India's biggest retailer Reliance will acquire dozens of small grocery and non-food brands as it targets building its own $6.5-billion consumer goods business to challenge foreign giants like Unilever, sources familiar with the plan said.
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance plans to build a portfolio of 50-60 grocery, household and personal care brands within six months and is hiring an army of distributors to take them to mom-and-pop stores and bigger retail outlets across the country, the sources added.
The consumer goods push under a vertical named Reliance Retail Consumer Brands will come on top of Ambani’s brick-and-mortar store network of more than 2,000 grocery outlets and ongoing expansion of JioMart e-commerce operations in India’s nearly $900-billion retail market.
Reliance is in final stages of negotiations with around 30 popular niche local consumer brands to fully acquire them or form joint venture partnerships for sales, said the source.
The total investment outlay planned by the company to acquire brands isn’t clear, but the second source said Reliance had set a goal to achieve £5 billion of annual sales from the business within five years. With the new business plan, Reliance is seeking to challenge some of the world’s biggest consumer groups, like Nestle , Unilever, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, which have been operating for decades in India, the sources said.