South African Breweries (SAB), which acquired two Indian brewers as part of a push into the nation's young beer market, says that it aims to build a 25 per cent market share.
Company officials told a news conference on Wednesday that the world's fifth largest brewer expected the Indian market, now selling 72 million cases a year in a nation of one billion people, to treble in size in about 10 years.
The group, which currently has a four per cent market share, wanted to reach a 20 per cent share by 2004.
SAB has plans to invest $100m by 2006 to increase its capacity in India.
Andre Parker, managing director of South African Breweries International, said on Wednesday India ranked alongside Russia and China as key markets for the London-based beer maker.
In India, SAB faces competition from entrenched players including market leader United Breweries, which controls 40 per cent of the market.
Earlier this month, SAB became China's number-two beer maker after domestic giant Tsingtao Brewery by striking a provincial joint venture deal.
The brewer, which holds a 98 per cent share of South Africa's beer market operates in India through 60 per cent owned SAB India, a joint venture in which Delhi-based Narang Industries holds 15 per cent.
SAB has also been in talks with United Breweries to acquire a stake, which UB wants to offload to boost its Kingfisher brand abroad.
SAB officials declined to comment on the talks.
South African Breweries consolidates position in China (15 October 2001)