Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) is strengthening its play into the e-commerce space besides scaling up traditional distribution network, its Chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Friday.
Addressing shareholders at the company's virtual annual general meeting, Chandrasekaran, who is also the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, said TCPL will continue the expansion of the Starbucks coffee chain in India despite a hit in revenue after the pandemic, said.
"We have significantly focused on strengthening the distribution, traditional distribution as well as e-commerce. This is an area you will see continuous strengthening, which will only help the company," he said.
The focus of TCPL will be to come up with more products and push it through a strong distribution network "both offline and e-commerce, its own e-commerce platform and to leverage our Tata Super App also".
Tata group is now aggressively coming into the e-commerce space, where the salt-to-software conglomerate is against the likes of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance and Amazon.
Last month, Tata Group had acquired a majority stake in online grocery seller BigBasket for an undisclosed sum of money.
Tata Digital Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, has acquired a majority stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies, which operates BigBasket.
It also operates an e-commerce platform, Tata CLiQ, which deals in segments like apparel, electronics and footwear categories.
On Starbucks, Chandrasekaran said TCPL would continue its expansion despite its business being hit during the second wave of the pandemic.
The business of Starbucks has become profitable in 2020-21 and had opened new stores but was impacted by the second wave.
"We would continue to expand it," Chandrasekaran said.
Tata Starbucks is a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Consumer Products Ltd and Starbucks Corporation, and operates around 200 stores in India.
On its tea cafes Tata Cha, Chandrasekaran said it was an "experiment and currently there is no definitive plan to scale this up".
TCPL operates three Tata Cha stores in Bengaluru.
While replying to a shareholder's queries, Chandrasekaran said that from a manufacturing and distribution point of view, Tata consumer will continue to play the lead role in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment.
It has "plans to expand the production network", he said adding that cash will be used primarily for growth, or acquisitions, as "we see tremendous opportunities".
Recently, TCPL did some acquisitions as Kottaram Agro Foods, the maker of Soulfull brand of breakfast cereals and millet-based snacks.
"Our focus currently is to expand both the distribution and the adjacent categories in beverages and foods. There is a lot of scopes but there are definitely plans and other categories in the FMCG segment in the years to come," he said.
On new product launches in 2021-22, Chandrasekaran said, "I think the company has a strong product pipeline, and they will continue to launch those products." After merging the consumer products business of Tata Chemicals with Tata Global Beverages, the company was renamed as TCPL.
TCPL has reported consolidated revenue from operations of Rs 11,602.03 crore for FY21.