India strategic investment plans intact: Coca-Cola

Beverage major Coca-Cola Indias strategic investment of building long term presence in India is intact, a senior company executive told IANS.

The-newly appointed President of Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, Sanket Ray said: “We firmly believe that India as a market has phenomenal business potential over the long term.

“Our strategic investment of building long term presence in India is intact. To capture this growth potential, our journey forward will require new investments, new capabilities and new business models, all supported by an eco-system of new local partnerships.”

Notably, the company has completed its planned investment of $5 billion announced in 2012 for retail infrastructure creation, bottling plants and introduction of new products, amongst others.

Since its re-entry into India in 1993 till 2011, Coca-Cola invested $2 billion in the country.

Besides, it has committed an investment of $1.7 billion towards creating a “Fruit Circular Economy” aiding the Indian agri-ecosystem till 2023.

Furthermore, underlying the importance of India’s marketplace, Ray cited, that in the newly created networked structure, INSWA (India and South West Asia) has become one of the nine operating units directly reporting to US-based beverage major’s Head Quarters.

Recently, in a thorough restructuring exercise the company created new operating units focused on regional and local execution.

Through the restructuring process, the company expects faster execution of projects in India and to further digitise its business.

Segment wise, Ray pointed out that ‘home consumption’ category has remained robust and growing.

“We are working with our ‘out of home’ customers to revive the business in a safe way. For the ‘at home consumers’, we are introducing new offerings and packs especially multi packs and affordable entry home packs.”

In addition, he said that the company will concentrate on increasing its digital footprint both in urban as well as in the rural market.

“Through our tie-up with ‘Common Services Center’, we have ensured rural last-mile delivery by listing all our popular products on their ‘Grameen e-store platform’ – thereby building least-expensive solutions to essential hydration needs.”