Coca-Cola wants to make India its third-largest market globally

Our Bureau MumbaiAug 31 Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Bullish on India James Quincey, CEO, Coca-Cola , addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday

We will keep investing in India, says CEO Quincey

Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola wants to make India its third-largest market globally. India is currently the sixth-largest market for the beverage maker.

“The most immediate challenge for Coca-Cola’s India operations is to become No. 5 in the foreseeable future, but my vision for India is it will be one of the top three markets in the world for Coca-Cola,” said James Quincey, President and Chief Executive Officer, without giving a time-frame.

Quincey took over the leadership role at Coca-Cola in May after driving some landmark changes internally since he joined the company in 1996.

Speaking to the media during his first visit to India in his new role, Quincey said the company has committed to invest up to $5 billion by 2020. “We are in line with this investment. We will keep investing in India as the future is very positive,” he said.

Business strategy

To grow its business in an era where consumer behaviour is changing, Coca-Cola is going in for deeper localisation of and wider diversification of products. For example, it is diversifying into fruit juices, dairy products, tea and coffee drinks. “Earlier, 90 per cent of the business was sparkling (aerated drinks). Now, it is under 70 per cent... we are hoping that 50:50 split of sparkling and non-sparkling could come by 2025 or 2030,” Quincey said.

To address health concerns around high sugar levels, the company is repackaging its drinks in smaller packs to reduce the quantum of sugar and looking at re-formulating some of its drinks. “We have been trying more things on the juice-based drinks. We will bring in ideas that have been successful around the world, we will innovate and create local ideas, we will experiment,” Quincey said.

Even though sales fell in the last quarter of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, things have started to turn around. “No business can grow in a straight line. We’ve had a rough few months, but things are starting to come back. We are still very positive,” he said

Quincey said the company’s focus will continue to be on the beverages segment unlike its rival Pepsi, which has ventured into food segment as well.

Published on August 31, 2017

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