PepsiCo takes nuanced approach in India

13 November 2009

NEW DELHI: PepsiCo, the US food and beverage giant, is aiming to take a nuanced approach to its operations in India, as it seeks to tap in to the unique needs of consumers in the rapidly-growing market.

As previously reported, Pepsi's sales in the Asian nation have increased by 30% over the course of the year-to-date, helping the company partially offset more challenging trading conditions in the US.

It has also invested $220 million (€147m; £133m) in its beverage operations in the country in 2009, building on an earlier commitment to spend around double that amount over a three-year period.

Indra Nooyi, its chief executive, said "India is in the top two or three markets for every company in the world, because India is a young country, India is a growing country [and] India is a well managed country."

"So for PepsiCo, it is one of the ... top three growth markets. And we intend to be here for a long time. Most importantly we just crossed a billion sales in India, and we are very proud of our business here."

Among the areas of long-term focus for the New York-based firm are attracting talent, pursuing its corporate social responsibility objectives and further developing its brand portfolio and overall strategy to suit local requirements.

Furthermore, it is thought that the owner of Gatorade and Frito-Lay is considering heightening its activity in the health and wellness sector, alongside its core FMCG activities.

PepsiCo also held its latest board meeting in India earlier this week, and Nooyi suggested this "historic" event was intended to show its leading executives "the glory of India and the issues in India so that we propose solutions."

"India is a very different market from any western developed market," she continued. "You cannot just import western solutions to India. You have to crack solutions which are right for India, right for the people, right for the country [and] right for its farmers."

Data sourced from Economic Times, Financial Express; additional content by Warc staff