Mumbai: India will soon become one of the top three markets by volume for The Coca-Cola Co., the company’s chief executive officer and chairman James Quincey said in Mumbai on Monday.
India is the fifth-largest market by volume for Coca-Cola, which sold 1 billion unit cases in the country in 2019. The Atlanta-based company wishes to double this number in the next five years.
“We see India as a super attractive market and we continue to invest and build the business. We would like to see those growth rates continue and India to be the third-largest market," the Coca-Cola chairman said.
Quincey did not expect the Covid-19 outbreak to have any immediate impact on the supply chain, but hinted that it can get affected if the issues prolong.
“It really hasn’t affected us in the short-term. Obviously, when we plan, we have a supply chain, we build in buffers and contingencies around key ingredients for our products around the world. So, we still have plenty of safety stock," he said. There is a degree of resilience in the supply chain because of the localized nature of the business, Quincey said.
The firm, which makes Coca-Cola and Thums Up, does not see the economic slowdown in India impacting its business and expects good growth in 2020.
“We are not awfully concerned about low growth in a particular quarter. Consumer demand is there. What we focus on is the long-term potential of the Indian economy and executing our game plan, which allows us to win market share and offer products whether they are premium or affordable," said Quincey. To innovate and reach a wider consumer base, the company adopted the concept of a fruit circular economy, wherein in 2017 it made a commitment of investing $1.7 billion towards the Indian agri-ecosystem till 2022-23.
The firm has partnered with agriculture companies to provide more fruit-based beverages in line with consumer preferences. Coca-Cola is also being mindful of the sugar content in its beverages and most new products have sugar content much below levels prescribed by the WHO.