New Delhi: UK-based Cobra Beer on Friday said it is looking to breweries in India to expand presence, and is considering exports from the country.

The company, led by India-born entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria, had last year acquired its first brewery in the country in Bihar and is at present investing USD 35 million to establish the brand here.
"India has a huge potential and we believe in the growth story here. We are exploring various opportunities here to expand our business," Bilimoria, who is the Chairman of Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd, told media when asked if the company is looking for further acquisitions.

Speaking on the sidelines of TiEcon summit here, he said the company is looking to acquire breweries in different parts of the country, including South India.

Bilimoria, however, did not share other details such as if the firm is at present in talks with any probable target or what could be the size of acquisitions.

Earlier, the company had a brewery in Mysore that was sold to SAB, he added.

Cobra Beer Partnership had last year acquired a brewery in Bihar and had committed an investment of USD 35 million over a period of "few years" to expand the capacity and establishing the brand, Bilimoria said.

He said the company currently sells beer in India from its Bihar unit and may look at the option to import from its European breweries to meet the growing demand in the country.

When asked if the India could play a role of a regional hub for the company, he said: "Of course, why not? We are really open to this idea and when we will have sufficient capacity here, we can export from India."

Without sharing the brewing capacity of Cobra Beer in India, Bilimoria said the country's beer market is likely to grow 20 times in the next 20 years.

"Currently, the Indian market is 240 million cases per year and it is growing at up to 15 percent every year," he said, adding that the per capita beer consumption in the country is 1.5 litres at present.

India has the potential to catch up with China, which has a per capita consumption of 30 litres, he added.

Talking about the Indian scenario, Bilimoria said: "In India, beer is one of the very regulated industries and there are only 50,000 licensed outlets in the country."

Taxes on beer are also very high in India and should come down, he added.

Cobra Beer exports its products to 30 countries from its breweries in Europe.