The largest tea producer in South India, Kerala-based Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company (KDHP) is expanding its operations to Vietnam and Ethiopia.
KDHP, a venture managed by Tatas, has signed an MoU with Lam Dong Tea Joint Stock Company (Ladotea), one of the largest tea producers in Vietnam.
The Indian company would set up processing and manufacturing units of black tea, instant tea, green tea and flavoured tea there in partnership with Vietnam company.
The priority of the overseas business would be export, a KDHP official said.
"Kanan Devan will invest 60 per cent in the equity of the joint venture.
Of the total investment of Rs 60 crore, our investment will be Rs 36 crore.
We are planning to open the factory in Bao LoC, Lam Dong area in South Vietnam," says KDHP Managing Director T V Alexander.
With 1666 hectares of plantations and the capacity to supply to 8000 ton various tea products, Ladotea is a major player in the international tea market as Kanan Devan which produces a total of 25 million kg tea yearly from 23,000 hectares.
KDHP has also signed an agreement with East Africa Agri Business of Ethiopia, a subsidiary firm of East Africa Holdings.
According to the accord, the company would manage the Chewake estate there from July 1 this year.
"For tea production, we will transfer our most advanced technology of tea planting, growing, harvesting and manufacturing of black tea.
Setting up of a new plantation of 5000 hectares is also planning," Alexander said.
The tea produced at the estate would be marketed and sold in a partnership venture to be formed between Dubai Tea Trading Company and KDHP.
Kanan Devan is one of the oldest tea planters in South India with 70 per cent of the share capital being owned by its own employees.