Coca-Cola Invests $2 Billion In India

Coca-Cola India said that it plans to use the money to take advantage of a blooming population with a rapidly growing middle class.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Coca-Cola Co.'s subsidiary in India says it plans to invest $2 billion in the country over the next five years as the beverage maker tries to make a bigger push in the key emerging market.

Coca-Cola India said Monday that it plans to use the money to build up its infrastructure, develop its manufacturing abilities, invest in consumer marketing and expand distribution.

"Our India business has been growing at a robust rate over the last five years, and our goal is to continue this growth momentum. The country's demographics, economic and social parameters are all huge drivers of growth and we have to ensure that we capitalize on the opportunity," said Atul Singh, president and CEO of Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.

Coca-Cola, like most consumer product companies, has put a heavier push on its business in emerging markets like India with fast-growing populations and expanding middle classes.

India is one of Coca-Cola's top 10 markets in terms of sales volume globally and is the largest market in its Eurasia and Africa Group.

Coca-Cola, which sells products such as Thums Up and Sprite in India, re-entered the country in 1993 shortly after the government began allowing more foreign investment.

Shares of Coca-Cola, which is based in Atlanta, fell 38 cents to $67.74 in midday trading.