Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola wants to make India its third-largest market globally. India is currently the sixth-largest market for the beverage maker. President and Chief Executive Officer, James Quincey said “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.”
Quincey took over the reins at Coca-Cola in May after driving some landmark changes internally since he joined the company in 1996. On 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.” Coca-Cola is going in for deeper localisation and wider diversification of products. “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.”
The company is repackaging its drinks in smaller packs to reduce the quantum of sugar and looking at re-formulating some of its drinks. Quincey said “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, and we will experiment.”
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,” 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.