Tata Tea scouting for new name, identity

Tata Tea is scouting for an alternate name – and a new brand identity.

Tata Group chairman Ratan N. Tata told shareholders that the change was being considered to “reflect the diversified portfolio beyond tea” that includes bottled water and health drinks.

Emphasising that Tata Tea was no longer a tea company, Tata said: “It is a beverage company. We are now into branded products like coffee, water and ready-to-drinks.”

Vice chairman R.K. Krishna Kumar told reporters after the annual general meeting that a few names have been already identified. “A decision on a new name would be taken in 3-4 weeks.”

Tata Tea is also planning for financial integration of its global operations and tax implications are currently being studied.

“Operation integration has already happened with the formational of a virtual global company and the financial integration is currently being considered,” Krishna Kumar said.

The company is currently studying the tax implications of such merger, he added.

Krishna Kumar said the “new enterprise” could achieve a consolidated turnover of $10 billion in five years, compared to around $1 billion now.

While replying to shareholders, Ratan Tata said the company had planned a capital expenditure of Rs.40 crore on a stand-alone basis and Rs.150 crore on a consolidated basis for 2009-10.

On new products, Tata said a company subsidiary, Mount Everest Mineral Water, would soon launch a bottled water brand for the “mass market”.

Mount Everest currently sells only premium drinking water under the Himalayan brand.

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