It has been a busy summer for the UK water company Coca-Cola, with its biggest quarterly profit ever and its latest earnings report making the company one of the biggest companies in the world.
The company’s results were also boosted by its expansion into India and its plans to open its first global distribution centre in Brazil, which has been plagued by high unemployment.
Coca-Cola has also been able to tap into a growing market for bottled water in the US.
But in India, the drink maker has been struggling to find a sustainable market for its bottled water.
“We’re seeing a lot of challenges in India and the world generally, as the Indian market is a highly fragmented market,” said Mark Wood, Coca-Cola’s global head of business development in India.
“That means there’s lots of different brands, brands that don’t quite fit with the Indian ethos and that’s where the bottling business comes in.”
According to Mr Wood, Coke India is now the country’s largest bottled water maker.
Its total revenues in India amounted to £14.5 billion in the latest quarter, up from £11.4 billion in 2014.
Mr Wood also said the Indian drinks industry had a long way to go in the next few years.
“[We need to] really push our brands and our brands have to really deliver and make sure that we’ve got a robust portfolio of brands that we can bring to the market in India,” he said.
And that’s why Coke is taking on India’s biggest bottler, Hindustan Coca-cola, to expand its footprint.
India has one of India’s largest water bottlers, Hindostan Coca Cola, which sells water to a growing number of consumers, including some celebrities.
In 2014, Coca Colas global head for water, Amit Kumar, said India was the “next big market” for the company.
With the company now expanding its operations in India into a new bottling plant, the focus is now on expanding its supply chain in the country, which is currently facing a shortage of water.
“India is a great place to scale up, to have the capacity to grow that portfolio of water brands and we’re excited about the opportunity that the country presents,” Mr Wood said.
“The future of the global water industry is bright, there are lots of opportunities in India to build on and expand our footprint there.”
Mr Kumar said the new plant would create about 30 jobs in India in the water sector.
“India has the potential to be a huge market for the world’s largest drink maker,” he told the BBC.
“It’s one of our priorities to do what we can to ensure that we continue to grow our presence in India.”