New Delhi: After Godrej and Samsung, food and beverages major PepsiCo India on Friday said it will reconsider its association with the Indian Premier League (IPL) if allegations of financial wrongdoings against the T20 league were proved.
“Let the mud get established and if Pepsico’s image gets compromised because of the reason there is corruption... PepsiCo will be the first organisation to stand aside,” PepsiCo India chairman Sanjeev Chadha said.
He was responding to a question if the company is rethinking its association with IPL after allegations of financial wrongdoings, corruption and impropriety were levelled against the league, whose commissioner Lalit Modi has since been suspended.
Earlier, homegrown FMCG major Godrej and consumer electronics giant Samsung had also said that they would reevaluate their ties with IPL depending on the outcome of the probe on charges of corruption and financial irregularities against the IPL.
“The allegations will have to be addressed and going forward, I imagine that if some of the more serious accusations are proved to be correct then we will have to reevaluate our position,” Godrej Group executive director and president Tanya Dubash had said.
Similarly, Samsung India vice-president C D Choi said the company’s continued association with IPL “will depend on the outcome of the ongoing probe and the corrective actions being carried out at present. We will be in a position to take a decision on IPL-4 only thereafter.”
Chadha said PepsiCo will not go against its core values, including building trust and upholding what is right, if the charges against Modi were proved, despite the tournament providing the firm a huge platform for visibility.
“If it is against our values we will certainly reconsider it...We will uphold our values,” he said.
He, however, said it would be premature to jump to a conclusion before the probe is completed.
“I want it (the probe) to play out.. I don’t want to operate and move as a reflex action or act prematurely. What is that that is playing out? What are the issues? Where are the issues? Where are the lines? And based on that if there is a fundamental issue with the tournament or with specific officials, accordingly we will certainly rework on that,” Chadha said.
In this year’s IPL, PepsiCo is one of the major on-air advertisers. Besides, it is also the official beverage partner of three IPL franchises — Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. In the inaugural IPL 2008, it was the on-ground sponsor.
Modi was suspended by cricket body BCCI earlier this month over charges that of financial wrong doings in award of telecast rights and conflict of interest with IPL franchisees.