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The Telegraph
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Packaged water unit to increase production

Guwahati, May 22: Silver Drop Foods & Beverages Pvt Ltd has augmented production capacity of its Amingaon plant to meet the growing demand for packaged drinking water in the Northeast.

The beverage group has acquired a fully automated assembly and filtration system to double production capacity of the plant to 48,000 litres of packaged drinking water per day.

Silver Drop, a leading local packaged water brand, is the group’s flagship product. It was launched in 2000. Today, the brand churns out sales revenue of Rs 3.5 crore annually.

“The project would entail an investment of Rs 5 crore. The technology for the filtration system has been acquired from the US and the assembly will be fully automated. We are likely to commence commercial production by February 2015,” K.K. Bajaj, the managing director of Silver Drop Food & Beverages, told The Telegraph.

With an increasing number of local players coming up in the past decade, there has been a continuous flow of products to meet the growing demand for packaged drinking water in the region.

“Our expansion plan has been prompted by the growing demand for packaged drinking water. We are also coming up with our second plant at Jorhat for which we had acquired an 8-bigha plot. The Rs 7 crore-plant with a capacity of 48,000 litres per day is under construction and the project is likely to be over next year,” Bajaj said.

Like Silver Drop, the local firms are gearing up to meet the needs of thirsty consumers this summer. Guwahati-based New Era Food & Beverages, for instance, is planning to add packaged water to its production line next month.

“We are coming up with a mineral water brand, Krissh, by mid-June. The product will be manufactured at our Rangia plant,” Narendra Sharma, the chief executive officer of New Era Food & Beverages, told The Telegraph.

Silver Drop, which has a share of 10 per cent, is also eyeing growth beyond the region. “We have plans to have manufacturing franchises outside the region. We plan to start from Siliguri,” Bajaj said.

The beverage company had through its sister concern, Sakshi Agro, forayed into the aerated drinks market for the first time in the Northeast last year.

“We had started operations in the non-cola segment during May-June last year. From next month, two more in the cola segment will be added to the basket,” he said.