More reports on: Soft drinks, Coca Cola
Coke seeks better growth in India with $20-bn investment plan news
23 December 2013

Coca Cola India, the arm of the soft drinks multinational, is aiming to get back to double-digit growth in the country over the next year as it focuses on the Indian market, with a planned investment of $20 billion by 2020.

By the end of this decade, Coke expects India to become its fifth-largest market from its current seventh position.

"Our aspiration is to get back to double digit growth," Coca Cola India deputy president (India and South West Asia) Venkatesh Kini, said, speaking on the sidelines of a FIFA World Cup event in Kolkata on Sunday.

Coca Cola registered a 6-per cent growth in the Q3 period in 2013, up from the 1 per cent growth reported in the previous quarter that ended in June.

"We had a 29th consecutive quarter of growth. We gained volume and value share in India in the quarter in total non-alcoholic 'ready to drink' beverages as well as in the sparkling and still beverages categories," Kini said.

The company is banking on the rural market and looking at opportunities to introduce new product lines, Kini further said.

Some products are already on trial, including dairy and energy-based drinks.

The company said it was working towards achieving the 2020 vision of doubling system revenues and servings and revealed that India would be a strategic growth market vis-a-vis that goal. The company had lined up $5 billion till 2020 in India.

On rural strategy, he said, "To do this, we are offering affordable price points to consumers like the 200ml Coca Cola glass bottle at Rs8 and the Maaza Tetra Fino pack at Rs7. Innovations like the solar cooler - eKOCool and eutectic coolers - are further helping rural penetration," he added.

With a per capita consumption of 14 bottles per year for Coca Cola products, as compared to the global average of 94, the Indian market offers huge opportunity for growth, he pointed out.

An increasingly evolving middle class, higher disposable incomes and changing lifestyles are key factors that will fuel growth of the beverage industry.

Kini could not give details of the total combined investments by the company and its partners in 2012. He, however, said that so far, out of the targeted $5-billion earmarked till 2020, they had invested $2 billion between 1993 and 2011.


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Coke seeks better growth in India with $20-bn investment plan