APIS India, a leading player in the fast-growing honey segment, is all set to start pushing its global business with the opening of its first major overseas plant in Dubai, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Pankaj Mishra told indoasiancomodities.com.
“The plant is ready and we have begun the soft trials. We expect it to become fully operational in the next 90 days. This is a total greenfield unit,” Mishra said. He, however, declined to share details of investments the company has made in its first major international plant.
Mishra said the plant had a modest capacity, but it was pivotal to APIS India’s future expansion plan in international markets.
“The per day capacity of this plant would be 20 metric tonnes and in the first year we are expecting to produce about 3,000 metric tonnes of honey at this unit. Once this plant becomes fully operational, it will be servicing the whole Middle East (except Qatar) and the North African regions. Later, it is also likely to become our hub for supply in Europe,” Mishra said.
APIS India chose Dubai as the location for its first major international plant to reap the taxation benefits.
“Thanks to the prevailing GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement) treaty, which has been adopted in 17 countries in the region, we will be drawing tax exemptions because of our presence in Dubai,” Mishra underlined.
Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, etc are some of the important markets covered by the GAFTA that facilitates zero or negligible customs duties on imports from member countries.
Mishra said APIS India will be primarily using this unit for B2B sales.
“In the initial years, it will be used for our B2B customers in the region for their private labelling business. And we will be catering processed products to them in different packaged sizes- from 100gm to 1 kg packs and also in 300 kg containers,” he added.
Apart from honey, the plant will also be used to process and supply APIS’ offerings in dates – a product category which the company has added to its portfolio in the recent years.
“Dates are, of course, very popular in the region and the plant in Dubai gives us the opportunity to give a major push to this category. We are expecting this unit to ensure a business of around Rs 100 crore at the end of year one – Rs 60 crore from honey and remaining from dates sales,” he said.
The BSE-listed APIS India has a portfolio of around half a dozen products with the honey category alone contributing to nearly 70 percent of its sales. In 2019-20, the company reported a revenue of around Rs 210 crore from three key channels – consumer sales, exports and B2B supplies.
Of this, exports had stood at Rs 75 crore with volume sales of close to 7,000 metric tonnes.