Local is more than just a tagline for Monin
From humble beginnings in a small town in France over a century ago, Monin is a well known global leader in gourmet flavor business for beverage solutions. The family-owned business has grown into a full-fledged flavor innovation operation, with an annual revenue of 300 M + EUR in 2018, and distributing its products in more than 150 countries. Monin does 75% of its business outside of France, and currently has 5 production facilities worldwide: France, USA, Malaysia and China; with 3 new production facilities projects kick started in the USA, Russia & India. 8 million drinks per day are made with MONIN products. The company has a strong focus on quality and innovation to ensure their customers in the Food Service industry stay one step ahead of the game. International expansion is at the heart of the Monin business strategy.
As a global advisory firm helping companies access the world’s major growing economies, Altios International has become a key business partner for Monin and its global expansion. In 2016, Monin was ready to take the next step in India after several years of successfully exporting there and turned to Altios. Altios has guided Monin through every phase of its move into India from that year. First, Altios advised on the best options for manufacturing. Altios investigated the most effective way for Monin to enter the market by exploring several different options including acquiring an existing manufacturer, co-packing and building a new facility.
The research and information Altios provided led Monin to ultimately decide to set up its own facility in India. This would be the best way to ensure the high-quality standards the brand is known for and enable Monin to be close to its customers. Next, the team researched the best regions for the business. Altios and Monin visited multiple sites across India and evaluated them based on a number of factors including access to raw materials, roads, and labor as well as taxes, local laws and investment incentives that differ per state. Altios was a liaison for site selection, working with the local governments, and assisted in subsidiary incorporation, management and expansion of the Monin India team.
“Altios has been a key partner for Monin’s expansion into India. Not only did they help us find the right location and recruit the right talent but they provide essential, on-going accounting and administration support. This frees us up from having to learn the local laws and enables us to keep our focus on our core business,” said Germain Araud, Director at Monin.
Altios provided Monin with a wide range of services - from strategic decisions such as where to locate to tactical needs such as recruiting top talent for key roles to administrative support by managing payroll and legal services for Monin.
“The value-add Altios brings Monin is our local footprint and knowledge,” said Madhav Raina-Thapan, Director of Altios India. “Working on the ground in India -we know the systems both the legal and administrative rules, as well as the social and political nuances that exist in any market. It’s this kind of local understanding that Monin gained from working with us.”
Local knowledge is particularly important in India due to the unique business finance laws of the country. New incorporations are required to plan their finance needs three or four years in advance and cannot just wire funds in when needed. Monin India Pvt Ltd was officially incorporated in February 2019. The company aims to commission its Make-in-India Phase 1 factory by 2021.
This decision to set up manufacturing in India is a move to strengthen the third-generation family business’s value of providing a high-quality product using local ingredients. Araud sees this as not only an opportunity to expand further into the India market but also to expand their product line. “Customers today want natural products, and they are paying attention to where the ingredients come from,” Araud said. By having a physical presence in India, Monin plans to develop new flavors that cater to the unique and vibrant culture. Araud said Altios’ local presence and network allows them to be closer to the customer, and to keep the customer in mind throughout the expansion process.
“What sets Altios apart is its network and people” Araud said. “Altios is always looking towards the future for their customers and are prepared for what’s next.”
In the case of Monin, the feeling was mutual. “Mr. Monin, the CEO, was a great client and partner because he was not just looking at the sites on paper and only at the numbers. He was very interested in finding the right community and location for long term and sustainable growth,” Raina-Thapan said.
Monin is a great example of leaders in their industry who are passionate about what they do. Their eye toward international expansion has strengthened their brand, but at the end of the day, it is about creating delicious flavors for customers. An Altios partnership allows brands to focus on what they do best, in Monin’s case creating innovative, natural flavors, by managing the time-consuming logistics and education of international expansion. This 100+ year-old business has not sacrificed quality for growth and continues to look towards international expansion.