9705348_lINDIA: Compressor manufacturer Bitzer is expanding its operations in India to support the establishment of a cold food chain in the country.

According to estimates, India currently loses about Rs 44,000 crore (£4.25bn) worth of food produce annually due to inadequate storage and lack of a cold chain to prevent food decay.

In order to boost the setting up of much-needed cold storages, the Government has announced a series of measures, including providing financial subsidy.  This has given a much needed impetus and serveral cold storage facitiles are being set up across the country, especially in coastal areas, to support the fisheries and sea-food and meat and dairy processing industries.

As a result, many cold storage facilities have been established across India, with seven more currently under construction, expected to get commissioned later this year. As part of the Government’s efforts to augument food storage facilities in the country, 15 new food parks are also envisaged.

The entry of multi-national supermarkets like Wal-Mart, Metro, Tesco, Carrefour into India is further expected to boost demand for Bitzer solutions. The upgrade market is another growing segment, as existing cold chains based on old and inefficient technology are being revamped and retrofitted. As a result of all these the growth expectation for Bitzer in India is 20% year-on-year by 2017.

In order to meet this increasing demand, Bitzer has been is restructuring its operations in the region to focus on growth. Robert de Bruyn took over as MD for Bitzer Asia at the end of last year, while continuing as md for India.

One of the major reasons for the restructuring is that Bitzer sees opportunities emerging for unitary original equipment in Africa and the setting up of a new manufacturing plant in Indonesia. In view of the increased inter-relations within the countries, the growth of business in India, Middle-East and Australia and his experience of driving the successful Indian subsidiary, it has been decided to set up Bitzer Asia, covering Singapore, Malaysia,Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand in addition to India.

The company will, however, retain subsidiaries in Malaysia and Indonesia and its office in Vietnam.

“We will continue to expand operations in India. Bitzer started India’s third Green Point Compressor service Centre in Bangalore. We are now planning to expand this chain, with the next Green Point Service Centre expected to start in Kolkata by mid-April,” said Robert de Bruyn