India's chairman and managing director Antonio Helio Waszyk had said that the company was mulling acquisitions in India with a view to expand its product line, and plans to launch more products in the coming months. (See: Nestle plans acquisitions, expansion in India)
Nestle said that its new R&D centre will focus on "popularly positioned products" (PPPs), though especially for the Indian market, but also global markets to meet the needs of low-income consumers by offering them high-quality, nutritionally enhanced products at affordable prices.
''Today we are not only marking Nestlé's continuing long-term commitment to R&D, but also celebrating the building of Nestlé's first R&D Centre in India. The research at this centre will provide exciting opportunities for innovation. It will allow us to offer consumers in India and beyond the choice of tasty, healthy, and nutritious products,'' said Nestlé's senior vice president Klaus Zimmermann.