New Delhi, Mar 11: Mars International India, the wholly-owned arm of US-based chocolate maker Mars Inc, today said it will invest Rs 1,005 crore to set up its first manufacturing plant in Pune.
The company, which has been importing its chocolate brands 'Snickers' and 'Galaxy' till now, will manufacture these two brands at its Pune plant.
This investment is a significant step in deepening Mars International India's presence and commitment to India. Mars Inc, the global leader in manufacturing chocolate, intends to invest Rs 1,005 crore (over USD 160 million) through its Pune plant, Mars said in a statement.
Commenting on the announcement, Mars International India General Manager M V Natarajan said: "This initiative reiterates our continued commitment to India.
Chocolate industry in India is growing at nearly 20 per cent every year and we see this as a huge opportunity to expand our chocolate portfolio in the country in the coming years."
Agreeing with Natarajan, Mars Chocolate Asia Pacific Regional President Ehab Abou-Oaf said, "India is a high priority market for Mars. We are here because we have a long term view of business in India....We hope to capitalise on that through this manufacturing plant. We are excited to have invested in a highly potential market like India which is poised for further growth."
The company today a signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Maharashtra Government at the Vidhan Sabha in Mumbai. Mars said that the investment is "expected to generate direct employment opportunities for over 200 people and indirect employment opportunities to over 1,000 people, and bringing in the relevant know-how, operational excellence and global best practises."