Kolkata-based Keventer Agro Ltd, a group outfit of the ₹1,800-crore Keventer Group, looks to expand its dairy business by entering the north-eastern markets and strengthening its footprint in West Bengal.
Plans are also afoot to diversify its product basket by having value-added offerings like curd and yoghurt.
According to Mayank Jalan, Chairman and Managing Director, Keventer Agro, the company is in ‘active talks’ with multiple people in Guwahati for establishing its presence in Assam.
“North East is going to be a special focus for us. We are currently studying the opportunities there,” he told BusinessLine.
“This apart, we have a huge pipeline of new offering for our consumers,” Jalan added without divulging further details.
Dairy, currently accounts for nearly half of the company’s ₹800-crore turnover. Apart from dairy, food processing —frozen food and beverages — is the other major segment.
The company, which sells its pouch milk and ice cream under the ‘Metro’ brand, operates primarily in the Greater Kolkata region and has a market share of 20-22 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.
The company recently raised ₹170 crore from private equity firm Mandala Capital to fund expansion plans.
“We are in a position to leverage another ₹300 crore and deploy nearly ₹480-500 crore in the next 18 months towards expansion of the dairy business,” he said.
The company currently has one factory at Barasat with a capacity of producing 400,000 litres of liquid milk a day. The aim would be to ramp up production to six-to-seven lakh litres a day over the next two years.
While Bengal will continue to remain at the core of its strategy, Keventer Agro is also exploring possibilities of expansion in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.
As a part of its expansion strategy, the company will look at satellite units (third party manufacturing) and enter into co-packing agreement (for dairy products) with local entrepreneurs. The company has six factories in Tamil Nadu, two in Gujarat and one in Kota running under such co-packing arrangements.
Under co-packing agreements, Keventer will look at entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in setting up a factory. However, the raw materials will be supplied by the company and finished products will be brought back.