Leading beverage & food maker PepsiCo on Wednesday said it will invest Rs 778 crore to set up its first food manufacturing plant at Nalbari, in Assam.
Spread over 44.2 acres, the plant is proposed to be operational in 2025 and aims to provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to 500 people from Assam, said a statement from PepsiCo.
This is the first investment in the North Eastern region by the company with portfolio of beverages and food brands, including Pepsi, 7UP, Mountain Dew, Slice, Tropicana, Mirinda, Lay's, Kurkure, Uncle Chips and Quaker Oats.
PepsiCo India has signed a tripartite MoU with Assam Skill Development Mission and Directorate of Employment & Craftsman training for fostering women empowerment and creating a safe and supportive work environment to enhance women employability in the region.
"The plant targets to intake 100 per cent diverse talent and aiming atleast 75 per cent women representation and intends to set up its first Community Learning Centre at Women’s ITI campus, Nalbari to upskill women over the next two years," it said.
The Nalbari greenfield facility will further strengthen PepsiCo's efforts to assist and improve livelihoods of over 5,000 farmers over the next few years.
It will also provide farmers with growth opportunities by using technology, high-quality seeds and affordable machinery with the goal of sourcing 50,000 tonnes of potatoes from the state, to produce its iconic brand of Lay's chips, said PepsiCo India.
The plant will also generate demand for cold storage capacity of 60,000 tonnes over the next few years, it added.
"India is amongst the fastest growing markets for PepsiCo in Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA) region, and we are committed to invest in the nation to build capacity. Our first foods manufacturing plant in Assam is a testament of our long-term vision and unwavering support to the economic growth of the country by creating an equitable and sustainable ecosystem," PepsiCo CEO – Africa, Middle East & South Asia Eugene Willemsen said.
This plant is poised to integrate the finest elements of PepsiCo's global expertise, while contributing to Assam's holistic advancement, he said.
PepsiCo India President Ahmed ElSheikh said: "In alignment with the government of India's Self-Reliant India vision (Atmanirbhar vision), our investment in the greenfield facility in Assam stands as a significant milestone in our pursuit of this goal. Through the creation of employment opportunities and by empowering the farming community, our aim is to support the government's drive for self-sufficiency in potato production."
A Bhumi Pujan ceremony was organised by PepsiCo India. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma along with key senior dignitaries from the state government attended the function, said a statement.
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown to become one of the largest food and beverage businesses in India.