Coca-Cola has stepped into the most elusive market in India
By siliconindia | Tuesday, 14 November 2023, 11:48:46 AM IST
Coca-Cola India is one of the few consumer goods companies that has managed to achieve faster growth in the rural markets as compared to the urban ones. Even as other companies struggle with low demand from rural areas, Coca-Cola India's growth in these regions has been propelled by the expansion of electrification coverage, higher incomes, and increased government spending. The company has managed to reach around 3.2 lakh out of approximately 6.6 lakh villages across the country thanks to these factors.
The adoption of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in rural areas has been crucial in enabling small-ticket payments for consumers. The government's infrastructure support in terms of electrification and UPI has helped drive rural growth. In addition, the increasing digital penetration has raised consumer awareness, which has further boosted growth. Sundeep Bajoria, VP of India operations at Coca-Cola India, rural areas are growing 3% faster than urban areas.
Inflation is a challenge for companies, but Bajoria acknowledges its impact and stresses the need for a well-planned pricing strategy. Coca-Cola India is committed to pricing its products appropriately for different consumption occasions, with a special focus on key price points like Rs 10, 20, and 50, which are more significant in rural areas. Apart from the traditional summer season, festivals have become another significant occasion for beverage consumption, as noted by Bajoria. Coca-Cola India has effectively marketed festivals, thereby creating a second season for increased consumer engagement. The brand's partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its association with the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup has further reinforced the concept of this extended beverage consumption season.
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