Special Correspondent

Revamp plan for North Indian plantations

  • To commercially exploit alternative cropping in the surplus plantation land
  • Model for the North is different from the South

    KOLKATA: As part of its plan to restructure its North Indian operations, Tata Tea Ltd (TTL) is looking at a new business model, which involves partial employee ownership and participation coupled with tapping revenue streams beyond tea. Alongside, it plans to seek shareholders' nod at its annual general meeting on Tuesday to appoint Amrita Patel as a director of TTL. The TTL board decided to appoint Ms. Patel as an additional director on June 29, according to the TTL annual report.

    Referring to its plans for North India, the company said that for long-term sustainability, steps were being taken to commercially exploit alternative cropping in the surplus plantation land, which is expected to insulate the company's plantation operations from the volatility of the market price of tea.

    The company said the governments of Assam and West Bengal where the company's operations were spread, had agreed to allow such a development. The company's unions and employees were also warm to the idea.

    TTL, which had made changes involving workers' cooperatives for its South Indian tea operations, said the business model for the North was different from the South from the point of view of size of operations, product quality, soil chemistry, market price and distribution of workforce.