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Marico set to expand in food biz

business Updated: May 27, 2013 21:18 IST
Rachit Vats
Rachit Vats
Hindustan Times
Rachit Vats

When Harsh Mariwala introduced 'Saffola Oats' two years ago, he set in motion a process of turning the largely traditional commodity-based company, Marico Ltd, into a full-fledged consumer goods firm with extra focus on food as an emerging category.

After delivering a 28% growth in its 2012-13 net profit to Rs 406 core, chairman and managing director Mariwala is now on the way to raise Marico's profile in categories other than just haircare and edible oil, where its Parachute and Saffola brands have made a mark.

"We got into foods only recently and right now building scale is a key priority for us. The idea is to give thrust to the food business and make it grow. While food is relatively newer, it is going to be an important business for us in future," said Mariwala.

Mariwala says the company has big plans to launch a large portfolio in the food space under the 'Saffola' brand. "Over the long-term Saffola would establish itself as a leading healthy lifestyle brand that offers healthy food options for all meals," he said.

The company with revenues in excess of Rs 4,000 crore has of late focused on the breakfast market where it competes with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline's consumer business, Kellog's, PepsiCo and others.

The company also aims to get about 25% revenues of Saffola from healthy foods over the next three years.

Over the last two years the company has made acquisitions - the personal care business of Paras and International Consumers Products Corp in Vietnam.

"The acquisitions we made a year ago have started giving returns. Overall the mood is quite positive as far as new additions are concerned," Mariwala said.

Mariwala said while Paras will take learnings from the acquisition in Vietnam, but it will not likely bring the brands acquired to India.