Pathankot/New Delhi: PepsiCo India's bottling partner Varun Beverages has set up a Rs 800 crore facility in Pathankot that is expected to generate 5,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The facility, spread over 41 acres allotted by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation, was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, according to a release by the state government.
The fully backward integrated facility, in which VBL has invested Rs 550 crore, would manufacture the complete range of Tropicana juices, dairy based-products, carbonated beverages and Aquafina water, according to a company filing to the BSE.
Trial production at the unit, which will be the first fully backward integrated facility to produce PepsiCo's beverage portfolio items, in the Growth Industrial Centre, Pangoli, has already begun trial production of the products.
The chief minister said the PepsiCo project would catalyse industrial growth in the state, according to the government release.
Member Parliament Sunil Jakhar said the commitment of the Amarinder government towards industrial development could be gauged from the fact that the Pepsico franchisee project has become operational within 10 months, said the release.
The chief minister also announced a Dairy Development Extension Centre to be established in the region by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary Sciences University (GADVASU) to provide the best animal health care services to the dairy farmers, besides improving the breed of milch cattle to enhance the milk quality, it added.
PepsiCo India President and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed ElSheikh said: "This new facility will act as a hub to address the growing demand for our well-loved beverage portfolio among consumers in the state and beyond."
He added said PepsiCo started its India journey from Punjab over 30 years ago and this latest investment by the PepsiCo ecosystem was a reiteration of its commitment to its India business growth story.
Varun Beverages Chairman Ravi Jaipuria said: "The facility is strategically located close to target markets which will reduce time to market and enable optimisation of freight and logistics costs, aiding margin expansion."
VBL has been associated with PepsiCo from 1990s and has franchises for various products across 22 states and two Union territories.
Varun Beverages Ltd (VBL) applied to Invest Punjab in April 2018 and all requisite clearance related to setting up of projects etc were completed within a period of just 10 months.
It also has franchise rights for various PepsiCo products for Nepal, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Zambia and Zimbabwe....