Coca Cola aims to return to double digit growth

PTI Posted online: Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Kolkata : Coca Cola India is aiming to get back on to the double digit growth trajectory over the next year as it focuses on the Indian market, which is by 2020 expected to become the fifth largest in the world 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 today on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup Trophy tour here.

Coca Cola, in the Q3 period in 2013, registered 6 per cent growth up from the 1 per cent growth rate which the company had reported in the preceding quarter ending 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 added. 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 USD 5 billion till 2020 in India.

Speaking about their rural strategy, Kini said, "To do this, we are offering affordable price points to consumers like the 200ml Coca Cola glass bottle at Rs 8 and the Maaza Tetra Fino pack at Rs 7. Innovations like the solar cooler-eKOCool and eutectic coolers- are further helping rural penetration," he added.

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

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 but said that, so far, out of the targeted USD 5 billion earmarked till 2020, they had invested USD 2 billion between 1993 and 2011.