Coca-Cola sees much fizz in Indian business

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 03, 2020

Bullish on India: James Quincey, CEO, Coca-Cola. (file photo)

India becomes fifth largest market by volume for company; CEO wants to double sales in five years

2The Indian unit of The Coca-Cola Company plans to double its yearly sales to two billion unit cases by the next five years, even as it took the company 23 years of operations in the country to attain sales of one billion unit cases in a single year, in 2019. The Indian market has also become the fifth largest market by volume for the company, said the American beverage maker’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Quincey.

Describing the Indian market as a “super attractive market”, Quincey also said that India presents a promising opportunity to become one of the top three markets for the company soon. “We are bullish on India,” he said.

He said that despite the overall slowdown in the country, Coca-Cola India saw good growth in India. “What we are focused on is continuing to invest in the medium and long term. Hopefully, 2020 will be another good year, building on the success of 2019.”

Diversification plans

Coca-Cola India will continue to grow its core brands by rolling out new variants across its portfolio, whilst also diversifying by entering new beverage categories like enhanced hydration, nutritious dilutables and beverage-plus at affordable price point, he said. The company also has plans to market marquee Coca-Cola India home-grown brands like Thums Up and Mazaa globally in other markets.

Asked whether consumption could be impacted by the protests India has been witnessing, he said, “If there are disruptions in the functioning of a society, there will be some degree of problem for all businesses... India is a vibrant democracy and needs to work out what’s going on. We hope that things get resolved in an appropriately democratic manner.”

Quincey added that one of the reasons for the company seeing long-term potential in India is because it’s a democratic country.

On the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, he said that it hasn’t affected the supply chain so far, but if it prolongs, especially on a global scale, there could be an impact.

Published on March 02, 2020

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