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2625 WordsMay 4, 201411 Pages
Brief Integrative Case 2.1 Coca-Cola in India Coca-Cola is a brand name known throughout the entire world. It covers 60 percent of the $1.6 billion soft drink market. In 2006–2007, Coca-Cola faced some difficult challenges in the region of Kerala, India. The company was accused of using water that contained pesticides in its bottling plants in Kerala. An environmental group, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), found 57 bottles of Coke and Pepsi products from 12 Indian states that contained unsafe levels of pesticides.1 The Kerala minister of health, Karnataka R. Ashok, imposed a ban on the manufacture and sale of Coca-Cola products in the region. Coca-Cola then arranged to have its drinks tested in a British lab, and the report found that the amount of pesticides found in Pepsi and Coca-Cola drinks was harmless to the body.2 Coca-Cola then ran numerous ads to regain consumers’ confidence in its prod- ucts and brand. However, these efforts did not satisfy the environmental groups or the minister of health. India’s Changing Marketplace During the 1960s and 1970s, India’s economy faced many challenges, growing only an average of 3–3.5 percent per year. Numerous obstacles hindered foreign companies from investing in India, and many restrictions on eco- nomic activity caused huge difficulties for Indian firms and a lack of interest among foreign investors. For many years the government had problems with implementing reform and overcoming bureaucratic and political divi- sions. Business activity has traditionally been undervalued in India; leisure is typically given more value than work. Stemming from India’s colonial legacy, Indians are highly suspicious of foreign investors. Indeed, there have been a few well-publicized disputes between the Indian govern- ment and foreign investors.3 More recently, however, many Western companies are finding

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