Satendra Aggarwal, the chief operating officer of the group at the launch of Sunrich brand in Hyderabad, said the company has 7 lakh outlets and 18 plants, including six refineries and 12 crushing units across the country.
The edible oil industry in the country is likely to grow from 18 million tonne to 22 million tonne (MT) by 2015, including 50% growth in packed oils segment, in view of the awareness and youth preference, he said, adding that the current sunflower oil market in India was over Rs 18,000 crore that is likely to grow by 10% CAGR by 2016-17.
However, the political unrest in Ukraine is likely to impact the sunflower imports next year. Both Ukraine and Russia account for the largest sunflower export to US, India and China, he said, adding that about 2 lakh MT came to India. The sunflower market next year will be dicey, he said.
According to him, India imports around 1.5 million tonnes of sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine is the world's biggest sunflower oil producer and India imports almost all of its sunflower oil from there. Sunflower oil is India's second biggest imported edible oil after palm oil.
Ruchi Soya enjoys 18% share of the Indian edible oil market, said Aggarwal. He said studies indicate that India's per capita consumption of edible oil stands at 14 kg per annum.
Replying to query, he said the rupee depreciation against world currencies has negatively impacted the oil import trade forcing small timers closing their shop. He, however, predicted that the Indian currency now appears to be stable and may not be volatile in the near future under the current conditions.
The Ruchi Soya group, which has interests in renewable energy & plantations, is also entering the 17 MT tomato market in collaboration with Kagome and Mutsui . "Our tomato plant will be fully operational by next year" said Aggarwal. The company has already introduced Dal analogue, a substitute for dal with higher proteins and 'butter margarine' a substitute for butter with zero cholesterol. He says in the coming year 33% of edible oils will be in packed format and its ready-to-eat products on the Nutrela brand has also been making waves in the market.