Tata Tea Ltd plans to set up a joint venture (JV) company in Russia to make and package tea, coffee and “value-added beverages” by the end of the current financial year. It plans to use this base as a gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Russia is one of the world’s largest tea markets. Tata Tea is gearing to make a major investment to set up a company in the country, said R.K. Krishna Kumar, vice-chairman, Tata Tea. He refused to say what the investment would be and also did not elaborate on the products to be offered as value-added beverages.
“It will be announced in a few weeks,” Krishna Kumar said. “It will be a path-breaking company,” he added, saying that the plan is to set up a manufacturing plant and a packaging unit. Negotiations are currently on with a partner, who does not have a beverage business, but is strategically placed. The Russian partner will participate financially and will have a 50% stake in the company. Tata Tea is looking at options of bringing in other partners who can be of help in setting up the distribution network for the company, said Krishna Kumar.
The JV will look at spreading its presence to Ukraine and Kazhakhstan eventually.