Tea firm brews alliance plans – APPL, second largest producer in India, eyes expansion abroad

Guwahati, March 15: Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd, the second largest tea producer in the country, is consolidating its position in the international markets and developing strategic alliances with direct buyers.

“The bulk of our produce is being exported, which is also helping in building the Assam Tea brand. We have made healthy inroads into Europe, US, Iran, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States and Japan markets in the last few years. We are in the process of consolidating our position in the international markets and are also developing strategic alliances with direct buyers,” Jagjeet Singh Kandal, the managing director of Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd., told The Telegraph.

The company, which was established in 2007, is looking to increase its exports to nearly 5 million kg from the current 1.7 million kg.

The estimated production of Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd. gardens is 359.75 lakh kg in 2014-15.

Kandal said turnover has more than doubled since its inception.

“We have launched two new verticals – agri-business for partnering with the local farming communities, value adding their produce and providing market links – and a non-profit Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd. Foundation for the welfare of the people of Assam, especially in the areas of healthcare, education and environmental sustainability. We have definitely carved out our own identity while firmly remaining part of the Tata group,” he said.

On Hathikuli, which is now an organic garden, he said the journey to promote an organic way of life and converting to a sustainable organic plantation is a long one.

“We are engaging with the best consultants and are proud to be pioneering the development and evolution of an effective package of practices for organic conversion and cultivation. We believe we are on the path to becoming an epicentre of organic cultivation in the not so distant future,” he said.

On any plan to tap the initial public offering (IPO) route to raise funds, Kandal said it would happen at some point of time.

He said the agri-business division has established relations with national leaders in the organised sector of the spice business and is also a member of the International Sustainable Spices consortium.

On the spices sector, he said the company has plans to be the leading player in spices from the Northeast.

“In phase one, the products will be made in bulk to specifications as required by the exports and extracting industry. The spices unit will be operational in April,” he said.