Bhumi Pujan Ceremony of PepsiCo India's first foods manufacturing plant in Assam

Guwahati (Assam), 6th September 2023: Establishing its ‘Partnership of Progress’ with the state of Assam, PepsiCo India announced its first foods manufacturing plant in Nalbari, Assam with an investment of INR 778 crore (USD 95 Million). Spread over 44.2 acres, the state-of-the-art plant is proposed to be operational in 2025 and aims to provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to 500 people. To mark this significant step in its commitment to India, a Bhumi Pujan ceremony was organized by PepsiCo India, graced by Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam along with key senior dignitaries from the State Government. Eugene Willemsen, Chief Executive Officer – Africa, Middle East & South Asia, PepsiCo, and Ahmed ElSheikh, President, PepsiCo India were accompanied by senior leadership from PepsiCo India at this historic moment.

Following the Bhumi Pujan ceremony, PepsiCo India signed a Tripartite MoU with Assam Skill Development Mission and Directorate of Employment & Craftsman training for fostering women empowerment and creating a safe & supportive work environment to enhance women employability in the region. The plant targets to intake 100% diverse talent and aiming atleast 75% women representation and intends to set up its first Community Learning Centre at Women’s ITI campus, Nalbari to upskill women over the next two years.

Being an agri company at heart, PepsiCo India has been consistently working with the farmer community across India, the coming of new foods plant in Assam will further strengthen its efforts with the aim to assist and improve livelihoods of over 5,000+ farmers over the next few years. PepsiCo India will also provide farmers with growth opportunities by using state-of-the-art technology, high-quality seeds and affordable machinery with the goal of sourcing 50,000 tonnes of potatoes from the state, to produce its iconic brand Lay’s. The plant will also generate demand for cold storage capacity of 60,000 tonnes over the next few years.

Speaking at the occasion and addressing the gathering, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said, “This historic occasion marks the beginning of a new partnership between Assam government and PepsiCo India. On behalf of the people of Assam, I welcome PepsiCo as partners in the path of progress. We are transforming Assam into a preferred state for investment, and I assure PepsiCo of our full support for this greenfield foods manufacturing plant. PepsiCo India aims to offer special training to women of Assam and help them gain new skills, enabling women empowerment in the state. I congratulate the people of Assam, especially Nalbari, who will benefit from this partnership.”

Eugene Willemsen, Chief Executive Officer – Africa, Middle East & South Asia, PepsiCo, said, “India stands as a robust cornerstone among the world’s leading economies, underscored by its impressive growth trajectory. India is amongst the fastest growing markets for PepsiCo in AMESA region, and we are committed to invest in the nation to build capacity. Our first foods manufacturing plant in Assam is a testament of our long-term vision and unwavering support to the economic growth of the country by creating an equitable and sustainable ecosystem. This plant is poised to integrate the finest elements of PepsiCo’s global expertise while contributing to Assam’s holistic advancement. This decade is a decade of India and at PepsiCo, we are focused on building capabilities, availability and expanding penetration across the nation.”

Ahmed ElSheikh, President, PepsiCo India, said “In alignment with the Government of India’s Self-Reliant India vision (Atmanirbhar vision), our investment in the greenfield facility in Assam stands as a significant milestone in our pursuit of this goal. Through the creation of employment opportunities and by empowering the farming community, our aim is to support the government’s drive for self-sufficiency in potato production. Our skilling initiatives will further focus on fostering an ecosystem of economic empowerment for the women of Assam, equipping them with essential training and parity in opportunities. With this new facility, we anticipate a transformative impact on Assam’s entire ecosystem, reinforcing our ‘partnership of progress’ with the State Government.”

Aligned with its ‘Winning with pep+’ philosophy, PepsiCo India will be implementing renewable practices within the plant to fulfill its water and energy needs with the target of using over 80% renewable energy. The plant is expected to generate significant opportunities for businesses representing the MSME industry including packaging products like laminates, carton, scrap and other local ancillary industry, positively impacting the local industrial ecosystem.