By AUSTIN KARONGA in Harare

VARUN Beverages Zimbabwe has been given land to expand, a move that will see the creation of jobs.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially commissioned the beverages giant’s new additional plant which will increase Varun’s bottled water and cordials production capacity. 

The seventh production plant at the beverages manufacturer’s headquarters in Harare has a capacity to produce 400 bottles of water per minute and cordials. 

In total, Varun now has a capacity of making 60 million bottles and cans per month of their range of products. 

“I looked into your request for more land and that shouldn’t be a problem with the Head of State, we will give you more land to expand your investment projects in the country. 

“The attendant increase in production will equally create more employment opportunities, increase household incomes and help in meeting the national demand for beverages,” Mnangagwa said.

“I, thus, commend Varun Beverages Zimbabwe for this forward looking and bold business decision to invest in our jurisdiction.

“The adoption of a culture of continuous investment and increasing capacity utilisation by your organisation resonates with the objectives of the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy. 

“The policy seeks to promote local production of goods and commodities towards decreasing reliance on imports. 

“I challenge other private sector players to take advantage of our growing economy, broadening income levels and the resultant markets to increase their investments as we move the economy up the value chains.” 

This was the president’s third visit to the Varun plant since 2018.

“I am delighted that you have fulfilled the pledge you made… and accordingly expanded the plant in line with your business growth strategy.  

“My administration welcomes this development which is an indicator of the growing confidence this entity has in our national economic trajectory and market,” he said. 

“The operationalisation of the production line and setting up of an additional plant is most timely not only in respect of satisfying the ever-growing local market, but also with regards to the potential in the regional market. 

“Let me take this opportunity to challenge the private sector to be more innovative and continue to adopt and adapt new technologies and marketing strategies to improve business competitiveness.” 

Speaking at the same ceremony, Varun Beverages chairperson Ravi Kant Jaipuria said his company remained committed to providing employment in the country. 

“We strive to identify new and better ways of doing business so that our processes become the most efficient and productive to the local masses it operates with and within.  

“This is clearly evident from the employment that has been generated so far, the social activities undertaken and the environmental responsibilities shouldered,” Jaipuria said.

“The company has direct employment of over 2 000 local Zimbabweans, distributors and its employees and transporters amount to 3 500 people as indirect employment.  

“There are 2 500 women who are empowered financially by allocating them vending trollies and this number by the end of the year will cross 3 500 as more trollies are being deployed in rural upcountry areas.  

“There are 20 000 retailers and vendors who get Pepsi products across Zimbabwe. Thus the happy 25 000 families get to benefit directly and indirectly through Varun Beverages.”  – Daily News