Monday, March 24, 2008

Coke to pump more money to make India top 5 markets: CEO

Betting big on India's potential to emerge its top five markets in the world, Cola giant Coca Cola on Monday committed to more "incremental" investment on top of Rs 1,000 crore it will pump by 2011. "We are bullish on India. It is a matter of stimulation... as the growth comes, you have to put in incremental investments," E Neville Isdell Chairman and CEO of US-based multinational Coke said. "We are investing 250 million dollars (Rs 1,000 crore)... this will not be the last. More investments will come," Isdell, who is visiting India as part of pushing business in tandem with a pleasure trip, said. Dubbing Coca Cola (India) as a "profitable" venture that is adding to the balance sheet of the global giant, the CEO said, "We have arrived in India. But we have not arrived to the level where we want to." "It is a question of long-term commitment. India figures in the global growth strategy of Coke. We are going to make it among the top 10 countries for Coke and then later among the top five," he said, but did not give any time frame on whether the first milestone would be achieved in five years or less. Stating that India is currently at number 17 in the list of countries where Coke is present, Isdell said the country had emerged among the best markets for the company during the year 2007.

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