Bengaluru-headquartered food processing company Britannia has decided to play an active role in the Indian startup ecosystem. The century-old company is now looking to set up a separate entity and team over the next six months to invest in startups across categories and platforms.
Britannia managing director Varun Berry reportedly said that the company will consider looking at infusing small investments in startups across platforms as the details are being worked out.
The focus priorities for the company include expansion in rural markets, accelerating innovation, portfolio premiumisation and bridging gaps in its bakery and snacking businesses.
With such plans, Britannia joins the club of consumer goods makers Unilever and Marico which have been investing in the startups through separate platforms/entities. Notably, the startup-corporate connection has been a difficult one to forge.
In this light, several leading corporates across the world like Google, Walmart, Alibaba, Microsoft, Reliance, Hero Group, Times Internet etc continue to regularly invest and support the startups. Here are the latest additions to the club:
- January 2019: Hyderabad-headquartered IT park developers Meenakshi Group announced the launch of its venture fund, Meenakshi Multiples Startup Fund to invest $10 Mn (INR 71.39 Cr) in promising startups
- October 2018: Mumbai-based leading FMCG company Procter & Gamble India (P&G India) announced the launch of a multimillion-dollar fund which aims to invest in Indian startups and will also focus on collaborative growth strategy.
- May 2018: The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group had launched a venture capital fund of $14.74 Mn (INR 1 Bn) to invest in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) startups.
During Inc42’s The Ecosystem Summit, in a panel discussion entitled ‘The Corporate-Startup Connect’, Murali Talasila, PwC partner and innovation leader summarised four wheels of the ecosystem— corporates, startups, policymakers and the consumers:
- corporates should not reinvent what already exists,
- startups should accelerate their product development using corporates as a launchpad
- government and policymakers should lend a hand by fixing issues that Indian startups face
- consumers are a fantastic source of revenue for all of these
It has been widely discussed that for large companies sometimes legacy comes in the way of adapting to change. However, as companies like Britannia plan to support the startup ecosystem, Indian startups get a more holistic approach and synergies to develop technologies for the future.
[The development was reported by ET.]