Now PepsiCo global to have annual conclave in India

September 17th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) India will play host to the top guns of PepsiCo global for an annual conclave to be chaired by their Chennai-born chief executive Indra Nooyi, emulating similar high-profile meetings in the country by Arcelor-Mittal, Suzuki and Bata.Over two days from Sep 22, the top executives of this $39 billion giant will not only brainstorm on future strategies of the beverages, snacks and cereals major, but also seek to understand the Indian market that has emerged among the biggest for the group.

“India is a major producer of fruits and vegetables and one of the topics on the agenda is how India can become a major sourcing hub for PepsiCo’s non-carbonated beverages,” a senior official in the group’s India operations said.

“This apart, the meeting here will also give our top decision makers a change to understand how we are working with the farmers and states on issues like crop diversification, water conservation, agro-sustainability and farm productivity.”

Besides Nooyi, some of the top executives expected at the meeting include chief executive and vice chairman Michael D. White, senior vice president and general counsel Larry Thompson and PepsiCo UK president Salman Amin.

The company’s president for Europe Zein Abdalla, its international president for South Asia, Middle East and Africa Saad Abdul-Latif, chief scientific officer Mehmood Khan and chief executive for foods in Americas John C. Compton are also part of the executive committee.

In the past few months, the world’s largest steel maker Arcelor-Mittal, Canada-based footwear maker Bata and Japanese automobile giant Suzuki, were among the companies that selected India for their annual brainstorming conclaves.

In the case of Areclor-Mittal, as many as 700 top executives from 60 countries had assembled here earlier this month, getting a chance not just to hear their Rajasthan-born and London-based chairman Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, but also Finance Minister5 P. Chidambaram.

PeosiCo, which entered India in 1989 mainly as a beverages company, has invested $700 million in the country so far. It has 43 bottling plants in India, of which the company owns 15, while the rest are operated by franchisees.

It also has three factories to manufacture the Frito-Lay range of potato chips, Cheetos extruded snacks, and traditional Indian snacks under the Kurkure and Lehar brands.

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