Coca Cola plans to invest $5 billion in India by 2020 (Lead)

June 26th, 2012 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Coca Cola, the world’s largest beverage firm, said Tuesday it planned to invest $5 billion in India over the next eight years on expanding its bottling and other business capacities.

“We plan to invest $5 billion in Indian business between now and 2020. This represents an increase of $3 billion beyond what we had previously committed to investing in this market,” Coca Cola chairman and chief executive officer Muhtar Kent said at a media interaction here.

The company will make the investments along with its bottling partners on expanding manufacturing and distribution facilities and marketing of its products.

Kent said company’s investment in India between 2011-20 will be more than three fold it had made in the previous decade. Between 2000-10, Coca Cola invested $1.4 billion in India.

He said the company was “very bullish” on India and would invest heavily across the value chain to expand business.

Kent said Coca Cola targetted to double its business in India by the end of this decade.

The company plans to invest $30 billion globally by 2020. One-sixth of the planned global investment will be made in India.

“Our ongoing investment in India is focused on delivering innovation, partnerships and a portfolio that enhances the consumer experience, ensures product affordability and builds brand loyalty to deliver long-term growth,” Kent said.

US-based Coca Cola has invested over $2 billion in India since re-entering the Indian market in 1993. By 2020 the company aims to increase the total investment in India to $7 billion.

Kent said the company targets to double its business globally by 2020.

“Our target is to double our business between 2010 and 2020. What we have achieved in 125 years, we want to create in 10 years,” Kent said.

He said the most of the company’s growth in the future would come from the emerging markets like India, China and African countries.

“Our India story is one of a remarkable turnaround. Six years ago, we were not strong here, not at all. Today our India business aspires to be among the top five countries by volume in the entire Coca Cola system,” he said.

Coca Cola, which owns popular soft drink brands like Thums Up, Sprite, Coca-Cola, Fanta and Limca, directly employs 25,000 people in the country.

Kent claimed that the company provides indirect employment to 150,000 people and the new investments would create thousands of new jobs.

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