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MRF may set up factory in Gujarat, ASEAN countries

Tyre major MRF has said that it is exploring possibilities of setting up a new plant outside South India, and a possible location could be Gujarat.

Koshy K Varghese, executive vice-president-marketing, MRF Ltd, said: "We look at options outside the South wherever opportunities throw up. Gujarat could be one of them."

He was talking to reporters today in Chennai after signing a global partnership deal with International Cricket Council for sponsorship.

Varghese said the company is looking at opportunities both within India and outside, mostly in ASEAN countries.

"We need to look at the long term. We should not say, the market is down, so let's not invest. We have kept investing. We will look at options. Gujarat is one of the options," he said.

The company currently has nine plants in the country and most of them are located in South India.

Referring to the price cut was on account of the fall in prices of natural rubber and crude oil, he said the company dropped prices by 9-10 per cent in the past year and it would affect the top line. "Revenue will get hit from that point of view but volume will grow, and it depends up on various categories. Overall, there will be 10% drop in revenue".

On whether MRF would look at owning an IPL team, Varghese said: "We need to see whether in the long term it makes business sense [to own an IPL team]. There are many issues in IPL. Every year there are controversies. We don't want any negative impact on our brand."