Soft drinks major Coca-Cola
said on Thursday it would not scale down its proposed investments in India, despite the slowing economic conditions.
The company had announced investments of $5 billion between 2012 and 2020. It said the amount of investment might even go up, in unlocking the growth opportunities in the packaged beverages market. The company has, so far, invested $2 bn in India. “Our investments in India are on track as we build scale, manufacturing capacity, distribution capability and a robust product portfolio to realise our business goals in India.
The ongoing investment in the country is focused on delivering innovation, partnerships and a beverage portfolio that enhances the consumer experience, ensures product affordability and builds brand loyalty to deliver long-term growth,” said Ahmet C Bozer, president, Coca-Cola International. Adding: “If we continue to focus on doing the right things in this market, India could emerge as a top-five market for the Coca-Cola Company by 2020.”
At present, India is its seventh largest market. Coca-Cola has completed 20 years of operations in India since its return after it exited the country in the late 70s. The company inaugurated a franchisee bottling plant at Greater Noida on Thursday. It now has 57 plants in India, of which 22 are franchises, 23 are company-owned and 12 are contract packaging units. The new plant would be owned and operated by Moon Beverages, which has invested Rs 140 crore in setting up the plant.
Coca-Cola has registered volume growth in India for 28 consecutive quarters, 19 of which have seen double-digit growth.