NEW DELHI: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks firm, plans to invest $2bn in India over the next five years, with a particular emphasis on areas such as brand building and marketing.

The company has outlined a plan to ramp up its expenditure in the country, currently one of its top ten outlets worldwide – and the largest in its Eurasia and Africa group – from 2012 onwards.

"India is one of our most important growth markets," said Ahmet Bozer, Coca-Cola's president, Eurasia and Africa. "The opportunity in the packaged beverage segment is immense, and our efforts in India are focused on being the beverage of choice all day, every day."

"If we continue to do the right things ... it would not surprise me if India becomes one of the top five markets for the company globally by the end of this decade."

Since re-entering India in 1993, Coca-Cola has directed $2bn in resources to the Asian nation, where it boasts 25,000 staff, and has created an estimated 150,000 jobs in related industries.

The company has enjoyed sales increases in each of the last 21 quarters, 15 of which yielded double-digit expansions. Thums Up, a cola brand, and Sprite, another carbonated drink, are its leading lines locally.

Atul Singh, president/CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said: "This investment is a part of our long-term commitment to invest in innovation, partnerships and a portfolio of brands that will enable us to grow our business in a sustainable and responsible way."

"In addition to our infrastructure and capabilities, the new investment will also focus on enhancing the consumer experience, building brand loyalty and contributing to environmental sustainability and community development."

Data sourced from Coca-Cola; additional content by Warc staff