Britannia, essentially a biscuit major until 2006, is remodeling itself to become a broader foods company. In a freewheeling chat with HT, Vinita Bali, managing director, Britannia Industries, talks about how the company is putting more energy into dairy and bakery.
How is Britannia changing as a company? What are the factors causing the change?
The only thing we had five years ago was Good Day and now we have NutriChoice, a fortified Tiger Biscuit or products enriched with micronutrients. Five years ago, biscuits were a grocery purchase bought for home. Today Britannia products have become impulsive purchase items.
Where do you see Britannia’s focus going forward?
Our focus will be on cereals and cereal-based products and dairy and dairy-based products. Dairy is a large opportunity and it is now beginning to see the impact of branding. There will be more focus on healthy food.
Do you see value in the ice-cream business?
I am not saying yes or no to that. Theoretically there are many products that could be done. We got to choose the one that makes sense from our point of view. Right now the portfolio we have is the portfolio we are going to continue with.
Do you see any topline and the bottomline change over the next few years?
We will rather do and then talk about it than give forward-looking numbers.
Is the entry of a new player such as Kraft forcing Britannia to change its strategy?
It’s not a Britannia phenomenon alone. It’s an India phenomenon. Every segment you look there are more brands vying for the same space. A new brand does not make much difference. Even in the Nielsen tracker there are over 400 brands of biscuits. It takes time to build a brand.
Any acquisitions in mind?
If a good, accretive opportunity comes by then why not? But there are not many brands to be acquired.