Days after announcing to enter in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space, billionaire Mukesh Ambai-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has acquired the homegrown iconic soft drink brand Campa from Delhi-based Pure Drinks Group. Campa Cola was a market leader in the Indian soft drink market in the 1970s and 1980s in most regions of India until foreign brands Pepsi and Coca-Cola entered the domestic market in 1990s.

As per report, Reliance has acquired Campa for around ₹22 crore and plans to launch the brand in India by October, near Diwali. The group has also acquired another soft drink brand Sosyo from Surat-based Hajoori.

The move is being seen as part of the country’s largest private sector firm’s strategy to foray into the soft drinks business, which is currently dominated by foreign brands such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

At the 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 29, Isha Ambani, the director of Reliance Retail, announced that the retail arm of RIL will enter the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space this year. She added that by opening a new FMCG business, the company wants to develop and deliver top quality and highly affordable products to solve customers' requirements.

RIL's entry into the FMCG space could give tough competition to the industry leaders like Hindustan Unilever, Nestle India, Britannia Industries, and ITC.

In the last one year, Reliance Retail has opened over 2,500 stores to take its store count to over 15,000 and generated 1.5 lakh jobs. It served over 200 million registered customers, equivalent to the collective population of the U.K., France, and Italy, at Reliance Retail’s physical stores and digital platforms.

"We doubled warehousing space to 670 mn cu-ft. We generated employment for more than 1,50,000, taking the employee base to 360,000," said Isha Ambani at the AGM.

She said since its launch two years ago, Reliance Retail's new commerce initiative has grown its merchant partner base to 20 lakh. It launched several new products during the year across categories like staples, home, personal care and general merchandise. "We add about 1,50,000 partners a month, and are on course to reach 1 crore merchants in 5 years," she said.

In the last three years, Reliance Retail has completed more than 25 acquisitions to add to its brand portfolio, products and services and network of physical stores. It has also acquired technology companies to build its omni-channel platform, which includes physical stores, B2B with Kirana stores and e-commerce of JioMart and Ajio. The group's major acquisitions for retail expansion include Hamleys, Justdial, Milkbasket, Zivame, Portico, Netmeds, Urban Ladder, Dunzo, Shri Kannan Departmental Store, Jaisuryas and Kalanikethan. Recently, it partnered with 7-Eleven, the iconic global retail chain, to start its operations in India.

In one of the biggest deals in the retail space, the group had inked a pact to acquire Future Group companies for ₹24,700 crore, which failed apart because of the opposition from e-commerce giant Amazon, which is a stakeholder in one of the promoter companies of Future Retail.

Recently, Reliance Retail's JioMart announced partnership with WhatsApp to allow customers to buy groceries from the store right in a chat. In a press release, Jio said the JioMart on WhatsApp feature “will enable users in India, including those who have never shopped online before, to seamlessly browse through JioMart’s entire grocery catalog, add items to cart, and make the payment to complete the purchase – all without leaving the WhatsApp chat.” The chatbot has been developed by Haptik, which is owned by Jio.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.