Yakult Danone to invest an additional US$ 25.45 million in India

Probiotic dairy products maker will expand its presence and market its product ‘Yakult’ in the country in the next 3-4 years.

New Delhi: Probiotic dairy products maker Yakult Danone India will pump in an additional Rs100 crore over the next 3-4 years to expand its presence and market its product ‘Yakult’ in the country, after its parent company Danone got a no objection from estranged partner Wadias.

The company, which launched its probiotic milk here on 19 December, has already invested Rs136 crore in setting up a dairy product manufacturing facility in Sonepat, Haryana. It would invest an additional Rs100 crore to streamline distribution, marketing and brand promotion activities over the next 3-4 years.

“YDI is focused on the Indian market and we would invest an additional Rs100 crore to expand this market. Though we are initially launching the product in Delhi and NCR, we plan to be present in majority of the metros and North India in the next 6-9 months,” YDI managing director Kiyoshi Oike said.

He said the company expects to break even in the next four years and is targeting revenues of Rs100 crore-plus by then.

YDI is a 50:50 joint venture between Yakult Honsha of Japan and French dairy major Danone. Danone already runs a confectionery company – Britannia India Ltd – in the country in joint venture with the Wadia family. However, both the partners in Britannia are at loggerheads over the French firm’s plans to start a solo innings in India.

“We have received an NoC from Wadias only for selling Yakult’s probiotic product in India,” YDI director Marcel Bertaud said.

The company, which has put up an overall capacity to produce one million bottles of milk per day in India, plans to sell at least one lakh bottles of its probiotic milk over the next few years.

It initially plans to sell 20,000 bottles per day and would reach the one lakh sales per day mark over the next few years.

YDI has tied up with 150 retail outlets in Delhi to sell its product and has also appointed a team of 40 women for door-to-door promotion.

The company would also start home delivery of Yakult milk in the near future.

Yakult Danone is the latest entrant to the probiotic foods market in India after domestic dairy majors Amul, Mother Dairy and global major Nestle. While Nestle and Mother Dairy sell probiotic curd, Amul has its probiotic ice-creams in the market.

Probiotic dairy products have live organisms in them, which, if taken in regulated quantity, assist in building immunity and help in digestion.

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