Entering the soft drinks industry in india

6 June 2016

India is an enormous and diverse country with a population of over 1 billion people, making it difficult to make any generalisations about what Indians like and want from a soft drink (Background to Business in India, 2011). The soft drink industry in India has been growing rapidly since 2006 and in 2010 generated a profit of $3.8 billion and although the market is set to decelerate, by 2015 he market value will be $5.9 billion (Soft Drinks Industry Profile: India, 2011). From this, India is an attractive marketplace with many opportunities for a soft drinks manufacturer to want to expand in to. Porter’s National Diamond: Factor Conditions

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India has a very young population with over half being under the age of 25 (BSCAA , 2009) This is an advantage to the MNC wanting to expand their business in to India as research by Euromonitor (2011) suggests that young people aged 16-25 are more likely to purchase bottled soft drinks.

Conversely, the diversity of the population in India must be stressed as it is such a large country, with a huge divide between rich and poor. Also with regards to human resources, the MNC could benefit from the profusion of low-cost labour in India (Maan, M et al, 2011), meaning the MNC could move its manufacturing to India to reduce its operating costs whilst targeting the young population with their soft drink product. When assessing the physical resources in India, the MNC needs to consider the poor infrastructure in the country and how rural some of the areas are.

It would not be advised to enter the market in east/northeast India unless selling cheap bottled water because the area is very rural and poor and there is only really a market for selling healthy, clean and sanitised water (Soft Drinks in India, 2011). However, south India would be a much more promising area to invest in to and the MNC would have better business opportunities here. Southern India benefits from a much more affluent population of young, employed people, who in recent years have become much more health-conscious, which has led to an increase of 24% in market sales (Soft Drinks in India, 2011).

If the MNC were to invest in India, concentrating on one area to ensure they reach the correct target audience, Southern India would be ideal to bring out a range of waters and juices to attract the young, health-conscious population there. Carbonated drinks should not be considered at research by Euromonitor (2011) stress the saturation of the market by megabrands such as Coca Cola and the need for “healthier” bottled, soft drinks. These also relate to the social and environmental sectors of the PESTLE model. Porter’s National Diamond: Demand Conditions

In India, there is an increasing demand for healthy and hygienic soft drinks but sports drinks will remain to be the most rapidly growing sector due to the popularity of sports with young Indians (Soft Drinks in India, 2011). The research from Euromonitor (2011) states that Indians have moved away from carbonated drinks due to the rising health awareness, and have started to purchase more water and fruit and vegetable juices. For the MNC to compete against the increasing international competition, they would need to think “glocally”.

Glocalisation entails local and global activities acting simultaneously, where they would “think globally and act locally” (Glocalisation, no date). By adapting to the local environment, the MNC could gain a competitive advantage as an international brand as they would appear to take in to account the local surroundings of their brand and they are more likely to be successful as they would be selling a product that the local Indians would want.

The MNC should internationalise to respond to the megatrend of competitors, which is a deterministic force, and then compete through adaptation of their product to suit the local surroundings in India. The strategy the MNC should consider after analysing the demand conditions is to consider both price and value together. They should differentiate themselves from other soft drink suppliers by offering a strong brand that young Indians are conscious of (Soft Drinks in India, 2011) but also an acceptable price.

Although there is a huge poor population in India, if the MNC were to target Southern India as suggested after looking at the factor conditions, research by the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (2011) depict a large and growing middle-class population of India that have a disposable income of between $4,166-$20,833 per year; this suggests that they could price their product in correspondence with the other brands as there is a growing population of richer Indians.

Also by offering benefits of a brand and a health-conscious drink that is in high demand at the moment, they can concentrate on focussing on that one area of India where they could possibly dominate the market in a smaller area. Porter’s National Diamond: Firm Strategy, Structure and Rivalry With regards to structure of firms, the MNC will have to consider how different India is in terms of how they do business compared to Europe. In India, the majority of organisations have a strong hierarchical structure, with one authoritarian leader at the top (World Business Culture, 2011).

When investing in to the Indian market it is recommended to approach business in the same hierarchical structure that India have as it is indisputably acknowledged.
If they were to enter the market dealing with business in a more democratic, flat manner, how Europe would normally deal with business, they are unlikely to thrive. In terms of rivalry, there appears to be a lot of competition from other brands of soft drinks. Bisleri holds the largest amount of market share with 23.6% in 2010; however this is the main seller of clean, hygienic water in India (Soft Drinks in India, 2011).

After this, Coca Cola and Pepsi with all their sub-brands hold high shares in the market in India. If the MNC were to invest in to the Indian market, the strategy they would have to take would be to introduce a new soft drink that promotes sustainable benefits of being a healthy, branded, bottled soft drink that is different from the standard carbonates that the international, well-known brands offer. By differentiating their product and adapting it to the local environment in India, the MNC will gain competitive advantage. Porter’s National Diamond:

Related and Supporting Industries Soft drinks are sweetened with sugar (Beverage Health, 2010) and India is the second largest producer of this commodity in the world (Sugar: Supply and Demand, 2010). This would be a benefit to the MNC as a main ingredient to soft drinks is readily available and will be cheaper rather than importing it from other countries. Plastic is also heavily involved when packaging soft drinks, through a third party factory. Luckily for the MNC, India has had a high development of their machinery which can create high-quality plastic products, including bottles (Indian Plastic Portal: 2009). By having plastic bottlers locally available, the MNC will have an advantage on being able to easily be supplied the service; however the price at which they purchase the plastic bottles for their soft drink product could be expensive due to the competition of other, more established brands such as Coca Cola. Porter’s National Diamond: Role of Chance

The role of chance could invalidate the advantages of investing in the market in India at any time. Chance events that could affect the MNC introducing a new soft drink in India could include: well-established brands like Coca Cola or Pepsi creating a new product which young Indian’s are more likely to be swayed towards due to brand loyalty; another chance event could be new health awareness campaigns that may affect a young individual’s view on bottled soft drinks. There are constantly rising issues concerning health and the amount of sugar young people consume which could seriously harm the reputation and also the sales that the MNC could potentially make when entering the Indian Market. Also factors such as soaring prices in sugar or limited water supply could dramatically affect the manufacture and production of soft drinks. Porter’s National Diamond: Role of Government

Currently, India is considered at a low-cost option for organisations to invest in to with its strong domestic market, high savings rates and positive demographic trend (World Business Culture: 2011), however, this could quickly change as India’s government could, at any time, implement new tax laws, quality standard laws or changes in antitrust laws which could alter the ease of entering in to the Indian marketplace for soft drinks. The MNC must take in to account and assess all the different policies and laws for foreign markets to invest to ensure they can operate their business properly. Issues that may arise in this determinant will also occur in the PESTLE model if the MNC were to undertake this from of country analysis.

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