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Outsourcing tackle

Kanika Goswami | June 8, 2008
When the old have the agility to take on the young: it's a formula that people love. So when the 114-year-old Indian company Dabur outsourced its IT in order to stay quick-footed, plenty of industry watchers held their breath.

What about via M&As?
Dabur India is actively looking at acquisitions, both in India and in the overseas markets. But, it is too early to talk about that.

In the future, do you think 'natural' will drive the health products industry in India?
We are already seeing this happening. A growing number of consumers, particularly in urban markets, are increasingly taking to healthy foods. Though it is still a largely urban phenomenon, the consumer base for such products in on the rise.

Dabur has been at the forefront of healthy and natural products, which is one of the prime reasons for our continued growth. In fact, we are now witnessing many MNCs trying to follow this path by introducing natural variants of their products.

Dabur -- with its portfolio of juices under the Réal and Activ brands -- is already a dominant player in the health food and drinks market. Today, Réal is India's leading packaged, preservative-free fruit juice brand. From its launch in 1997 as India's first juice brand, today Réal offers the largest range fruit juices.It is also first brand to create variants suited to the Indian palate, like Litchi, Guava and Mausambi. That said, we continue to look at adding greater value to the product by offering an even healthier version. A step in this direction was the introduction of the Activ range a few years back. This range does not have any added sugar.

Activ also offers a range of healthy fruit variants like fruit and vegetable blends including orange-carrot, mixed fruit-cucumber-spinach, etcetera. We have also introduced vegetable juices and a fruit soya range. This last combines the taste of fruits and the goodness of soya, which is known to be one of the best sources of vegetable proteins. Fruit soya is targeted at health conscious consumers.

Can you tell us more about Lite Bite, the new brand you are promoting?
Let me first clarify that Lite Bite Foods is not part of Dabur India. It's a distinctly separate entity. Lite Bite is a recently established high-growth venture focused on the food and beverage service sector, with formats ranging from quick service restaurants (QSR), casual dining restaurants (CDR), express outlets, to entire food-courts, with a brand portfolio of leading international and local concepts.

Lite Bite is promoted jointly by me and two others. We recently finalized a strategic alliance with PVR Cinemas where Lite Bite will manage their food courts, and PVR Cinemas will come on board as a Lite Bite shareholder. Lite Bite will run outlets of many formats in a wide range of locations, not only malls, but also office complexes, high streets, highway locations, hospitals, metros and airports.


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