Carlsberg has entered into a joint venture in India with the aim of building a green field brewery in the state of Rajasthan. On Wednesday 31 January, the ground breaking ceremony took place, attended by representatives of the joint venture and officials from the local municipality, industrial estate, excise-authorities etc.
The name of the joint venture is South Asia Breweries Ltd. The brewery will have a capacity of 450,000 hl and will be operational in Q1 2008.
Carlsberg will hold 45% of the shares, The Danish governmental organization Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries ("IFU") will hold 10%, and the remaining 45% will be owned by a group of investors, lead by Carlsberg's partner in Sri Lanka, The Lion Brewery Ceylon Ltd. The main office of the joint venture will be in the national capital Delhi.
The potential for growth in the Indian beer market is significant. The annual beer consumption per capita is among the lowest in Asia, at only about 0.7 litres per year, and the annual GDP growth rate is more than 9%. The total beer market in India is approximately 8 million hl; however, it is currently among the top 3 markets in Asia in terms of expected growth rates. The total beer consumption in 2005 in the state of Rajasthan and the 3 neighbouring states of Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh was 1.7 million hl with a population base of 250 million.