As it expects the volume turnaround momentum to continue in India, The Coca-Cola Company wants the country to be “the no. 3 market” in the future from the present sixth slot.
Describing India as “a great country and a great place to do business”, Coca-Cola president and chief executive James Quincey on Thursday said the recent blip in sales are behind them and that he is looking to build the fundamentals stronger to make India’s business much bigger.
“Over the last few decades, we’ve been investing in India, creating lots of jobs and lots of business and it has become the sixth largest market in the Coke system.
“The most immediate challenge for KK (T Krishnakumar, president of Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia) is to become no. 5 in the foreseeable future, but in the end, my vision for India is it will be one of the top three markets in the world for Coca-Cola,” Quincey told a select group of reporters.
Quincey, who was elevated as the CEO of the Atlanta- based cola major in May, also said India is a great country with many opportunities and a great future and Coke wants to build a good business here and without quantifying the amount, committed to investment more than USD 5 billion by 2020 as announced earlier.
“India is going to return to vibrant growth…India can be a very successful place to build the business. The ideal is let’s get from six to five on the way to being no 3 is the mandate,” he said.
He parried a question on how much of the said investment have already been made, saying, “We continue with our investment plan through 2020. We’ll keep making more investments. We want to be consistently investing.”
Admitting that sales had fallen in the last quarter of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, he said things have started to turn around.
“No business can grow in a perfect straight line. We’ve had a rough few months at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year but things are starting to turn around and come back. We are still very positive,” he said.
Though he promised to reduce the sugar content in their products — an issue that has been gaining currency across the world on health grounds — Quincey did not offer a timeline to do so, but said, faster growth in India will also come from non-carbonated (non-sparkling) drinks, as elsewhere.
When asked about when will the company have a 50:50 product and revenue share globally, he parried a direct answer but said it took almost 15 year to reach 70 per cent from 90 per cent so, and it could be 2025 or 2030.
He was, however, quick to add that sparkling drinks will continue to grow here and will remain the focus in the immediate future.
Quincey also said the company is open to inorganic growth opportunities as in the past, Coke had bought out the local brand – ThumsUp which still continues to be the volume driver here.
The company will be investing more in the non-sparkling segment to expand the portfolio.
“If you went back 10-15 years, the business was still 90 per cent sparkling globally which now is under 70 per cent. We see an opportunity to not just continue but accelerate the broadening of the portfolio yet during that time sparkling continued to grow.
But he was quick to add, “Over the next five years the revenue we get from sparkling in India will grow and yet the total revenue will grow faster than sparkling. Over time we’ll get more and more of the other categories contributing to the revenue.
WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices
New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.
Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.
This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.
Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.
Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.
The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.
The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.
Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport
New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.
Three phases of facial recognition technology
First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.
Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.
Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.
The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.
When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.
Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.
Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000
New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.
Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.
The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.
Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.
The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.
“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.