Indian car company shifts gears into banana business

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Indian car company shifts gears into banana business

Indian car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has already made its mark in the table grape business, but now it plans to pick up speed in banana market, website reported.

Ashok Sharma.

Ashok Sharma.

M&M's banana procurement, ripening and marketing pilot in Delhi has helped it handle 150 metric tons (MT) of bananas this year, but an expansion of operations to Mumbai should see that figure increase to 15,000MT.

The story reported the company will introduce its fruit brand 'Saboro' for its bananas next year, which will also be used for other fruits.

"We plan to introduce apples, grapes, bananas and other imported fruits under this brand for our Indian consumers. With this, we will be the only Indian corporate to offer such a large basket in the market," agri & allied business chief executive Ashok Sharma was quoted as saying.

"Saboro fruits would be available at select organised retail outlets and in general trade across key metro cities. To start with, we would be launching the best-quality Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh) apples under this brand from November.

"As it is the second-largest consumer of F&V (fruits and vegetables) in India, we have selected Hyderabad as the launch city. With the strong organised retail presence this city has, we see this as a good opportunity for us to gauge the acceptance of a premium fresh fruit brand in the market."

After moving into other Indian cities in the coming months, and expand the brand into Europe, West Asia, South East Asia and Russia.

"Our plan, through the next three years, is to supply Saboro fruits across 200 outlets in India and record a turnover of Rs 300 crore (US$48.8 million) for our fresh fruits business," Sharma told the publication.

The story reported M&M's grape business was currently worth Rs 60 crore (US$9.7 million). India's Economic Times reported the brand would kick off with apples sourced from Himachal Pradesh.

The company also has a farm tech prosperity scheme to provide seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, and farm guidance to growers, mostly in the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

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