John Murphy: Coke is Still a Competing Brand in India

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 27 June 2024

According to John Murphy, global president and chief financial officer of the beverage company, Coca-Cola is "still a challenger brand in India" and is approaching this market with that perspective. Murphy made these remarks at a recent consumer conference in Paris.

Murphy responded to an analyst question concerning the various functions that brands or categories perform in various markets by saying, "India is an excellent example. Today, we discuss the opportunities in India, where Coca-Cola is still a competitive brand. And it's one of the most difficult things we have to do."

Even though Coke is the most valuable beverage brand in the world at $106 billion, it is not as popular in India as Sprite and Thums Up Cola, both of which have sold more than $1 billion there annually.

A billion-dollar brand in 2021, Thums Up (which Coca-Cola purchased from Ramesh Chauhan's Parle in 1993) rose to prominence due to its robust carbonation and appeal to spicy Indian palates. Additionally, it was the first Coca-Cola India brand to reach the milestone.

The following year, sales of the firm's worldwide lemon-flavored beverage Sprite reached $1 billion in India, which the company credited to regionally tailored, occasion-based marketing.

Conversely, the trademark Coca-Cola has undergone several positioning modifications, including "share a Coke," "thanda matlab," and "open happiness." While "thanda matlab" and other ads were developed locally, the company has adopted the subject of "happiness" across its various regions.

Murphy stated at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference in Paris, "In a place like India, we've actually taken on that challenger mindset to unleash the potential that it (brand Coke) has, and we're very pleased with the early stages of that." "In other markets, it might have a different role to play and, therefore, the tactics that you deploy may be different, may be adapted accordingly," he stated.

According to its filings with the Registrar of Companies, which business intelligence platform Tofler was able to access, the Indian company that produces Coke, Thums Up and Sprite fizzy drinks, Minute Maid and Maaza juice drinks, Kinley water, and Georgia coffee reported a 57% increase in consolidated profit to '722 crore in fiscal 2023. Operational revenue increased by 45% to '4,521 crore.

India has been one of the company's "most reliable markets for the last three or four years," according to Murphy.

One of the top five volume growth priority markets for the US corporation situated in Atlanta is India. Murphy stated that the firm has demonstrated "tremendous consistency" in turning chances into value in several global markets over the past three to four years. "That conversion is very, very much related to our ability to execute and to execute on a daily basis ... the ability to manage in an environment where there's always different puts and takes coming at you," he stated.

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