Coca-Cola India opened a new plant last week

Coca-Cola India opened a new plant last week

The Coca-Cola's India unit has appointed two operations heads as it seeks to become Coca-Cola's fifth-largest market by 2020.

Sumanta Datta will take over as VP for company bottling operations, while Bhupendra Suri has been appointed VP for franchise bottling operations, Coca-Cola India said last week. The two men will replace operations VP Vikas Chawla, who is leaving for Greece to take over as franchise operations head in South East Europe.

Datta has been with Coca-Cola since 1995 and is currently VP for customer and commercial leadership. Suri has been with the company for 17 years and is director for franchise operations.

Last year, Coca-Cola said it will invest US$5bn in India by 2020 to help continue strong momentum in the market. The country has produced annual double-digit volume growth in the past six years.

Last week, Coca-Cola international president Ahmet Bozer said India “has the potential to become one of the top five markets” for Coca-Cola Co by 2020. Bozer was speaking after he inaugurated India's 57th manufacturing plant, in Uttar Pradesh. The plant, commissioned by Coca-Cola bottler Moon Beverages, cost $21.5m and is the first in the country with a combi-block line that can produce juice as well as water, tea and sports drinks, Coca-Cola said last week.

In other executive changes, Andriy Avramenko - currently VP for juice - will take over as VP for strategy and still beverages. Avramenko will replace Debabrata Mukherjee, who will become VP for marketing and commercial.

All appointments are effective from 1 October, Coca-Cola India said.