Dabur is getting ready to cook

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Dabur India is mulling entry into the ready-to-cook (RTC) segment, for which it has been on the lookout for suitable acquisition targets. Besides, it is also planning to add new products to the homecare basket and the Real juice portfolio, in addition to effecting a complete revamp of the Vatika brand. Dabur had earmarked Rs 500 crore investment till 2009, and of this, Rs 200 crore has already been put in capacity expansion and marketing expenses.

Amit Burman, vice chairman, Dabur India, said the company is conducting a feasibility study for RTC products, but did not comment on whether such a foray would happen through the acquisition route.

“We think the RTC portfolio will become Rs 50-60 crore over the next two years,” he said. Burman’s RTC plans have been in the pipeline for more than a year, prompting analysts to point out that steep valuations in the RTC space may have held Dabur back.

Already, the ready-to-eat segment has well-entrenched players like ITC, Kohinoor and MTR (which was recently acquired by Orkla Foods).

On the homecare front, Burman said the Rs 300-crore product basket is growing at 25 per cent, and “more products will be coming in this space.” Last month, the company launched hard-surface cleaner Dazzl; other products in the homecare basket include Odonil air freshner, Sanifresh, Odomos mosquito repellent and Odopic.

Burman also confirmed plans to invest Rs 120 crore in the next three years on beauty and lifestyle retail initiative through H&B Stores.

– Bengaluru Bureau

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