SATS Ltd. (SATS) is making its first major investment in India into a wholly-owned subsidiary. The S$37 million, 14,000 sqm central kitchen is expected to produce up to 170,000 ready-to-eat meals per day and be operational in 2022.
This marks a key milestone in the expansion of the Group’s network of kitchens to supply its growing customer base across the region, from aviation to food service and retail.
The central kitchen will be located at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/BLR Airport), where SATS has signed a deal for a 27,000 sqm plot with Bengaluru Airport City Limited (BACL). SATS already has a long-standing relationship with Bengaluru Airport through two of its associate companies that already operate there – aviation food solutions provider TajSATS and ground handler AISATS.
SATS intends to combine its understanding of the latest food trends and authentic Indian flavours, as well as harness product and packaging innovation capabilities, using a wide range of food technologies such as fresh, cook-chill, and advanced ambient and frozen technology, to distribute and export products. Through its digital integrated supply chain, SATS is able to aggregate demand and efficiently scale production to serve different customer needs in India’s domestic market and overseas.
Tapping on the culinary and technical expertise that SATS will bring to this partnership, the company intends to train 300 staff at the production facility.
Rao Munukutla, chief executive officer of BACL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) said: “We are delighted to partner with SATS as we embark on this exciting chapter of our business. BACL
celebrates a culture of innovation and we are confident that this partnership will bring about positive change in the region. SATS’ state-of-the-art food technology facility has the potential to create significant employment and training opportunities, as well as enhance Bengaluru’s reputation as a knowledge-based economy”.
Sagar Dighe, chief executive officer, SATS Food Solutions India Private Limited, said: “Our Bengaluru central kitchen will enable SATS to cater to changing consumer palates by anticipating exciting food trends, while building on decades of culinary expertise in authentic Indian cuisines that can be scaled and exported across our network.
“This investment is a good fit with SATS’ purpose to feed and connect communities and India’s push to foster innovation and skills development”.
Dighe elaborated that setting up the large-scale facility complements SATS’ goal of helping the local community nurture skills for the future by upskilling workers, along with the Group’s investments in food technologies to extend product shelf-life and enable further reductions in food waste.