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Coca-Cola India undertakes top level organisational changes

Debabrata Mukherjee will become VP - Marketing and Commercial. Anupama Ahluwalia, currently VP - Marketing, will take up a short-term leadership assignment with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 2, 2013

(Left) Debabrata Mukherjee and Anupama Ahluwalia (Right)

Coca-Cola India has undertaken some key senior leadership changes aligned to the company’s long-term plans of becoming one of The Coca-Cola Company’s top five markets (in volume terms) by 2020. 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 & shopper marketing as well as product commercialisation.

Mukherjee is a veteran of The Coca-Cola system, having joined the company in 1998. He has done a series of marketing and general management roles. He was the Head of Marketing for The Coca-Cola 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 the company’s bottling system. Upon completion of the assignment, she will return to Coca-Cola India. Ashe 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 our Sparkling brands and led the company into the forefront of digital marketing by launching the Social Media Center.

The company is already committed to an investment of $5 billion to further capture growth opportunities in the Indian packaged beverage market.

Announcing the senior leadership changes, Venkatesh Kini, Deputy Business Unit President, Coca-Cola  India and South West Asia, 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 being announced today 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 key organisational changes effective October 1, 2013. All the senior leaders of the company will report to Venkatesh Kini. There are no changes in the organisation structure at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, the company-owned bottling operations in India led by T Krishnakumar, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages.

Among other changes, Vikas Chawla, currently VP Operations, is moving to Athens, taking over as 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 Coca-Cola system.

For a deeper focus on operations and aligned to achieving the business targets for 2020, Coca-Cola India will have two operations 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 closely work with the team at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages 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, and Strategy in India as well as China. In his most recent role he has helped drive exponential growth in our 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 VP - Strategy and Still Beverages. Avramenko has had diverse experiences within The Coca-Cola Company in Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Integration, Supply Chain And Finance. He has been instrumental in putting the juice brands on a path of sustainable profitable growth in India and SWA over the past two years.

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