Cobra Beer to expand operations in India: Karan Billimoria

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (UNI) UK-based Cobra Beer Ltd Chairman Lord Karan Billimoria today said the company will substantially enhance investments in the country in the near future by setting up a Greenfield project and operationalising an acquisition soon.

Addressing a press conference here on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) conclave, Lord Billimoria said there are six Greenfield breweries owned by Cobra Beer and another one will soon be set up.

The existing ones are in Goa, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

The new Greenfield project will be set up in Maharashtra.

He said he will finalise the acquisition of a brewery soon, but refused to give any further details.

''After the three new projects come up, the total number of breweries that Cobra Beer has will go up to seven,'' Mr Billimoria, who is also the Co-Chairman of the Indo-British Partnership, said.

Lord Billimoria had earlier addressed a session at the PBD conference.

Cobra Beer, with an annual turnover of 126 million pounds, is exporting to 50 countries worldwide and had started its operations in Rajasthan at the Shivalika Brewery in January 2005.

Lord Billiimoria, the founder and owner of Cobra Beer, said the company introduced its strong beer 'King Cobra' apart from the normal 'Cobra' in India and sales have increased manifold.

The beer made its presence felt in the UK as an authentic Indian beer sold through the curry restaurants in that country, and according to reports, the 5,500-odd South Asian restaurants still account for about half of the brand's annual sales revenue.

Mr Billimoria, who has his origins in Hyderabad, also spoke about his passion that is India and the need for closer Indo-British engagement using the vehicle of Indo-British Partnership.

Lord Billimoria said the success of the partnership is reflected in the 69 per cent increase in bilateral trade since it was formed in 1993. Besides, more than 2,000 joint ventures have been signed between Indian and UK companies since 1993.

The UK is the third largest overseas investor, after Mauritius and the US in terms of new investments approved.

Excluding investment from Mauritius, UK is the second largest foreign direct investor in India after the US.

UNI GS SR BD1910

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