PepsiCo’s Indra K. Nooyi is on a new realisation about the land of her birth as she leads the board of her global food and beverage empire at a meeting in Mumbai this week.
“We feel that solutions which have been devised by us around the world, cannot be imposed here. The company needs to find unique solutions for India,” Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo told a news conference in Delhi.
PepsiCo’s brands such as Lays are already being complemented by local tags like Kurkure and lemon drink Nimbooz in a market in which its mainstay business, soft drinks, has faced a tough battle with traditional rival Coca Cola, which made waves in the rural hinterland with its Rs. 5-rupee bottle that attracted attention.
For Coca-Cola, which entered India in 1993, four years after its rival, sales volumes have grown for more than three years.
Nooyi said PepsiCo plans to customise its food and beverage products to suit the requirements of the Indian market.
Atul Singh, president and CEO of Coca Cola India said he would not discuss strategy. Coke has introduced local products such as Aam Panna as it eyes an investment plan of $250 million for India.
“We do not devise our marketing strategies according to any company’s plans. We continuously evaluate our options and our products are a result of continuous research initiatives,” said Singh.
PepsiCo’s three-day board meeting, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, is also aimed at creating awareness about India’s culture and product needs.
“This (the board meeting) will help us in finding out unique solutions for the country,” Nooyi said, noting that India was among the top three markets for the company.