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Published on: Sept. 22, 2023, 1:20 p.m.
‘We are becoming Indian,’ says Olivier Monin
  • Araud and Monin are bullish on Monin’s growth in India

By Suman Tarafdar

Go to just about any bar in India, and your eye would have strayed to the colourful bottles, quite distinct from their alcoholic beverages. Yep, those myriad varieties of Monin syrups, sauces, liqueurs and fruit purees, today are likely to be behind every cocktail/ mocktail that you consume. The French brand, a global leader in its category, is often the secret sauce in even your caffeinated drinks as its coffee-flavouring syrup is even used in Costa Coffee and Starbucks, depending on the market.

The number of flavours is mindboggling, with 120 variants that are part of the global offering, and then some local options. While Vanilla, Pineapple, Apricot, Curacao Blue, etc, are well-established, the French site lists options such as Green Banana, Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Tiramisu and Toffee Nut. Yes, there is even a Chai Tea concentrate!

Monin, present in about 160 countries globally, entered India about a decade-and-a-half, initially through distributorship. It soon realised India’s market potential and established a subsidiary in 2019. In a major statement of confidence in the market, it has now set up its first manufacturing plant in India, just its eighth worldwide. Monin, founded in 1912, has seven production facilities worldwide – two each in France and the US, one each in Russia, Malaysia and China.

“India, over the last few years, has become a top-priority market and this has propelled us to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in India,” says Olivier Monin, president & chairman, Georges Monin SAS. Monin, the third-generation entrepreneur of the family-owned company, who is credited with rescuing it from imminent closure when he took over, expresses optimism that the remarkable growth – which saw a doubling of its turnover last year. While India has about 7 per cent of the brand’s sales, Monin expects it to reach about 20 per cent.

Plant plans

The plant, in Gunthapally village of Sangareddy district near Hyderabad, will come up on 40 acres and have an investment of Rs300 crore. In Phase 1, the 200,000+ sq ft built-up area plant will house the Monin India headquarters, an R&D centre and a production unit. Monin describes it as a process of becoming ‘Indian’, as the company has launched some flavours that are unique to India, such as Spicy Jamun.

  • Monin’s retail format bottles come in a smaller size

    Monin’s retail format bottles come in a smaller size

“We are bullish on manufacturing Indian flavours,” affirms Germain Araud, managing director, Monin India. “They can be first introduced in India before we take them to other Monin entities, thereby providing premium beverage solutions to all our partners worldwide”. He adds that one of the reasons to set-up an R&D and manufacturing base in India is to cater more efficiently with tailor-made preparations. While Delhi has an experience centre for the brand since 2021, Monin has just opened another one in Bengaluru. 

While 90-95 per cent of the Monin’s sales, globally and in India, fall in the B2B space, there are over 2,000 points of retail sales in India for the brand. Currently, Monin is present in almost all major cities – and quite a few smaller ones – in India, with the concentrates imported from its Malaysian plant. While declining to reveal the plant capacity – explaining that concentrate volumes do not compare to other beverages, Monin expects the India plant to easily meet the growing demands of the south Asia market, and expects to produce “10 times more than what we sell today in India”.

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