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NEW DELHI : Tata Consumer Products Ltd will keep growing its existing brands of foods and beverages as it continues to scout for acquisitions, said Ajit Krishnakumar, chief operating officer at the company.

“We will do both. It’s not an ‘or’, it’s an ‘and’. Ultimately, an acquisition has to meet various criteria, apart from the financial, which is easier. The brand has to matter, the distribution should be common. There has to be a very good reason that we are the owner," he said.

In 2021, TCPL announced the acquisition of Kottaram Agro Foods that owns breakfast cereal brand Soulfull.

Responding to whether the company will look to acquire direct-to-consumer brands, Krishnakumar said: “I think we are acutely aware of almost everything that is available in the market. What we choose to go after and not go after, is a separate issue. We will eventually do things across the board. When and how is anybody’s guess," he said in an interview.

The company sells Tata Salt, pulses under the Tata Sampann brand, besides spices, tea, coffee and ready-to- cook packaged food.

Before taking over as the COO of TCPL, in January 2020, Krishnakumar was senior vice president in the chairman’s office at Tata Sons, where he oversaw strategy, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance for consumer and other business verticals.

The company will continue to grow organically as well as inorganically to have a greater share in the organized packaged foods and beverages market, he added.

TCPL was formed after the 2019 transition of Tata Chemicals’ consumer products business to Tata Global Beverages, which was then renamed as Tata Consumer Products Ltd, comprising key brands Tata Salt, Tata Tea, Tata Sampann and Tetley.

Since then, it made a series of organizational changes such as hiving off the business into several group firms, acquiring new ones, and entering new categories. “We have one distribution system, one operational system and one planning system. And from our perspective, while we are tracking where we want to be, we are clearly not all the way there, it’s going to be a continuously improving process. But we are very far from where we were. And we’ve also gotten reasonably good along the way on integrating new things," Krishnakumar added.

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