Coca-Cola plans to double its sales force in India from the exisitng 7,000 over the next five years as the Atlanta-headquartered company gears up for a massive business expansion in the country.
The cola giant last year announced plans to invest $5 billion (Rs 30,700 crore) by 2020 to add up to its existing scale, manufacturing and distribution capability in India.
“Our investments in India will continue as we see a bigger potential in here…we will double the size of our sales force by hiring thousands over the next five to eight years,” said Stevens J Sainte-Rose, senior V-P HR, Coca-Cola International.
At present, Coca-Cola employs about 7,000 sales professionals across India and the company plans to add the same number of people over the next five years. In Coke’s parlance these sales people are known as “feet on street”, who interact with retailers and traders, thereby generating business insights, besides pushing the company’s beverage and cola brands.
Apart from sales staff, Coca-Cola India and its bottling partners directly employ around 25,000 people. Coke also supports an additional 0.15 million people through indirect employment. Headcounts for these sections are not expected to change.
Coca-Cola started its India business two decades ago and its beverage products include Coke, Thums Up, 7Up, Sprite, Mazaa and Fanta among others. It operates 58 manufacturing plants and India is the seventh-largest market for the firm.