Zimbabwe-bound Pepsi bottler scoffs at critics

The negative perception that the international media trumpets about Zimbabwe will not deter Varun Beverages from investing in the country as it sees more positives than negatives, chairman of the firm Mr Ravi Jaipuria said. 

Mr Jaipuria is an Indian investor with a net value of billions of dollars and has invested widely in Africa.His company, trading as Varun Beverages Zimbabwe, is behind the construction of the $30 million Pepsi bottling plant in Ardbennie, Harare.

Construction of the plant is expected to start in a fortnight.

“We have taken a stance to invest in Zimbabwe and as a large company indeed we thought about the perception issues.
Zimbabwe-bound Pepsi bottler scoffs at critics
“My team and I are prepared for the perceived risk factors associated with investing in the country because we see more positives than negatives,” he said as he responded to a question on whether or not he had taken into account the negative reports being peddled by the international media portraying Zimbabwe as a bad investment destination.

“We are very happy with Zimbabwe,” he added while responding to the media in Harare recently.
He said the $30 million investment in Zimbabwe was very small to the extent that it would not even kill the company in the event that things went wrong.

“I am very bullish about Africa and I see huge potential in Zimbabwe. This is why after the completion of the Pepsi bottling plant we will make further investments in various areas of interest in the country,” said Mr Jaipuria.

Varun Beverages has also invested in other African countries including Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Namibia and Tanzania, among others.

Mr Jaipuria and his team arrived in Zimbabwe last week aboard a private jet.

“That mode of transportation allows us to be able to hold our meetings on flight and it saves a lot time. There is always the problem of connecting flights which eats into a lot of time for business.”

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