Unlocking Opportunities in India's Food Processing Sector

Sep 01, 2022

Start Date : Thursday, Sep 01, 2022

End Date : Thursday, Sep 01, 2022

Time (IST) : 08:30 PM - 09:30 PM

Time (UTC) : 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Services Offered :

Speaker(s) : Amit Kumar, Peter Rose, Dhiren Kanwar, K.S. Narayanan, Marc Lessem

Industry : Food Processing

Marc Lessem - Senior Executive Director, North America Sales and Marketing, Nexdigm began by presenting an overview of the session. Post which, Amit Kumar - Hon’ble Consul General, Consulate General of India, Chicago touched upon the state of the US-India relations and the prospects of the Indian economy in general. Here, Amit signifies that the total trade of goods and services between the aforementioned countries was close to 170 billion dollars.

Amit then talks about how India is a suitable country for the development of the Food Processing Sector (FPS) with the rising middle class and according to a recent report published by McKinsey. He also talks about the government introducing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes and how these have benefited the food processing sector, be it for the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and for job creation as well.

Next up, Marc spoke about the various segments of the food processing sector in India, along with some of the constraints and mitigation efforts being taken for the growth of the sector. Marc also shared some projections of the food consumption story in India and how it is poised to grow over the next five years. Then, Marc shares some key figures of the cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the FPS, the global share of processing level by several countries in comparison to India, the food import/export in India over the years, and the recent investments in the country.

Marc then goes on to explain the sectoral classification within the FPS by dividing the sector into 6 sub-sectors and then goes on to talk about India’s global standing within those 6 sub-sectors and the opportunities that are present within the same.

Post the brief presentation, K.S. Narayanan - Ex-Managing Director, McCain, began the panel discussion by providing some insights on why the food processing sector is considered a sunrise sector. K.S. highlights that the demography in India is a huge 1.4 billion and rapid urbanization are two of the primary reasons why the FPS is considered a sunrise sector. That, along with the push of the Make in India movement, a growing per capita income, and consumption patterns following global trends, are what makes this space so attractive.

Next, Dhiren Kanwar - President, Managing Director (India and Middle East), Griffith Foods, talks about the challenges faced and experiences gained by Griffith Foods as a U.S. company operating in India. Here Dhiren shares that India is a land with a huge culinary heritage and this translates into the diversity found in the food available across regions. Due to this vast diversity, one of the main challenges was to identify what was acceptable to the Indian demographic and find the right balance between the local and foreign cuisine.

Peter Rose - Vice President, International Strategy, OSI Group, shared some of the experiences gained by the OSI Group in India as compared to other Asian countries, being one of the leading meat processing groups in the world. Peter states that the OSI Group is known worldwide for its pork and beef processing capabilities, however, in the case of India, they are primarily a vegetable company. Due to this fact, the OSI Group has gained new experiences and has had to come up with never-seen-before- formulas for vegetable-based products. These new learnings and formulas have gone a long way in helping the OSI Group take advantage of markets in other countries.

The panel then addressed questions from the audience and touched upon the following:

  • The factors that are attracting U.S. investors to expand into India,
  • What are the major concerns faced by U.S. businesses looking to migrate to India,
  • How the global macro issues such as the trade war and the pandemic have affected the outlook on the Indian market and the way U.S. conducts business,
  • The efforts being taken by the Indian Government to support and encourage growth for the food processing sector.

Post the detailed audience discussion, Samuel Brilliant - Senior Global Business Adviser, Nexdigm, spoke about the future of the US-India relationships. Here, Samuel signifies that the partnership between the largest democracy and the richest democratic country in the world is expected to be the most defining and anticipated relationship of the 21st century. Samuel backed this statement by mentioning that the U.S. companies investing in India have doubled year-on-year, even during the pandemic.

In conclusion, the food processing sector has vast potential, given the fact that India contributes a significant percentage to the overall global food trade, and there is further room for improvement in operations and waste management. Not only that, but with the rapid implementation of proven infrastructure, it surely is a sunrise sector.

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