Tata Beverage Invests, Hires

International beverage conglomerate Tata Global Beverages made a pair of major moves in the past week, first revealing that in the last quarter it had increased its stake in The Rising Beverages Co., the maker of Activate drinks, to 43.1 percent. Tata also announced that it had hired Ajoy Misra to the position of deputy CEO of Tata Global Beverages.

The decision to increase Tata Global’s investment in Rising Beverage follows a $21 million investment in the functional water company in October 2010 as well as the acquisition of a majority of First Beverage Group’s shares in Rising Beverage two months later.

“The incremental investment has been made based on achievement of certain milestones set while making the earlier investment,” said Percy Siganporia, acting CEO, Tata Global Beverages Ltd.

While Tata Global remains a minority owner in Rising Beverage, the company retained an option to further increase its stake in the future, according to Siganporia.

The move puts Tata Global in position to become an even stronger player in the growing functional water segment and comes at a time when the company is in the midst of a new global focus on investments in ‘good for you’ beverage categories, typified by the formation of a joint venture with Pepsi in 2010 to develop and market hydration beverages for the India market.

Taking Tata Global into the next decade will be the task charged to Ajoy Misra, who was recently hired as deputy CEO. Misra had previously been a marketing executive with Indian Hotels for nearly 30 years and is believed likely to take the overall helm from Siganporia, who is nearing retirement. Following the footsteps of its current CFO, Krishna Kumar, Misra is the second executive from Indian Hotels to move to Tata Global Beverages.