Amidst inflationary pressures and global slowdown, Henrique Braun, global president, international development, Coca-Cola remains bullish on India market for growth.
Braun told CNBC TV-18 that India's is the fifth largest market for Coca-Cola globally having grown significantly in the last few years. He believes that the company will have a good 2023 summer.
“The momentum is there. So we're very positive about the future of this market to continue to grow and build on the momentum that we have. We have invested heavily in the past few years to continue this momentum. The plans for 2023 are very bold, and we believe that we're going to have a good year,” he said.
Braun further said that the government's investment in infrastructure and digital platforms had improved the business environment in the country. Braun took over the charge in January. He heads the company's operations in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Eurasia, Africa and Latin America.
Talking about inflationary pressures that could restrict FMCG company’s growth, Braun said that being a global company they have learned to navigate such situations in a sustainable way.
“…we're doing in India as well, is to amplify the portfolio. We have more packaging size options and broader portfolio that allows us to play on the affordability choices, keeping the price points that feeds on the pocket of the consumer, but also tapping into the premium vocations which allows us to really have a revenue growth management capability that helps us to navigate through an inflationary or a downside market,” he asserted.
Localisation and consumer centricity approach continues to be the company’s key approach in India. Braun said that they have the strategy of segmenting the country in many India’s which has allowed the company to have local connections with the consumers on the day to day activities.
According to him a good example of that is Coke Studio where local talents from different parts of India participate and that also becomes a platform to connect with the consumers on their passion point of music.
Talking about individual brands in Coca-Cola India’s portfolio, Braun said that both its global and local brands have been really growing well. It has recently development
“..we're doing very well on sprite but also on Limca. We have Thums Up which is a key driver of growth here and it's a local brand that we acquired in the past and it continues to do very well. Coca-Cola trademark continues to be accelerated. So we're going to continue to experiment and learn as we go and some of these it's going to work some it's going to be new portfolio extensions that can actually thrive in here and be expanded across other markets,” he noted.
Braun further said that the government's investment in infrastructure and digital platforms had improved the business environment in the country.
On being asked if Coca-Cola will be looking at merger and acquisitions especially in the country’s growing D2C space, Braun said that the company is open-minded about opportunities.
“We always evaluate if we can we do it internally. Do we bring new categories should we look outside our current capabilities to acquire that and to continue to be relevant to the consumers. We're very happy with the portfolio that we have at the moment with the capabilities that we have built locally and globally, to continue to innovate and to thrive in this market that is being very vibrant. We are very happy to continue to invest in India to be a partner here and to grow together,” he concluded.
For Coca-Cola, India could be among the top three of its global markets. In the second quarter of the current financial year, the company reported 2.5 billion transactions. Driven by the sales growth in India, the company registered a 9 percent growth in the Asia-Pacific region.