CHITTOOR:Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu sought global beverage major PepsiCo’s support in transforming the state into an agro-processing and horticulture hub.
“We are in the process of agri-transformation. You have the world’s best practices and you can help us with that...we have the resources...but need your help in marketing, skill development and computer literacy,” Naidu said.
Lauding Indra K Nooyi, chairman & CEO, PepsiCo, for breaking the glass ceiling to head a multi-billion dollar company, Naidu said, “It’s the rarest opportunity, but she (Nooyi) continues to be down-to-earth and is not forgetting her Indian roots.”
Nooyi was here to formally commission Pepsi India’s Rs 1,200-crore greenfield facility here at Sri City SEZ.
The plant will manufacture a range of beverages, including fruit juice-based drinks, carbonated soft drinks, and sports drinks. When fully operational it will have nine production lines, the first of which commenced on Friday.
Underscoring the need for setting up a facility in AP, D Shivakumar, chairman & CEO, Pepsi India, said it was one of the richest belts after Punjab in terms of agriculture production. “AP produces 3 million mangoes, 3.5 million bananas, 1.7 million papayas, 3 million tomatoes besides coconuts and sugarcane,” he said.
Naidu also inaugurated 11 other units at the SEZ besides ground breaking of 11 units. These 22 units entailed investments aggregating to Rs 2,500 crore.
Sri City SEZ located on 8,000 acres, currently houses more than 100 companies and employs over 25,000 directly. Of the 100, 12 are Fortune 100 companies, 16 from Japan and 9 from the US. The multi-product SEZ has so far attracted about Rs 25,500 crore. “Sri City wants to get 1,000 companies and has only achieved 10 per cent (100 companies) of the target now. Over the next few years, it is expected to attract Rs 1 lakh crore,” the Chief Minister said adding that the State government intends to have more such SEZs in the State.
GVK to Set up a Hospital at Sri City
Infrastructure major GVK Group is planning to set up a hospital, medical college and a research centre at Sri City SEZ, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said. The proposed unit will involve an initial investment of over Rs 100 crore and will come up in over 25 acres.