Chennai: EID Parry, the sugar manufacturer under the Murugappa Group, is strategizing to boost revenue reported The Times of India.
Muthu Murugappan, CEO and whole-time director of EID Parry, stated plans to focus on expanding into branded FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and biofuel segments in an interview with the TOI.
Acknowledging a challenging quarter for the sugar business, Murugappan attributed the difficulties to poor monsoons affecting both Maharashtra and Karnataka. EID Parry reported a standalone quarterly loss of Rs 14 crore, contrasting with a profit of Rs 16 crore in the same period the previous year. Regulatory constraints on the use of sugarcane juice/syrup for ethanol production also impacted the distillery segment.
To diversify and mitigate risks, EID Parry is directing capital towards biofuels and consumer segments. Murugappan sees the country’s biofuel program, particularly sustainable aviation fuel, as a promising opportunity. Despite significant research and development investments in sugar, he acknowledged the need for increased focus on the biofuel aspect.
EID Parry is set to enhance its distillery capacity with two new facilities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, reaching a total capacity of 600 KLPD, up from around 200 KLPD three to four years ago.
In addition to the biofuel sector, the company is venturing into the FMCG market, offering value-added products such as jaggery, brown sugar, low-glycaemic index sugars, and sweeteners. The Parry brand now includes staples like rice, dal, and millets in Tamil Nadu, with plans for expansion into other states. Murugappan emphasized the company’s commitment to increasing new product development in the food business.
EID Parry is embracing technological advancements for long-term competitiveness. The use of drones for pesticide spraying is an established practice, and the company is exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) for precise irrigation methods. Additionally, the company has developed a multi-lingual app for its network of over 5,000 farmers, aiding in crop health monitoring and yield forecasting.
Looking ahead, Murugappan expressed hope that regulations will evolve to support corporate participation in farming, emphasizing the potential to deliver improved outcomes for the country’s large population.