“We are looking at taking the Indian brand which has done very well for the last 40 years outside the shore of India. In fact, we are all set to taking Thums Up to other parts of South Asia possibly by March this year,” T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia told reporters.
It is expected to be launched in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, he said.
Asked whether the beverage would be exported to these countries, he said, “It would be made locally (in these countries) and then marketed locally. We have manufacturing capabilities in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.”
According to Krishnakumar, the company would intend to take the beverage brand globally “step by step” after starting from these markets. It also intends to make it the first home-grown “billion dollars” beverage brand in the next two years, he said.
Krishnakumar also said the brand has a small presence in the Middle East markets to cater to Indian diaspora but the company has not formally launched it in any other country other than India.
The company was committed to taking Indian flavours global and the company’s focus is on enhancing the existing portfolio of juices with fruits that are locally grown in various regions of India.
“This year, there will be a significant priority to accelerate our juice portfolio,” company’s President (Asian Pacific Group) John Murphy told reporters here. He said India is globally the sixth largest market for the beverage maker.
The beverage giant is also creating a new category of frozen dessert under the brand name ‘Minute Maid Perfect Fruit’ and it also focuses on ‘ethnic beverages’.
John, however, said the company had ‘some hiccups’ in 2016 and 2017 due to some reasons, one of them is demonetization. “But, the broader trends remain very optimistic and I expect India to become our fifth largest market soon,” John added.