Varun Beverages Zimbabwe, which bottles Pepsi products on Friday rolled out three state-of-the art production line in Harare as the company cements its footprint on the local market.
Varun injected about US$20m into the new lines. Last year, it splurged US$30m into a bottling line.
Officially opening the plants brought online—the manufacturing, plastic bottle and preforms manufacturing lines—President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the move by Varun showed their commitment and confidence in doing business in Zimbabwe.
He is hopeful the investment by Varun will lure more investors to come into Zimbabwe.
“The investment shows the continued trust and confidence Varun has in doing business in Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa said.
“This investment feeds into our national Vision 2030 and compliments milestones committed in the 2020 National Budget, gearing for higher productivity, growth and job creation especially for women and youth.
“The establishment of these plants by Varun Beverages is testimony that Zimbabwe is open for business and dialogue. As government, we are confident that through such investments, more investors will commit themselves to exploiting opportunities in other sectors of our economy such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining, tourism, energy, ICT and general infrastructure development.”
Group chairman, Ravi Jaipuria, one of India’s wealthiest individuals with a net worth estimated by Forbes Magazine at US$1.7bn, said production capacity rose by 169% to 35 million bottles per month from 13 million last year.
The company’s workforce has increased to more than 1 000 people from 500 employees last year.
“We are very happy to announce that we added three production lines besides the first PET line. The additional PET line with 600 bottles per minute production capacity, can line with 400 cans per minute production capacity and Husky line to ensure backward integration to reduce the forex requirement by reducing import value by conversion of resin to perform in house using Husky plant,” Jaipuria said.
“Today, we have the production capability of producing almost 1,5 million bottles and cans per day. This is almost equal to 10% of Zimbabwean population.”