Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's biggest beer company, said stable business environment and strong economic growth have helped India move up the ranks in terms of investment priorities but the country needs to lower taxes on beer to spur demand.
«There has been a very stable business environment and good investment climate in India and we have seen solid GDP growth numbers. So, of course, it encouraged India to move up the ranks in terms of investment priorities.
If we can create contexts that are more predictable, ideally lower taxes on alcohol for beer, it would make it a very strong case,» Jan Craps, chief executive of Budweiser APAC, the Asia-Pacific business of the company behind the eponymous brand, Corona and Hoegaarden. «We invested $1.5 billion in India over the last decade and if you think about our tax payments, we pay nearly $500 million every year.»
The Belgian drink and brewing company, which produces a fourth of the world's beers, said India is now the fourth largest market for Budweiser brand globally by volume sales, compared to sixth a year ago after it outpaced Canada and the UK.
In India, the contribution of premium brands increased to two-thirds of its total sales compared to a third about three years ago. The brewer has also been focusing on products beyond beer and has launched energy drinks, whisky, spiced rum, vodka and, more recently, gin.
India — a warm, tropical country with promising demographics and increasing affluence — remains one of the largest beer markets for global brewers.