“Ease of doing business is one of the biggest challenges in India,” said Martin Reintjes, global head of sales, foods division, at Dr Oetker.Aug 15, 2019, 08.38 AM ISTAgenciesAnother challenge the privately held, century-old company faces in India is price points – to make the product affordable to a broader target group, Martin Reintjes said.India’s rapid rise in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking in recent years doesn’t seem to have much impressed German processed foods firm Dr Oetker Group.
“Ease of doing business is one of the biggest challenges in India,” said Martin Reintjes, global head of sales, foods division, at Dr Oetker. “Some other countries are more competitive on that front,” he said in an interview.
Reintjes, who was in India on a business visit, however, said the country remains a top growth market for Dr Oetker’s food division, which is now a €3.4-billion, or around Rs 27,155-crore, business by global sales, with Asia, Australia and Africa being its fastest growing markets.
Oetker Group, which makes condiments and desserts, had begun its India business in 2008 with the acquisition of Fun Foods India for ?110 crore.
Reintjes said softening consumption is happening across world markets, but that Dr Oetker is able to perform above average. “We are also not impacted by the rural slowdown, since ours is an indulgence product,” he said.
“From a business point of view, when there are battles between big economies around the world, for example, between the US and China, people feel unsafe. This makes end-consumption struggle because of insecurity,” Reintjes said.
Another challenge the privately held, century-old company faces in India is price points – to make the product affordable to a broader target group, he said.
Its core business in the country is condiments including spreads, mayonnaise and dressings, which contributes three-fourths of its sales. Also, 75% of Dr Oetker’s business is through retail sales while the remaining 25% is from food services. “Families want to do investments when the business environment is reliable,” Reintjes said. “When you feel unsafe, you hold back. This is the kind of feeling we get all over Europe and other world markets too.”
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