Coca-Cola pulls global suppliers into India

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 30 April 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: The Indian operations of Coca-Cola has attracted a bevy of its international suppliers to set up facilities in the country. Several global suppliers of the US-based company are in the process of investing up to Rs 150 crore in the Indian market, reports Economic Times.

Coca-Cola India vice-president, corporate communications, Sunil Gupta told reporters: “Nearly Rs 150 crore will be invested in the Indian markets in areas like cooling, bottling equipment and packaging.”

For instance, Norway’s Norkool is setting up a refrigeration plant in Manesar. Thailand’s Sanden and Songern are setting up plants in Shahpur. Similarly, German bottling line equipment company, KHS, is setting up a facility in Ahmedabad and Siden is setting up a base in Bangalore.

In packaging, India had attracted Italian Guala in Goa, Australian Amcor in Pune and German Bericap in Mumbai, Mr Gupta said.

The company has also seen an investment of up to $70 million this year in enhancing bottling capacities. However, the investments are through the franchisee route as the company has decided not to add any more owned units this year. Coca-Cola has 27 owned units, 17 franchisee units and 22 co-packers.

The company had invested $100 million in 2003 on bottling capacities. “We will not add any more units this year. Earlier, the strategy was to have a hands-on management of bottling units. Our investments will be in the areas of technology, human resource development, marketing support and packaging,”

Mr Gupta said the consumer base has grown from 160 million in 2002 to 240 million in 2003 and is expected to touch 300 million by 2004-end. The focus of the company would be on investments in new products, packaging and marketing, Mr Gupta said. The company is also planning to bring its Georgia brand of tea and coffee to Chennai next month.

Mr Gupta said Thums Up was the flagship brand accounting for 26% of sales followed by Coke (19.8%), Fanta (14%), Limca (13%) and Sprite (10%). Sprite is the fastest growing brand at 107%, he added.

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