coca-cola vs. pepsi in india

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  • 8/3/2019 Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India


    PART IV: Case Studies

    1. Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues, 395

    2. Arun Ice Cream, 409

    3. Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), 4214. The Park, Calcutta, 439

    5. Kanpur Confectioneries Private Limited (A), 4616. Kanpur Confectioneries Private Limited (B), 467

    7. Aravind Eye Care System: Giving the Most Precious Gift, 4738. ITC Limited, Bangalore (A), 495

    9. ITC Limited, Bangalore (B), 49910. The Living Room: Redening the Furniture Industry, 505

    11. Cognizant: Preparing for a Global Footprint, 51512. One Mission, Multiple Roads: Aravind Eye Care System in 2009, 53513. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), 555

    14., 58315. Apple Computer, Inc.: Maintaining the Music Business While Introducing iPhone and Apple

    TV, 59716. Blockbuster Acquires Movielink: A Growth Strategy?, 615

    17. A Horror Show at the Cinemaplex?, 62718. JetBlue Airways: Challenges Ahead, 635

    19. Blue Ocean Strategy at Henkel, 65520. Nucor in 2009, 66321. TNK-BP (Russia) 2008, 687

    22. Barclays: Matt Barretts JourneyWinning Hearts and Minds, 70123. Nintendos Disruptive Strategy: Implications for the Video Game Industry, 707

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  • 8/3/2019 Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India


    C a s e


    Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The

    Battle of the Bottle Continues

    Soft drinks or cool drinks, as they are known in India,refer to non-alcoholic drinks served in bottles or otherpackaging, to be distinguished from hot beverages suchas coffee and tea, or cold beverages such as squashes andfresh lemon syrups or syrups of different avors mixed

    with water. Soft drinks consist of a avor base, a sweet-ener, and carbonated water. These drinks were generallynot very popular in India in the 1950s and early 1960s.

    At homes, fresh juices and squashes were more popular,

    while tea or coffee were usually served in ofces duringmeetings. Most of the bottled soft drinks at that timewere local brands, packaged in semi-automatic and hand-operated plants.


    In 1956, Pepsi Co. introduced its aerated soft drinks inIndia but the efforts in developing the Indian market werenot successful. Pepsi withdrew from India in 1961. Coca-Cola Company then entered India and did much betterthan Pepsi. Coca-Cola set up a network of franchisesand bottling plants across the country. In 1977, with a

    change in the Central government from the CongressParty, which had ruled India since Independence to the

    Janata Party, Coca-Cola was asked by the new govern-ment to reduce its equity holding to 40 per cent and to

    share the secret behind the concentrate, enabling its localmanufacture. Both these conditions were unacceptableto Coca-Cola. Hence it withdrew from India in 1977. The eld thereafter was left wide open for Indian soft

    drinks manufacturers.They exploited this bonanza to the hilt. Parle Industries,

    led by Ramesh Chauhan, made great headway and cap-tured a market share of more than 60 per cent. The prof-its derived were very healthy indeed. Parley Industries

    had a formidable array of brands which became verypowerful in the Indian market: Thums Up (cola drink),Gold Spot (orange), Limca (clouded lemon), Citra (clearlemon), Maaza (mango avoured, non-carbonated soft

    drink or NCSD) and Frooti (mango avoured NCSD in

    tetrapacks). Besides Parle, there was Pure Drinks Ltd.,owned by Charanjit Singh, which was the main bottlerfor Coca-Cola before its withdrawal. It launched its ownbrand, Campa Cola, in cola avor and some other brands

    in other avors like Campa Orange. Pure Drinks captured

    about 20 per cent of the soft drinks market in the 1980s,but declined subsequently because of its inability to with-stand competition mainly from Parle, and later, Pepsi

    (which returned to India, see later in the case). BesidesParle and Pure Drinks, there were several other smalleroperators such as Dukes and Spencer but they never re-ally made any major inroads into Chauhans empire.

    S. Manikutty

    1999 Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Revised 2001

    Cases of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, are prepared as a basis for class discussion. Cases are not designed to present

    illustrations of either correct or incorrect handling of administrative problems.

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    396 Strategic Management

    The 1980s were a decade of slow liberalization inIndia. It appeared that time was getting ripe for softdrink multinationals to stage a comeback in the country.The rst move was made by PepsiCo in 1986, proposing

    a tie-up with the Indian rms Punjab Agro IndustriesCorporation and Voltas Ltd. The proposal included set-ting up of an agro research centre to develop new variet-ies of seeds, transfer of the state-of-the-art technology infood and beverage processing and packaging, investmentin processing plants for potatoes, grains and vegetables,establishment of facilities for local manufacture of colaand fruit juice concentrates, and substantial export obli-gations. Against stiff opposition from Indian rms, the

    proposal was approved, and Pepsi launched its prod-ucts in January 1991. After quite trying times, especiallyagainst Chauhan and with its own partners, Pepsi boughtover the equity stakes of Voltas and Punjab Agro, and

    became a fully owned subsidiary of PepsiCo, USA.Coca-Cola returned to India in 1993. By this time the

    rules of the game regarding investment by multinationalshad changed considerably, and Coca-Cola was allowedentry on terms far easier than those for Pepsi (for ex-ample, Coca-Cola was allowed to set up a 100 per centsubsidiary in India without any research or export obli-gations) although it must be added that, despite the ob-ligations laid down for Pepsi, many of these obligationswere not fullled by Pepsi for various reasons.

    The Indian warriors, notably Ramesh Chauhan,attempted many tactics (described by some as street

    smart) to keep their multinational rivals at bay. But af-ter a valiant ght, Chauhan sold out Parles soft drinksbrands to Coca-Cola, for a tidy sum of around $40 mil-lion, it was believed. By this move, Coca-Cola got a shareof about 69 per cent of the soft drinks market, com-manded by Parles brands. However, Parle continued inother businesses, as for example, soda and mineral water.It also continued to be a major bottler for Coca-Cola, and

    was in fact the largest bottler in the country. But in theearly years, Coca-Cola and its principal bottler had a rela-tionship far from cosy, with charges and counterchargesliberally thrown at each other and made public with greateffort. In the opinion of a marketing consultant, For a

    company like Coke that is so heavily franchise driven, toantagonise its chief bottler was nothing short of suicidal.

    As a result, Coca-Cola lost one clear year.1

    Coca-Cola India also promoted its own brands vigor-ously, while paying a somewhat step-motherly attentionto the ex-Parle brands. This, in the opinion of industryexperts, was a major error of judgement. It seemed thatCoca-Cola grossly overestimated the power of its own

    brands as too well known all over the world, while under-estimating the power of the local brands. In the opinionof one of the chief executives of Coca-Cola India, theydid not realize that Coca-Cola was a new brand launch,

    not a relaunch.2

    The result of this error of judgementwas that the market shares of the Parle brands fell dras-tically, but these were gained by Pepsi rather than theCoca-Cola brands. Pepsi thus gained a lead in India, oneof the few countries in the world where it has led Coca-Cola consistently.

    Thus, in 1998, the soft drink market in India wasshared by Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and a host of Indian manu-facturers, mostly regional brands. The main brands ofthe major contestants, namely Coca-Cola India and PepsiIndia, are shown in Table 1:

    Table 1 Brands of CSDs offered by the main players

    Flavor Coca-Cola Pepsi Co.

    Cola Coca-Cola; Thums Up* Pepsi Cola

    Clouded Lime Fanta; Limca* SevenUp

    Clear Lime Citra* Teem

    Orange Fanta; Gold Spot* Mirinda

    Mango NCSD Maaza*

    Soda Kinley Eversel

    Note: * dn brand akn vr frm Parl.

    Exact market share gures are not available, but it was

    speculated that Coca-Cola India (including its ex-Parle

    brands) had about 55 per cent share of the soft drinksmarket while Pepsi had nearly 40 per cent. Coca-Colabrand had about 18 per cent; Thums Up about 17 percent; Pepsi Cola about 27 per cent; Limca about 10 percent and Teem about 1.5 per cent. Fanta and Mirinda hadabout 7.9 per cent each.


    Soft drinks could be broadly divided into aerated drinksand non-aerated drinks. Aeration was done by mixingcarbon dioxide with the base liquid, which in itself was

    formed by adding water and sugar to the concentrate.The aerated drinks were also known as carbonated softdrinks (CSDs). Non-aerated or non-carbonated softdrinks (NCSDs) were basically diluted fruit pulp, withsugar and preservatives added.

    Soft drink concentrates were supplied by concentrateproducers who possessed the secret formulae which theyguarded zealously. The concentrate producers supplied

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    397Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues

    these concentrates to bottlers who mixed it with waterand sweetener, and carbonated the mixture (for CSDs)by adding carbon dioxide. The production of concen-trates involved no high technology or major investment.

    CSDs in India were largely distributed in returnableglass bottles. This was quite different from the trends inmost of the countries across the world, where cans werethe dominant mode of packaging. In the 1960s, in USA,glass bottles accounted for 94 per cent of the soft drinks

    volume, and cans, four per cent. But by 1990, cans ac-counted for 52 per cent of the market, plastic bottles for30 per cent, non-returnable glass bottles for 12 per cent,and returnable glass bottles just six per cent. The reason

    why cans were not popular in India was the price of thedrink in canned form, thanks to the high import duties oncans and the high cost of the locally manufactured cansdue to poor economies of scale. In India, a bottle (300

    ml.) of soft drink cost around `8, while a can of the samedrink of the same quantity sold for about `15, the differ-ence being accounted for entirely by the cost of cans. Theeconomies involved in scale can be seen from the fact that,in USA, can manufacture was highly concentrated withve companies accounting for 98 per cent of sales of cans

    to the soft drinks industry. For can manufacturers, sales ofcans to soft drinks manufacturers accounted for about 40per cent of their sales. Can manufacturing involved settingup of expensive and highly automated lines, with capaci-ties of around 600 to 1200 cans per minute.

    Another important way of dispensation of CSDs was

    through fountains, where the concentrate, water, sugar,and carbon dioxide were stored separately and mixedjust prior to the purchase and served in glasses. In somecases, the concentrate could be kept in ready mixed formand carbonation done just before the sale. Fountains re-quired special equipment costing around `100,000. Aningenious outlet developed in India was the so calledpouring junction, which were metal boxes containing abase of ice which chilled one litre and 1.5 litres bottlesand poured out in glasses of 200 ml. at a cost of`5 each.

    These contraptions cost only about `10,000 and, sincethey needed no electricity, held great potential in ruralareas and roadside shops.

    NCSDs were served in bottles and in tetrapacks. Therewere some NCSDs which were sold in concentrate form,requiring the user to mix the concentrate with water priorto consumption. These were available in concentratedliquid and powder form. None of the soft drink manu-facturers were involved in this form of selling NCSDs:they were manufactured and sold by companies special-izing in this business (e.g. Rasna by Paloma Industries).

    The broad breakup of sales between the three kindsof soft drinks in 1998 was as follows.

    Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSDS) 61.3%

    Non-Carbonated Soft Drinks (NCSDs) 19.5%NCSD concentrates. Liquid, and powder 10.4%

    Squashes and syrups accounted for the rest of themarket.

    IndIan soft drInks Market

    Production in 1996 of CSDs and NCSDs was above4000 million bottles, or 166 million unit cases or U/Cs3of value `32 billion. Of this CSDs accounted for nearly60 per cent and NCSDs for 20 per cent. According to asurvey, however, CSDs and NCSDs accounted only for

    a small percentage of the overall share of throat ofthose identied as drinkers of soft drinks (i.e. those

    who had consumed at least once during seven days priorto the survey). The shares of throat of different drinksin India are given in Table 2.

    Per capita consumption in India of CSDs and NCSDswas still quite low. At about 5 bottles per annum per head,Indias consumption of CSDs and NCSDs was about1/250 of that of USA, 1/100 of Mexico, 1/23 of thatof Thailand, 1/5 of Pakistan, and half of Bangladesh.

    Table 2 Shares of throat of different liquids

    Liquid Share of ThroatWater 75.0

    Tea 13.3

    Coffee 1.7

    Milk 4.8

    CSDs 1.8

    NCSDs 0.7

    Squash/Powders 0.7

    Fresh lime juice (Nimbu pani) 0.9

    Alcohol 0.3

    However, the market had been showing a good growth

    of around 12 per cent per annum. It was, however, sensi-tive to the prices offered by competitors and the climaticpattern: in a year of long, hot summer, sales went upconsiderably and could be as much as 25 per cent morethan in a year of short, relatively cool summer.

    The soft drink market was quite cyclical, with nearly 40per cent of sales happening in the four summer monthsof April to July. A general idea of the cyclical pattern canbe seen from Table 3.

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    398 Strategic Management

    Table 3 Sale of CSDs and NCSDs in different months

    during a year (Index: January = 100)

    Month Index

    January 100

    February 150

    March 170

    April 200

    May 220

    June 230

    July 220

    August 200

    September 170

    October 160

    November 150

    December 150

    This seasonality had major implications for the way aCSD company dealt with its suppliers, buyers, and com-petition.

    The soft drink industry had a peculiar supply chainstructure, which made it difcult to dene its industry

    structure. First, there were the owners of the brands ofsoft drinks: The Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi Co., etc.

    These companies basically supplied the concentrate andowned the brands. They also bore a sizeable portion ofpromotion, and advertising expenditure. We call themconcentrate manufacturers in this case. The next in the

    link were bottlers. These bottlers were companies whocould be either (i) owned by concentrate manufacturers;or (ii) franchisees in which case they had the exclusiveright to sell the brands of the concentrate manufactur-ers within a territory. Since each bottler was allocateda territory, there was no question of any competitionfrom different bottlers for the same brand. A franchiseebottler could not bottle or market a directly competingbrand, that is, a Coca-Cola bottler could not bottle ormarket Pepsi Cola. Usually they bottled the entire rangeof a brand owner, but could decline to bottle particu-lar brands. In that case, they could market a competingbrand. Thus, a Coca-Cola bottler could refuse to bottle

    Gold Spot or Fanta and bottle Mirinda. Such instanceswere rare in India, although somewhat common in othercountries.

    Bottlers other than those owned by concentrate pro-ducers were independent companies whose prot or loss

    were their own concern. Concentrate producers suppliedthe concentrate at an agreed-to price. But the relationship

    was much more complex than that: the concentrate pro-

    ducers also placed orders and negotiated rates for bottleson behalf of the bottlers; they designed the campaignsand promotions, and shared the expenses of advertisingand promotions with the bottlers. They also devised the

    quality control systems for the bottlers.Bottling plants were highly capital intensive. They were

    highly automated plants, involving sophisticated machin-ery (mostly imported), the typical lling rates being 600

    to 1200 bottles a minute. Filling lines were interchange-able only for bottles of similar sizes and shapes; thus anymajor package changes needed new equipment. A typicalbottling plant cost in India anything between `350 millionand `700 million. Upgradation and modernization werealso expensive, and a common complaint of concentrateproducers was that the bottlers did not have the visionto invest in upgradation and modernization. Hence, inthe interest of their own sales, concentrate producers as-

    sisted manufacturers by sharing the expenditure involvedin modernizing and upgrading the plants.

    Besides the plant and equipment, bottlers also hadto invest in bottles, crates, trucks and the cooling equip-ment in the retailers outlets (vissicoolers and ice boxes).

    These constituted about `100 per crate. Thus, bottlingwas a business for big guys, and powerful ones at that.You just cannot talk down to bottlers, in the opinionof a marketing consultant in Mumbai, so much so thatall the bottlers have direct access to me, said Mr. P.M.Sinha, Chief Executive of Pepsi in India.4

    There were about 100 bottling companies in India.

    Coca-Cola (including its ex-Parle brands) had 53 fran-chisees and a few company owned bottlers; Pepsi, on theother hand, had about 15 owned and 11 franchisees.

    After the bottlers, came the retail outlets in the de-livery chain. Many of these retail outlets either sold thenal product after opening the bottles, or sold the bottles

    to customers who returned them later. There were alsonon-returnable plastic bottles of 1 and 1.5 litres capaci-ties. About 15 per cent of consumption of soft drinks

    was in take-home PET bottles. Larger customers suchas restaurants got their supplies directly from the bot-tling company. There were about 400,000 retail outlets inIndia selling soft drinks.

    Some of the retail outlets were fountains. Fountainswere considered to be growing faster than bottled drinks,mainly because of the lower price at which the drinkscould be sold. There were about 4000 fountains vendingPepsi drinks and 1500 vending Coca-Cola brands. Thelarger number of fountains of Pepsi was mainly becauseof their earlier entry into the country. Coca-Cola also be-lieved that quality problems, especially of water, was quite

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    399Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues

    serious with fountains, and they would like to proceed ina big way only after sorting out this issue. Also, a num-ber of dispensing units were established at petrol pumps.Coca-Cola tied up with Indian Oil Corporation (which

    had by far the largest number of outlets) while Pepsi hadtied up with Bharat Petroleum. In addition to fountains,there were also pouring junctions as mentioned earlier.

    These were just emerging, however.A crate of soft drinks entered the distribution system

    at about `100 a crate. The bottlers margins were believedto be about 10 per cent; retailers about 20 per cent; andmark up because of excise and taxes about 40 per cent.


    For the industry as a whole (i.e. bottlers and brand own-ers), there were a number of suppliers whose bargain-

    ing power varied a lot.First, there were the manufacturers of bottles. The

    shape of bottles varied between brands so that the brandcould be identied from the shape of the bottle itself.

    Coca-Cola had even patented its famous contoured bottle(the hobble skirt shape, as the company called it) all overthe world. The bottle manufactures were generally manu-facturers of glass containers of different kinds, and forthem soft drink bottles constituted a signicant source

    of orders. They had to invest in moulds which requiredfairly large order sizes, and this constituted some limita-tion on the variety of bottles that could be introduced

    or the frequency with which they could be changed. Thegeneral rule was that the bottle manufacturers bore thecost of the moulds, although in some cases the concen-trate producers and bottlers would contribute a part.Since sales during the peak season depended very heavilyon the availability of adequate number of bottles, theconcentrate producers negotiated the orders on behalfof bottlers for price, delivery, and quantity. They kepta very close tab on the orders placed sufciently in ad-

    vance and in adequate quantity.The capacity for bottle manufacture was considered

    to be adequate in the country, but not generously so.This led to the common practice of pre-empting orders

    for bottles for the season by placing orders that weresomewhat larger than required. In the past, when bottlemanufacturing capacities were tight, this could cripplethe competitor who would nd himself unable to sell be-cause of shortage of bottles. Even at the time of writingthis case, it was vital to place orders for new bottles forthe coming season well on time; otherwise sales wouldsuffer in the peak season.

    Since PET bottles were coming up as a new trend,suppliers for these needed to be developed. These bot-tles were also in particular sizes and shapes, with Coca-Cola having a contour green colored bottle. These bot-

    tles need to be made only from rst quality plastic (i.e.not recycled plastic) and with adequate quality control. In1998, the capacity for these PET bottles was consideredto be tight, but it was expected that by 1999, capacity

    would pose no problem.Sugar was a vital item. Production and movement

    of sugar from places of production to bottling plantswas governed by a maze of complex laws, but what wasclear was that the effect was always sub-optimal from thepoint of view of consumers. The sugar suppliers heldcomplete sway over delivery and prices. Although somediscounts were available for bulk purchase, sizeable bulkpurchases were not possible because of regulations.

    Sugar supply was also not consistent in quality or sweet-ness. This led to inconsistency of taste of the product it-self, something the brand owners abhorred. Backward in-tegration into sugar manufacture was not possible at thatpoint of time because of licensing restrictions; recentlythe policy had been somewhat liberalized, and setting upown sugar factories was emerging as a possibility.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) was another important sup-ply. There were small and widely dispersed suppliers andeach bottler or fountain arranged for its own suppliers.Generally this was not a problem.

    Even water was a major problem, since consistency of

    taste was vital. So far the bottlers had tied up with localsuppliers who supplied water with satisfactory proper-ties. Mineral water was considered a costly option.

    Cooling equipment needed were somewhat special-ized and required high degree of reliability. But there

    were a number of manufacturers of these equipmentwho would supply, install, and maintain them at the ven-dors premises.

    Soft drinks were essentially driven by brand appeal,and hence advertising was extremely vital. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi had tied up with advertising agencies, andusually for a particular period based on competitive bids.

    The soft drink manufacturers were quite important to ad-

    vertising agencies many of whom had signicant sharesof their revenues coming from soft drinks advertising:one industry source put it at as much as 50 to 60 percent for some agencies. There were at least 8 to 10 agen-cies which were considered suitable from the soft drinksmanufacturers point of view. Advertising agencies wereinvariably engaged by the brands and the agencies alsoplanned their campaigns nation-wide.

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    400 Strategic Management

    Event managers and promotion agencies were becom-ing more important.5 These agencies essentially managedsponsored events or a particular promotion. There werenumerous such agencies with quite different capabilities.

    Research agencies were also important, since it wasnecessary to continuously monitor market share andpreference trends. Since this required at least state-wideoperations, these were fairly large. It was the opinion ofindustry experts that really good quality research agen-cies were difcult to come by.


    Buyers, at one level, could be classied as institutional

    buyers and retail outlets. They eventually sold to nal

    consumers. The soft drink industries classied the rst

    as customers and the latter as consumers.Institutional buyers comprised corporations and in-stitutions who bought and stocked soft drinks for serv-ing visitors, meetings, etc. and hotels and restaurants.Compared to retail channels, these were high volume,high image customers. These institutions (includinghotels and restaurants) stocked a variety of other softdrinks and beverages (tea, coffee, etc.), and hotels andrestaurants in most states stocked liquors also.

    Retail outlets stocked for sale to consumers in rela-tively smaller quantities and depended on turnover. The

    volume of each was small but collectively, of course, theyaccounted for nearly 75 per cent of total business.

    Hotels and restaurants usually did not display muchpromotional material, except perhaps logos, and that toodiscretely. They depended on customer pull, i.e. custom-ers specied which drink they preferred. They generally

    did not mind any brand in the same avor, however. The

    soft drink manufacturers tried to get exclusive arrange-ments in hotels and restaurants and were moderatelysuccessful. Hotels and restaurants were not governedby maximum retail price (MRP) laws and could chargehigher than the marked MRP for their ambience.

    Retail outlets depended heavily on promotional mate-rial, and quite often stocked competing brands. The pur-chase of soft drinks was generally impulse driven. Retailoutlets were governed by MRP laws.

    Out of 800 million population in India in the late1990s, about 150 million could be categorized as con-sumers of soft drinks in the sense that they consumedat least one soft drink in one week prior to a survey date.Of this population, males constituted 71 per cent and ac-counted for 68 per cent of consumption in volume.

    Soft drinks were consumed pronouncedly in urban ar-eas: though only 28 per cent of the population were inurban areas, they accounted for 58 per cent of drinkersand 75 per cent of volume. But of the sales of about 166

    million unit cases (U/Cs) in the country, 120 million U/Cswere sold in urban markets; of which 59.3 million U/Cswere sold in four metros alone. Table 4 gives the consump-tion pattern in terms of geographic spread, while Table 5shows the consumer prole in terms of age and Table 6

    shows the consumer prole on basis of income.

    Table 4 Soft drink consumption in Indian cities

    City Drinkers



    (million U/C)

    Per capita

    (No. of serves p.a.)

    Delhi 7.5 25.0 80

    Bombay 7.2 13.4 45

    Calcutta 5.2 11.6 53

    Madras 3.1 9.3 73

    Bangalore 2.6 4.3 40

    Pune 1.4 1.9 34

    Total Urban

    Key Markets

    59.3 114.0 46

    The age and income proles of consumers of softdrinks were as follows:

    Table 5 Soft drink consumption in terms of age groups

    Age group % of


    Soft drink

    % consumption

    1219 years 18 20

    2029 years 23 33

    3050 years 41 38

    > 50 years 18 9

    Source:Data obtained from industry.

    Table 6 Soft drink consumption in terms of income


    income per

    annum (`)

    % of


    % of soft



    % of


    estimate 1

    % of


    estimate 2

    >100,000 12 22 25 31

    50100,000 15 22 23 27

    2550,000 21 25 23 27

    1525000 21 17 16 8

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    401Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues

    CSDs were consumed more often out of home andmany between meals as may be seen below:

    Table 7 Pattern of CSD consumption (percentages)

    Water Tea/Coffee CSD

    At Home 92 85 44

    Out of Home 8 15 56

    Total 100 100 100

    With Meals 46 44 12

    Between Meals 54 56 88

    Total 100 100 100

    Source:Data obtained from industry.

    The association of CSD and other beverages/drinkswith activities may be seen from Table 8.

    The reasons cited by respondents in selecting a par-

    ticular brand and type of beverage were (i) rational rea-

    sons such as being refreshed after consumption, quench-

    ing of thirst and taste, and (ii) emotion-based reasons

    such as image projected among friends, being popular

    and in thing and done thing to serve guests. It was

    also found that while rational reasons were cited only

    to the extent of about 30 to 40 per cent of respondents,

    this frequency did not vary much across seasons. On the

    other hand, emotion-based reasons were cited by about50 to 80 per cent of respondents but varied considerably

    across seasons. In hot seasons, generally emotional rea-

    sons went up in frequency.

    It was the general opinion in the industry that soft

    drinks had strong associations and that purchases were

    heavily inuenced by the kind of image each drink pro-

    jected. Consistently over the world, blind tests had failed

    to distinguish between the actual preference of consum-

    ers of at least Coca-Cola and Pepsi; in fact in some blind

    tests conducted by Pepsi in 1974 (and widely publicized

    through Challenge Booths set up in food stores), 58

    per cent of consumers were found to prefer the taste ofPepsi.6 That did not prevent them from still preferring

    Coke brands in real life, apparently. Hence a great deal

    of effort went in building images across the brands and

    sustaining them.

    Table 8 What people drink and when

    CSD Fruit




    Milk Total


    Eating a meal at home

    Having a snack

    Watching television






















    Away from Home

    With meals

    With snacks

    Meal at school/work

    Fast food joints

    On the move


    At movie theatres




































    Home or Away

    Working or studying


    At parties

    Celebrating special






















    Source: Data obtained from industry.

    Worldwide, Coca-Cola had built up very strong as-sociations with the American way of life. Attempts atreorienting the image had generally proved disastrous inthe past. In a well known case, in 1984, Coca-Cola an-nounced that it would change the formula of its 99 yearold brand to contain more sugar. Apparently this made ittaste more like Pepsi. The product met with customer re-sistance with formation of consumer resistance groups.On the day of the announcement, Pepsi announced aholiday for its employees, claiming it welcomed thenew Pepsi drinkers. Bottlers also added to the clamor.

    The noise made indicated that a substantial number ofAmericans regarded the traditional Coca-Cola as synony-mous with motherhood and apple pie.7 Coca-Cola had torelent and reintroduce the original product as Coca-ColaClassic. Much later, in 1994, Pepsi tried repositioning itsown product, canning in new blue cans. The result wasequally disastrous.


    The soft drink industry involved considerable econo-mies of scale in manufacture, especially of bottle and

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    402 Strategic Management

    can manufacture and bottling operations. The scale ofeconomies in cans, for example, was so high that, at pres-ent levels of consumption, it was not feasible to set upcan manufacturing factories that were viable.

    The distribution system formed another formidableentry barrier. The system needed to reach a huge num-ber of small outlets and even in cities this was a majortask. Investment in bottles as well as in other matchingequipment such as chillers, vissicoolers, and ice boxes

    was huge. Transport vehicles were needed to transportthe drinks to outlets, and these vehicles were generallyowned by the bottling company and carried the logoof respective brands prominently, as did the crates andbottles themselves. Thus they could not be interchangedbetween different brands.

    The brands themselves constituted a major entry bar-rier. It was very expensive to launch a new brand and

    sustain it.However, there was scope for local brands to be de-

    veloped and promoted. This was in fact done by manylocal brands which concentrated on particular areas. Buteven put together, they constituted less than 10 per centof the market.


    By their very nature, soft drinks were readily substitut-able by a variety of beverages and other soft drinks. Eventhough many consumers had strong preferences, the

    preferences were not so strong that the consumers wouldgo out of their way to get their own brands. Consumersalso readily switched between different avors. The most

    important parameter governing the eventual choice wasavailability. If this was not ensured, all the efforts spenton promotion and advertisements were of little use. Thismeant that the full line of products of each manufacturerneeded to be stocked at retail shops that were close to-gether. At least in this business, more was better in termsof number of retail outlets. This was expressed beauti-fully by Coca-Cola in its famous line that its objective wasto make Coke available within an arms reach of desirein every country it was in. Competitors tried various ways

    to make sure that their brands were available wheneverconsumers felt like having a soft drink: mobile trolleys,employing retired personnel to intensely push their prod-ucts, and so on. Railway stations were a favorite targetout of 7056 railway stations in the country, about 3000had soft drink outlets. Supermarkets were another targetfor soft drink manufacturers.

    The advent of fruit juice based non-carbonated drinks,packed in tetrapacks, was considered an important devel-opment. Even earlier, squashes served as conveniencedrinks at homes, but their major problem was that they

    could not be carried around easily and could not be pur-chased on impulse. Things changed a great deal, how-ever, when Frooti, a drink packed in handy 250 ml. pack,

    was introduced in 1985 by Parle and Jumpin by Godrej.These packs could be carried around, with no risks ofbreakage; kids found them fun, and mothers found themless troublesome. It also provided a health assuranceno water of doubtful purity so that consumers veryparticular about water contamination (such as foreigntourists) found this product very good value for money.Frooti had been accepted for supply in trains, aircraft,and in parties as a safe, enjoyable, tasty and healthy drink.

    After the success of Frooti, other manufacturers had

    also jumped into the fray. Another new development in 1998 was fresh fruit

    juice, packed hygienically and with a long shelf life,named Onjus manufactured by Enkay Texofood Limited.

    This was promoted as a juice no different from juicesextracted on the spot from fresh fruit. The promoters

    were optimistic about the prospects for this drink. In1998, Onjus had become a `400 million business; witha competitor, Dabur with its Dabur Real, also entering,this market was expected to take off.

    Yet another development that was not to be ignoredwas the advent of mineral water in the Indian market.

    The pioneer of this concept in the Indian market wasParle Industries with its brand Bisleri which had almostbecome a generic name. Very slow to gain acceptance atrst, mainly in view of its cost (about `16 for a one litrebottle in 1998), the market for mineral water had grown,thanks to vigorous promotion and growing health con-sciousness (rather, scare about possible water contamina-tion). It was believed that mineral water was becoming animportant substitute for soft drinks, especially by travel-lers. Some people even thought that in the next few years,mineral water would outsell carbonated drinks.8

    There were a host of manufacturers of mineral wa-ter in 1998 with two or three leading brands operating

    nationally and the rest regionally. Parle Exports, with itsbrand Bisleri,9 (still controlled by Ramesh Chauhan) wasthe market leader with about 50 per cent market share.

    Another major brand was Bailley, owned by Parle Agro,a company controlled by Prakash Chauhan. Bailley com-manded a market share of about 31 per cent. Worldwide,both Coca-Cola and Pepsi owned mineral water brands,

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    403Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues

    Bonaqua of Coca-Cola and H20h! by Pepsi Foods. Thesebrands, however, had not been launched in India. Themarket for mineral water in India as in 1998 was estimat-ed to be around `4000 million, or, at an average price of

    `12 per litre, about 330 million litres. According to Mr.Ramesh Chauhan, he aimed for a consumption of 500million litres of Bisleri by the summer of 1999.10


    The two major players were Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo. Their proles and strengths and weaknesses are

    given below. Two more brands of any signicance wereCampa-Cola and Sosyo.


    Coca-Cola Company was a $19 billion US companybased in Atlanta. Its agship drink, Coca-Cola, was one

    of the ve best known trademarks in the world, and was

    identied as the most admired trademark in the world,

    according to a survey conducted worldwide in 1988.Coca-Cola was developed as a formulation in 1886 by

    Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta. The legendgoes that Dr. Pemberton, having produced the concoc-tion in a three legged brass pot in his backyard, took it toa local chemist, Jacobs Pharmacy (of which he was partowner), and sold it through Jacob Pharmacy as a refresh-ing drink. The product must have been quite pleasing to

    the 19th century palates, for it found instant acceptance.Dr. Pembertons partner, Frank Robinson suggested thename thinking two Cs would look well in advertise-ments and penned the famous owing script which isalso the trademark of Coca-Cola. The real development,however, took place when Asa Candler became the soleowner of Jacobs Pharmacy (at an expense of $2,300)

    who introduced many innovations the most importantbeing (i)selling the concentrate to other pharmacies for acharge, (ii) heavy advertising and promotions which wereubiquitous, and (iii) the concept of bottling franchises.

    The famous hobble skirt bottle was designed by RootGlass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1916 and theshape was patented much later in 1997, an honor accord-ed to only a handful of other packages. The name Coke

    was also patented as a substitute for Coca-Cola.In 1919, Ernest Woodruff purchased the Coca-Cola

    Company from Asa Candlers heirs and in 1923 his son,Robert Woodruff, took the company to great heights. His

    was the motto within an arms reach of desire, makingthe drink available virtually everywhere, well, if not an

    arms reach, certainly within the reach of a few steps.Coca-Colas association with Olympics began in 1928 inthe Amsterdam Olympics, when the spectators witnessedthe rst lighting of the Olympic ame as well as the

    rst sale of Coca-Cola at an Olympiad. The Coca-ColaCompany introduced open top coolers for store keepersin 1929 (provided at low prices by the company), the coin

    vending machine in 1937, and its famous lifestyle adver-tising emphasizing the products role in a consumers liferather than the products attributes. This varied fromtime to time, and the more memorable messages were:The Pause that Refreshes, The Real Thing, ThingsGo Better with Coke, Coke Adds Life, Have a Coca-Cola and a Smile, Always Coca-Cola, Coke is It andCant Beat the Real Thing. Every Coke-person feltnostalgic about Coca-Colas decision to supply Coke, atthe request of General Dwight Eisenhower during World

    War II, to every man in uniform for 5 cents whereverhe is and whatever it costs. Coca-Cola bottling plantssoon followed the American troops around the world,and even though we have no idea of how much it cost,surely the benets were many times over. Coca-Cola be-came a dominant symbol all over the world, with a domi-nant market share. Even now, Coca-Cola as a brand is aleader in most of the countries, through not in India (thereader is advised not to remind Coca-Cola India execu-tives of this!). Worldwide, Coca-Cola held almost 70 percent of the Cola market, and in US, about 40 per cent.Pepsi Cola was the follower with about 31 per cent share

    in the US International sales of Coca-Cola accounted for62 per cent of the volume in contrast to 20 per cent ofPepsis. Other worldwide brands were: Fanta, an orangeavored CSD, Sprite, a clear lime CSD, Tab, a lemon

    avored CSD, Fresca, a grape juice avored CSD, DietSprite, Diet Coke, Caffeine-free Coke, Cherry Coke, DietCherry Coke, and an orange juice NCSD, the MinuteMaid. Worldwide, 37 per cent of Coca-Colas produc-tion was from independently owned bottlers; 50 per centfrom plants with non-controlling interest; and 13 percent from plants with controlling interest.


    Pepsi-Cola was formulated in 1893 in New Bern, NorthCarolina, by a pharmacist, Caleb Bradham. Pepsi alsoexpanded its network through a franchised network ofbottlers. But, unlike Coca-Cola, Pepsi came to near bank-ruptcy a number of times.

    Pepsi generally competed on price. Throughout the1950s and 1960s, Pepsi had sold its concentrate to bot-

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    404 Strategic Management

    tlers at a price 20 per cent lower than Coca-Cola. The softdrink prices to the consumers were also correspondinglylower. Later in early 1950s, it increased its concentrateprice to equal that of Coca-Cola and used the increased

    margins for advertisements and promotions. In 1933,Pepsi Cola was sold at 5 cents per bottle of 12 oz., thesame price as a Coca-Cola bottle of six and half oz. In1939, it beamed its famous radio jingle, which went on tobecome the second best known song in America (behindthe Star Spangled Banner): Twice as much for a nickel too,Pepsi Cola is the one for you.

    Unlike, the Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi, under theleadership of Donald Kendall who took over in 1963, di-versied into production of snacks (Frito-lay) and restau-rants (Pizza-hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken). As a consequence of these diversications, Pepsi-Cola

    Company was renamed as PepsiCo. It was of the opinion

    that there were synergies possible across these businesses:chips were supposed to go well with soft drinks, and newfountain outlets could be opened in restaurants.

    Pepsi also had a number of powerful brands world-wide in its arsenal. It had Pepsi Free in the caffeine-freesegment, Sugar Free Pepsi Free with aspartame in placeof sugar, clear lemon drinks Slice and Diet Slice, CherryCola Slice, Cherry Pepsi, and Slice Mandarin Orange. Itwas also the rst to introduce the three litre plastic take-

    home bottle.

    coMPetItorsIn IndIa

    India was one of the few countries in the world wherePepsi led the Coca-Cola brand in the cola segment. Butsince Coca-Cola also had the Parles old brands (ThumsUp, Limca, etc.) in its stable, in terms of market shares ofcompanies, Coca-Cola company held about 54 per centshare of the market as against Pepsi Co. Indias 40 percent. Table 9 shows the market shares of the brands ofthe two majors.

    Table 9 Market shares of the soft drink brands of the ma-

    jors (as on January 1998)

    Brand Coca-Cola Co. Brands Pepsi BrandsCola Segment


    Coca-Cola: 17.9%

    Thums Up: 17.5%

    Pepsi: 27.3%

    Orange Fanta: 7.9%

    Gold Spot: 1.0%

    Mirinda: 7.9%

    Clouded Lime Limca: 9.4% Teem: 1.5%

    Clear Lime Citra: 0.5% 7 Up: 2.5%

    Source:Adding A Lemon, Business India, May 7, 1998; and also

    data obtained from the industry.

    A great strength of Coca-Cola was its array ofbrandsfairly powerful in each segment. Pepsis non-cola brands were generally weak.

    Pepsi had been able to build a presence in many cities. Its

    bastions seemed to be Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.Coca-Cola was strong in Chennai and Kolkata; ThumsUp in northern cities and in Andhra Pradesh.

    From the very beginning, Pepsi chose to adapt toIndian needs and preferences. It tried to associate itsbrand with local festivals, events, and traditions. Insteadof projecting its global lineage, it used vernacular phras-es, and associated with local festivals with new slogansand people. Its strategy was to introduce campaignsmade in India and specic to Indian settings, people, andidioms. For example, it adapted its famous US campaignline Youve Got the Right One Baby, Uh-Huh sungby Ray Charles to Yehi Hai Right Choice Baby, Aha.

    In Chennai, it offered a bottle of free Pepsi with idlis (aSouth Indian snack); in Calcutta, it linked it with localcricket tournaments; and in Delhi, with the festival ofHoli. In the words of a Pepsi executive, On-the-groundactivity is critical. You have to keep generating activitiesand increase consumption opportunities.12

    Pepsi had adopted an aggressive campaign, targeted atthe youth. It positioned itself as a thing for the youth.Pepsi conducted a memorable advertising campaign dur-ing the Wills World Cup in cricket in 1997, for whichit bid and lost. While Coca-Cola trumpeted its drink asthe ofcial drink for the world cup, Pepsi conducted

    a campaign Nothing Ofcial About It featuring ce-lebrities such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the lmstar Akshay Kumar. The campaign, which cashed in onthe anti-establishment, anti-ofcial aspirations of the

    youth, and the campaign was considered to be highlysuccessful, the sour grapes element not much visible.

    It was only much later, from mid 1997, that Coca-Cola also started on similar local platforms, abandoningits global ads. Till then, at least in the beginning, Coca-Cola campaigned their global low key and less aggressive.But in 1997, a new CEO, Mr. Donald Short took over,and launched an India-specic campaign, abandoning its

    global templates and nding much wisdom in the old ad-

    age about doing as the Romans do while in Rome. In1998, Coca-Cola ran a series of campaigns with the themeEat..., Sleep...., Drink only Coca-Cola, the gaps beinglled at different times by different events current at that

    time: such as tennis, cricket, etc. This campaign was con-sidered to be a great success in building awareness aboutthe Coca-Cola brands.13 According to a survey, in August1997, only 19.4 per cent of a sample of soft drinkers

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    405Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues

    population recalled seeing a Coke advertisement, while37 per cent remembered Pepsi ads instantly. By March1998, Coke seemed to have caught up: 32 per cent wereaware of Pepsi ads and 30.4 per cent, of Coke ads.14

    Pepsi continued to associate celebrities in its ad cam-paigns. Only in 1998 did Coca-Cola realize the need forcelebrities and in September 1998, it signed up some ce-lebrities such as cine stars Karishma Kapoor, and AmirKhan, and cricketers Srinath, Saurav Ganguly, RobinSingh, and Anil Kumble. Pepsi had in its campaigns cinestar Shah Rukh Khan and cricketers Sachin Tendulkar,

    Ajay Jadeja, Mohammed Azharuddin, and Rahul Dravid.While Coca-Cola started sponsoring live concerts featur-ing Asha Bhonsle, Alisha Chinai, and Daler Mahendi,Pepsi had thrown its lot with lm premieres. And thus,

    the cola conict continues, celebrity against celebrity,

    jingle against jingle,15 glocalization against glocalization,

    commented Business Today.16

    Pepsi also had been agile in getting a number of eventssponsored or in which it had a major presence. For exam-ple, it was expected to be associated with about 100 mu-sic related events (Coke was to be associated with about70); with some 60 movies (Coke: 26); and 13 or so sportsevents (Coke: 7). Thus, Coca-Cola was seen as a me-toofollower of Pepsi in India. However, lately, Coca-Cola toolaunched an aggressive sponsoring of events and was ex-pected to overtake Pepsi in each event in 1999.

    While Pepsi positioned its cola drink clearly as theyouth and fun drink, its positioning in terms of its other

    brands was less clear. It seemed as if most of Pepsisenergies were concentrated on its cola brand. Coca-Colas path was chequered. At rst, after acquiring Parles

    brands, it tried to downplay these brands promoting itsown brands. But it realized by 1997 that this was a mis-take; Thums Up and Limca were too powerful indeed,and not promoting them was simply leading to theirshare being taken up by Pepsis brands. In 1997, Coca-Cola began a repositioning exercise, and began promot-ing all its brands vigorously. Thums Up was positioned

    with a macho image targeting at 20 to 29 year olds; Fantawas the fun drink for 13 to 19 year olds; and Limca wasfor anyone taking a breatheror, as its catch line said,

    take it easy. As for Coke, it was treated as a motherbrand, which would build the foundation for the rest ofthe brands. Also, the advertising and promotion of eachbrand was directed to those cities and regions where it

    was strong. For example, Mumbai and Kolkata saw moreof Thums Up, while Chandigarh saw more of Coke,

    while the South saw Citra more often17.

    Pepsi worked with one ad agency while Coca-ColaIndia usually had four to ve agencies with whom it ne-gotiated and got better rates. All promotions of Coca-Cola were national so far, while Pepsi went in for na-

    tional and regional promotions. Pepsi generally chose acity or region and ran a high intensity campaign for abouta month; then moved on to another city. This usually re-sulted to a gain in market share by about 5 to 10 percent-age points in the short run and by about 3 to 5 points inthe long run, in the absence of a counter campaign.

    Pepsi and Coca-Cola both had mechanisms for track-ing their market shares. Essentially this was done throughquestioning the retail outlets and samples of consumers.Coca-Cola, from the beginning, invested heavily in mar-ket research and intelligence and its capabilities in thisrespect were believed to be much better. It could iden-tify shifts in market shares in any market within about

    37 days of the end of the period and the data wereconsidered to be very reliable. Coca-Cola executivesclaimed that this enabled them to plan their campaignsand promotions and ne tune them. Pepsi, being the rst

    mover, had a good network of well-trained salespersons.It was also believed that Pepsi paid the salesmen betterthan Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola executives believed that payitself was not a major disadvantage, but they needed todo more and better training for their salespersons.

    Pepsi and Coca-Cola had built different distribu-tion and logistic systems. Pepsi had a higher number offountains and it had built a good number of high image

    clients thanks to its being the rst mover compared toCoca-Cola. It operated smaller trucks which covered ashorter route while Coca-Cola had larger trucks cover-ing longer routes. Pepsi used half depth crates (i.e., withheights covering only half the bottle) while Coca-Colaused full depth crates. The latter was believed to lead toless breakagesCoca-Colas breakage of bottles was 0.5per cent compared to 2.5 per cent for Pepsi.

    From the beginning, Pepsi followed a strategy ofowning and operating many bottling plants. It acquiredcontrolling interests in numerous bottling operationsguaranteeing the bottlers nancial support. This strategy

    gave control over bottling operations, but it resulted in

    spending a lot of managerial resources in manufacturingand labor problems. According to Business India, one ofthe industry managers thought that with such big invest-ments on the ground, Pepsi may not be able to take itseye off the manufacturing ball and the moot point is

    whether it will be able to focus adequately on marketing atthe same time, which is really the name of this game.18

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    406 Strategic Management

    Coca-Cola, on the other hand, started with owning aslittle of bottling as possible. But it seems to have followedPepsis footsteps buying up a number of bottling units.By the end of 1998, Coca-Cola owned 52 outlets across

    India, and was in the process of acquiring the remainingindependent plants also or setting up joint ventures withmajority stakes. There were 45 more independent bot-tlers and in 199798, Coca-Cola had signed up two joint ventures and acquired the management control of ve

    other bottling units.Coca-Cola operated through two holding companies

    in IndiaHindustan Coca-Cola and Bharat Coca-Cola. They had nanced four downstream joint ventures:

    Hindustan Coca-Cola Bottling North West (invest-ment: `3450 million); Hindustan Coca-Cola BottlingSouth West (investment: `2500 million); Bharat Coca-Cola Bottling North East (investment: `2500 million);

    and Bharat Coca-Cola Bottling South West (investment:`3450 million).19 It was expected that when the franchis-ing agreements would come up for renewal (mostly inlate 1998 and early 1999), the balance units would be ac-quired by Coca-Cola.

    Coca-Cola had its plants spread out thanks to his-torical legacies. This made for shorter access to marketsbut poorer economies of scale in manufacture. On the

    whole, neither was believed to have a decisive advantageover other because of this factor.

    One and 1.5 litre bottles were emerging as importantconsumer preferences. These were non-returnable PET

    bottles, to be taken home by consumers and served with-in two to three days of opening the bottle. This was be-coming popular in the house segment. Only rst quality

    (not recycled) PET bottles were used for this purpose. Asin 1998, Pepsi had tied up for capacities for large bottlesmore than Coca-Cola.

    It was believed that fountain sales would pick up steeplyin the coming years. Because of its rst mover advantage,Pepsi had been able to set up about 4000 fountains whileCoca-Cola had about 1500. According to Vibha Rishi,

    Vice President, Marketing, Pepsi planned to add another200,000 access points to the existing half a million, witharound 50,000 new coolers in an year. Coca-Cola also

    had similar plans. But it was cautious over the issue ofgoing into fountains in a big way, for it believed these hadserious quality problems, especially with water.

    Coca-Cola was extremely sensitive to the issue ofquality. Quality was a problem in this industry, for muchdepended on how much care the bottler took in his

    operations and supplies, especially water. Any contami-nation found instant headlines in newspapers, and theconcentrate manufacturers believed that it hurt them al-most entirely, not the bottlers (many in the public did not

    even know the difference between bottlers and concen-trate manufacturers). Coca-Cola believed that its qualitychecks were very stringent and of world class, and farsuperior to Pepsis. It thought that, unless the quality is-sues were sorted out, it would not be a good idea to getinto fountains in a big way.

    It was believed that Pepsi had a very thin head ofce.Much of the initiatives were left to the people at the re-gional levels, and they could launch campaigns withoutreference to even the Indian head ofce. Thus, it wasspeculated that the Chennai idli campaign was done atthe initiative of the Chennai people alone.20 The New York ofce also left the Indian executives to plan and

    execute work in their own way. On the other hand, Coca-Cola had a fairly large head ofce in Delhi, with most

    of the decisions on campaigns, promotions, and pricingtaken at the head ofce level. In turn its Atlanta ofce

    also held the Indian company on a tight leash. Recently,however, Coca-Cola also seemed to have changed its ap-proach, and had started giving more freedom to the eld

    personnel.Coca-Cola executives were of the opinion that over

    time, as in other countries in the world, their brandswould dominate, with suitable and adequate promotionand advertising support. They also believed that the mar-

    ket would continue to grow at the rate of at least 12 to15 per cent a year, perhaps as much as 30 per cent a yearand their market share (of Coca-Cola brands, not Parlebrands) would steadily inch up.

    assIgnMent QuestIons

    1. Conduct an industry analysis using Porters ve forc-es model and identify action implications in each forCoca-Cola India.

    2. Identify strategic questions facing Coca-Cola India(ve at the most).

    3. From the proles of Coca-Cola and Pepsi given in

    the case, assess the relative strengths and weaknessesof each. It may be useful to do this under differentscenarios.

    4. Develop a set of recommendations for Coca-ColaIndia (remember to take into account Pepsis likelyoffensive and defensive/retaliatory moves).

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    407Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi in India: The Battle of the Bottle Continues


    1. Lading h Way, Business India, January 1528, 1996,


    2. Dnald shr, Ceo, Cca-Cla India, qud by Business India

    in turning n h Ha, Jun 29July 12, 1998.

    3. Oneunitcasewasdenedas24bolesof250ml.each;re-



    4. Leading the Way, Business India, January 1528, 1996,


    5. evn wr a rcn dvlpmn in India, and rfrrd

    parcularshows (suchasfashionshows)organizedto pro-



    6. RebeccaWayland, Coca-ColaversusPepsi-Cola in theSo

    Drink Indury, ca marial f Harvard Buin schl,



    7. ibid.

    8. Ramh Chauhan, fr xampl, i rprd hav hard

    thisview.CanCoca-ColaBoleUptheChauhans?, Business

    Today, Augu 22, 1998.

    9. th brand wa wnd by Acqua Minral, a whlly wnd ub-

    idiary f Parl expr.

    10. BolingUpStrategiesfortheWarof theWaters,Business

    Today, spmbr 721, 1998.

    11. MaterialinthisseconandthenextonPepsiarebasedon

    dcumn givn by Cca-Cla India and h Harvard Ca,


    12. Why Ck shuld B mr Lik Ppi, Business Today, Au-

    gu 721, 1997.

    13. turning n h Ha, Business India, Jun 29July 12, 1998.

    14. ibid.

    15. Cca-Cla, fr inanc, cind i jingl Ala-Re-Aya which

    waspreempngPepsisSachin Aya Re jingl. Bh wr bad


    cnrvry vr i jingl.

    16. TheColaWarriors Indian Summer,Business Today, sp-

    mbr 7, 1998.

    17. turning n h Ha, Business India, Jun 29July 12, 1998.

    18. tha Pain Win, Business India, January 1528, 1996,


    19. Can Coca-Cola BoleUp theChauhans?,Business Today,

    Augu 22, 1998.

    20. WhyCokeShouldBeMoreLikePepsi,Business Today, Au-

    gu 721, 1997.