VLCC plans $20m production plant in Bahrain
Manama, August 21, 2013
Indian wellness company VLCC is looking to invest $20 million in developing a manufacturing facility in Bahrain as part of its on-going expansion across the Middle East.
The company, which operates in 121 cities worldwide, took its first step into international markets when it opened a facility in Dubai in 2005 and it is now established in Bahrain and is continuing to concentrate on expanding its Middle East operations, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Besides managing Asia's largest chain of slimming, beauty and fitness centres as well as vocational education academies in beauty and nutrition, VLCC also manufactures India's most comprehensive range of skin, hair and body care products, which are sold through more than 80,000 retail outlets.
The company has been expanding its fitness centres across the Middle East and has also made acquisitions in Malaysia and Singapore by buying companies producing top of the range beauty products.
But it is in the Middle East that it sees its most important growth in the near future with Bahrain set to play a key role in that, company chairman Mukesh Luthra said on a visit to the kingdom yesterday.
"We are looking to expand across Asia and recently acquired two companies in Malaysia and have product manufacturing facilities in India, Bangladesh and Singapore," he said.
"We are also looking at Africa as a market and are considering a move into Kenya in the near future. But it is in the Middle East we see our most important growth and Bahrain has a key role in this," he added.
The company currently employs 70 people in Bahrain and expects it to rise substantially if it goes ahead with plans to establish a manufacturing unit for high-quality beauty products.
"We looked at alternatives but Bahrain is now our choice for this development," he said.
"The country is stable, well suited to ship products across the region and has the added advantage that with its free trade agreement with the US, it could open up that market for us," he added.
With direct company-managed operations in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, VLCC employs nearly 6,000 professionals and has served over 10m customers since its inception in 1989.
With a presence in 16 Indian states and Nepal, VLCC's vocational education arm - the VLCC Institute of Beauty and Nutrition - has trained over 50,000 youth to-date.
VLCC became the first Indian company in the wellness domain to attract private equity investment as early as 2004 and has received another round of funding since then. – TradeArabia News Service