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Coke plans to set up BPO unit in India
Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai | April 15, 2004 08:44 IST
Coca-Cola is exploring the possibility of setting up business process outsourcing operations in India. If the company decides to bite the bullet, Coca-Cola will join the growing list of foreign companies that are opting to outsource work to India.
Sunil Gupta, vice-president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola India, said: "Coca- Cola is looking at the option of setting up BPO operations in the country. However, no final decision has been taken on this front."
Gupta refused to divulge the exact nature of Coca-Cola's outsourcing activities but hinted that Andhra Pradesh could be a possible location if the company decided to set up a back office in India.
"Officials from the Andhra Pradesh government had approached us with a proposal to set up shop in the IT city near Hyderabad that the Chandrababu Naidu government is planning to set up. That's when we started looking at the possibility (of setting up a back office)," Gupta told Business Standard.
In the BPO space, largely banking and financial companies have relocated jobs to India. In the fast-moving consumer goods sector, recently Anglo Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever set up BPO operations here.
The Indian wing of Unilever, Hindustan Lever, has floated a wholly owned subsidiary to deliver customer services. Christened Indigo, it has two divisions, one for the domestic market and one for international market.
The Chennai-based BPO outfit is primarily focusing on business processing operations for Unilever in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.
Supermarket chain Tesco too recently relocated its IT and finance operations to India. It has set up operations in Bangalore.
The other global companies that have shifted work to India are the BT group, the Aviva group, HSBC and Prudential.
Coca-Cola is the market leader in the beverages category in India, with brands like Thums Up, Coke, Sprite and Kinley. It has over 50 bottling plants in the country.