Is it true that Nestle is now out of the race for Horlicks and you have been trumped by Unilever instead?
I have absolutely no comment to offer on what is still in the realm of speculation.
But do you still believe that you are in the race?
I have no comments on the matter. I do appreciate the reason for your query, but I will not be able to offer any comment on this.
Coffee has been Nestles focus for quite some time. Are you planning to expand into the premium segment?
Coffee clearly is the strength of Nestle. We are market leaders. To that extent, development of the coffee culture both at the premium and the mass market end is a clear strategy for the company. You will see initiatives coming out of the company to premiumise our offering through the Nescafe portfolio. We have just launched Indias first portable coffee machine, Nescafe E which is being sold through Amazon and through certain other outlets. It has met with a very good response and all this is aimed at building the coffee culture amongst the millennials who are really interested in good coffee and also in the taste of refinement as they progress their lives.
What has been the response to your breakfast cereals? Are you planning to add more products?
It has seen encouraging response in whichever markets we have launched it. We will be looking at gradually expanding the portfolio as we go along but at the moment we will work with what we have and ensure that that it is a success.
How do you plan to expand you reach in rural India?
It is a very good question and there is a convergence of aspirations between semi urban, rural and urban India thanks to the digital revolution and thanks to the viewership of videos across the millennial population. We do sell coffee in smaller markets and over a period of time, as the traction improves, we will be deepening our distribution in semi urban India as well.
What are your plans regarding fortification of your consumer products?
Well fortification is an essential theme for the country.For example, we have got Nestle A+ milk which is fortified with vitamin A and D and D especially because it is essential for human nutrition. We have fortified our Maggi Noodles, Maggi Masala with iron. Similarly, we have got Masala-ae-Magic which is our flavour enhancing product which also has got multivitamins and iron to fortify it. All these steps help in vitally providing iron and other trace minerals to consumers in order to ensure that they get some essentials of the mix that they need for a healthy life.