After almost seven decades of its existence in India, FMCG major Mondelez International inaugurated its first global R&D hub in India located in Thane, Maharashtra, with an investment of $15 million and an aim to create and innovate products for the company’s global brands in the Chocolates and Beverages categories.
It will be the 10th such technical centre in the world for Mondelez International, and the first to focus on product development across all portfolios of Chocolates and Beverages. The 11th one is in the works and will open soon in Mexico City.
Speaking on the operations to be conducted at this centre, Deepak Iyer, Managing Director, Mondelez India, said, “The Thane centre will collaborate on innovations with multiple countries within the company network. We are proud that some of the most unique and cutting-edge innovations will be created right here at our Thane Technical Centre. This investment is just another example of the importance of India to Mondelez International, as we continue to make, sell and innovate in this market for over 70 years.”
At the launch event, Rob Hangrove, EVP, Research Development and Quality, Mondelez International said, “We’ve been doing research and development in India for quite a few years and this represents stepping up of our capability by enabling us to become part of the total global network.”
On India’s importance as a market from a global perspective, Maurizio Brusadelli, EVP and President, AMEA, Mondelez said, “India is a big country and the population in India will continue to grow. We’ve proved how important India is with the many things that we did in the last 70 years, investing in technology and manufacturing. It is crucial and will continue to be super-relevant for myself and for the company.” As India enjoys the highest market-share position for the Chocolates category for Mondelez, it is the fastest growing market in the world and critical for the accelerated growth drive of the company globally, Brusadelli added.
Elaborating on Brusadelli’s views, Tim Cofer, Chief Growth Officer, Mondelez International said, “I continue commitment to invest in India, to our belief in the disproportionate growth that we can procure from India. We made a massive investment in South India a few years ago to open a state-of-the-art chocolate-making factory, that employs 50% men and 50% women, which we’re very proud of. India is a critical market for us and we will continue to invest in its growth. Our focus at the Thane technical centre will be on two of our biggest categories, i.e., Chocolates and Beverages. The expertise from India in these categories, combined with our global network, will help us create and innovate products that consumers all around the world will love and we will have the satisfaction and pride that it was made right here in Thane, India.” Significantly, the new R&D centre site is a zero water discharge facility, zero waste to landfill and has 100% rain water harvesting.
As a global team, the Research, Development and Quality technical centre of Mondelez International has around 2,400 people, with the Indian centre having a team of around 150 scientists, developers, engineers, analytical chemists and other specialists who will closely collaborate on innovations across the globe. The new R&D centre is also part of the company’s strategy to invest $65 million in developing a global network of state-of-theart technical hubs strategically positioned around the world.