Coca-Cola India Rejigs Ops to Push Growth

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MUMBAI: In a bid to accelerate growth in key categories, Coca-Cola India has introduced changes to its management structure. While on the one hand, the world’s largest non-alcoholic drinks maker has created a new vertical to push growth in rural markets by catering to the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) consumers, on the other it has introduced a division to focus on shopper marketing, which will draw sharper insights from purchasing patterns of consumers.

While the BOP verticalm, called Emerging Markets &, will be fronted by Sanjeev Gupta, the customer & commercial vertical, for tracking shopper insights will be led by Sumanto Datta. The cola major had in March this year brought in Andriy Avramenko to spearhead the newly created juice division, which recently launched 100% juice under the Minute Maid brand. All these verticals directly report to Atul Singh, president of the India and South West Asia, Coca-Cola.

Creating new positions of senior leaders is one way in which the company is capitalizing on the growth opportunities. The other tool which the company is using to grow its business is innovation. The position of vice president, strategy & innovation has just been strengthened with a larger focus on innovation. Debabrata Mukherjee spearheads this role for India & South West Asia.

“We will innovate and launch new products aimed at the bottom of the pyramid segment, devise suitable product distribution and retailing opportunities in conjunction with the bottlers and market the products to this category,” Atul Singh, told TOI in an interview.

Two products from the Coca-Cola stable which have been launched catering to this segment are Vitingo, a beverage powder enriched with vitamins, and Fanta Fun taste powder at the Rs 5 price point which was piloted in April this year.

Interestingly, rival cola major, PepsiCo India has also launched a glucose based beverage, Gluco Plus and Lehar Iron Chusti, a fortified iron snack in order to make inroads into the huge, yet unexplored, consumer base in rural India. These products are priced in the range of Rs 2-5.

Source: The Times of India (link opens in a new window)

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