Coca-Cola India announces top level organisational changes

MUMBAI: Coca-Cola India has announced some key senior leadership changes, aligned with its long term plans of becoming one of the Coca-Cola company’s top five markets (in volume terms) by 2020. The Company is already committed to an investment of $ five billion to further capture growth opportunities in the Indian packaged beverage market.

Announcing the senior leadership changes, deputy business unit president, India and South West Asia Venkatesh Kini said, “As we move into the next phase of our journey in India, we have a solid foundation and the necessary momentum in our business. We now need to have the scale and resources to capture latent growth. Building our talent pipeline and developing people capability is one of our key pillars for success. The new senior level management changes is a step in that direction. The entire team will work closely with our bottling partners to achieve our Vision 2020 goals in India.”

The following are the key organisational changes effective 1 October, 2013. All these senior leaders of the company will report to Kini. There are no changes in the organisational structure at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, led by its CEO T. Krishnakumar.

Vikas Chawla, currently VP operations, is moving to Athens, taking over as the franchise operations head in South East Europe where he will lead operations for 12 European countries. This is yet another endorsement of the quality of talent in India. He adds to the list of 47 managers that the BU has exported to the global TCCC system.

 For a deeper focus on operations and aligned to achieving the business targets for 2020, Coca-Cola India will have two operation leaders going forward.

Sumanta Datta, currently VP - customer and commercial leadership, will take over as vice president, Company Bottling Operations (including Delhi region and national key accounts). He will work closelywith the team at Hindustan Coca-Cola to deliver the volume and profitability targets for Coca-Cola India. Datta has been with the Coca-Cola system since 1995 in a variety of roles in marketing, operations, customer & commercial leadership, strategy in India as well as China. In his most recent role he has helped drive exponential growth in the national key accounts business.

Bhupendra Suri, currently director, franchise operations, is being elevated as vice president – Franchise Bottling Operations. He will work with the 11 franchise bottlers in India and provide leadership and strategic direction to them. Suri has spent 17 years in India in a variety of functional and general management roles, with the company as well as the bottling operations.

Andriy Avramenko, currently VP - juice, will take over as vice president strategy and still beverages. Avramenko has had diverse experiences within Coca-Cola in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business integration, supply chain and finance. Avramenko has been instrumental in putting the juice brands on a path of sustainable profitable growth in India and SWA over the past two years.

Debabrata Mukherjee, currently vice president, strategy and still beverages, will take on the role of vice president, marketing and commercial. The marketing and commercial roles are being brought together under one head, for a deeper and combined focus on commercial and shopper marketing as well as product commercialisation.

Mukherjee is a veteran of the Coca-Cola system, who joined the company in 1998. He has done a series of marketing and general management roles. He was the head of marketing for the company in Korea before coming back to India in 2011.

Anupama Ahluwalia, currently VP marketing, will take up a short term leadership assignment with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages to get direct experience within our bottling system. Upon completion of the assignment, Ahluwalia will then return to Coca-Cola India. He has led the marketing function for over two years, leading the creation of the iconic crazy for happiness campaign for Coca-Cola, achieved record market shares for the brand and led the company into the forefront of digital marketing by launching the social media center.

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