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'Disruptions pose problems for all businesses': Coca-Cola CEO

Source: PTI
March 02, 2020 18:59 IST
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Protests and riots impact businesses in a society in varying degrees, and India needs to solve problems it is grappling with in a "democratic" manner, global beverages major Coca-Cola's Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Quincey said on Monday. 

IMAGE: Security personnel inspect the riot-hit areas in northeast Delhi's Bhagirathi Vihar. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo.

He added that democracy is a big attribute that makes Coca-Cola look at India as a market with long-term potential. 

India is currently the fifth-largest market by volume for the company and it is aiming for doubling of sales in the next five years to become the fourth largest, he said. 

Replying to a question on the recent spate of protests and riots, he said, "If there are disruptions in the functioning of a society, there will be some degree of problems for all businesses." 

 

"India is a vibrant democracy and it needs to work out what is going on. It is hoped that things get worked out in an appropriate democratic manner," he added. 

He told reporters that it took 21 years for the company to achieve the mark of 1 billion case unit sales in a year in 2019, and it is targeting to take the same number up to 2 billion units in five years. 

There has been a strong growth in India on carbonated drinks in 2019, he said. A company executive added that it has reduced the sugar content in Maaza and Thums Up products over the past eight months. 

When asked about the slowdown, he said the company does not get affected by a quarter of either uptick or downturn in sales and added that it feels 2020 will see a surge in sales. 

To a question on the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, he said it does not see significant impact due to supply chain issues but hinted that it can get affected if the issues prolong. 

There is also resilience in the business because of its localised nature in every geography that it operates in. 

In recent months, there have been protests in various parts of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act. There were also riots in the national capital last week.

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