Indian company Fresnel Foods plans to make Marseille-Fos its global hub for fruit trading

success story
Indian company Fresnel Foods plans to make Marseille-Fos its global hub for fruit trading
Abhishek Nisal, Head of European Operations and Development for Fresnel Foods
31 August 2022 / Grow your business, Logistics

A Euro-Mediterranean growth strategy

In January 2022, the Indian group Fresnel Foods, which imports and exports fresh fruit, set up shop in Marseille to continue expanding its flourishing business. The company was impressed with the broad array of maritime offerings at the port of Marseille-Fos and with the presence of logistics providers specialized in refrigerated foodstuffs. A Euro-Mediterranean growth strategy supported by Provence Promotion.

Business networking events pay off! Nisal Abhishek, Head of European Operations and Development at Fresnel Foods, first heard about the potential of setting up in France to reach new markets at an event organized in India by the Franco-Indian Chamber of Commerce.

"Our agribusiness group was created in India in 2015, then expanded to Dubai and Bahrain. In 2019, we decided to conquer the European market. Our plans were delayed by the pandemic, but finally came to fruition in early 2022 with the opening of an office at the World Trade Center in Marseille.  We preferred Marseille over Normandy because of the high concentration of shipping companies and logisticians. In addition, Marseille, a Mediterranean business hub, lends itself to trade with Spain, Italy and North Africa," explains Abhishek Nisal from his office in Maharashta, 125 miles away from the Indian capital of Mumbai.

"We are in France thanks to the team at Provence Promotion."

Indeed, the company, in tandem with the Dutch produce trader Davis Worldwide Ltd, has high hopes for the development of a lucrative citrus trade from Europe to the Persian Gulf countries and Africa. When he arrived in France in October 2021, the economic development and promotion agency played a decisive role. "We are in France thanks to the teams at Provence Promotion, who were fully invested in my project. They introduced me to banks, lawyers and accountants. Opening a bank account when you are a foreigner is not easy! The specialists at Provence Promotion also put me in touch with the port ecosystem, logistics providers, freight forwarders and the Châteaurenard Market of National Importance. My professional contacts were warm and understanding; they really made me want to work with them," says Abhishek Nisal.

Abhishek also plans to rent warehouses in the north of the administrative department. "Eventually, we want to make Marseille a transshipment hub for off-season fruits from Latin America (mangoes, berries, avocados, etc.) and export apples and Valencia oranges. Fresnel Foods has two employees in Marseille, but we will soon build out that team with local hires and we expect to have a staff of 15 a year from now," the Indian executive observes.

Fresnel Foods currently handles 150 tons of fruit per month. In 2021, the group recorded total sales of €3.5 million from wholesale trading and from sugar cane production in Tanzania and cherry tomato production in vertical greenhouses in India.  

Gayané Shahinyan, inward investment advisoir for the logistics sector and Salima Chelabi, launch support project manager for the establishment of this project in Marseille.
> Find out more about the Provence Promotion team