“A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.” Andy Warhol thus summed up the popularity of the world’s most renowned brand, Coca-Cola. There is hardly anybody who has not had a Coca-Cola. Established in 1892, the company sells its flagship popular drink in over 200 countries. Anushka Nepal from ApEx talks to Adarsh Avasthi, country director, Coca-Cola Nepal, on what the company has been up to in the recent years.
Being such a global brand, it might be difficult to maintain the customer engagement. Can you share how Coca-Cola has been maintaining that with the consumers in Nepal?
Yes, it is difficult to maintain such engagement among customers, but we believe in hearing them out to make our sales more relatable to them. For instance, in Nepal, we have been giving familiar names to our different sized bottles, like ‘Kanchu pack’, which is understandable to many Nepalis, and they can connect with the product. We also hear out good ideas from the customers themselves too. What better way to understand what customers want than that from a customer itself?
Dashain and Tihar are huge festivals in Nepal, and Coca-Cola never misses to launch a festival campaign each year. What campaign is the company running this year?
This year, the star of our campaign would be Chef Santosh Shah, who in collaboration with Coca-Cola shared personal recipes for five different dishes that were specifically targeted for the festival. We also wanted to do something better this year, something that would help us connect with our customers on an emotional level. Which is why we decided to facilitate bringing migrant workers back home during this year’s festival. During this festive season, we wanted to give much more than just a pack of beverages. We wanted our customers to have a family to share that pack of beverage.
Was it a challenge to bring the migrant workers back home? How did the company manage to do so?
Yes, it was challenging. We had to find them first in order to bring them back. But the company was determined enough to do so. We had a great team that worked really hard on making that happen. And thankfully, we were also able to capture those moments when families reunite after years. I think many of us were able to empathize too after watching that video. It definitely was not easy, but somehow it became possible. I believe it to be the work of a great team. I think it could also be an inspiration to other companies to do something like that in the future.
Throughout the years, we have noticed a lot of emphasis on social impact by Coca-Cola. Can you elaborate more on this.
Our main focus as a company is to always strive to make our production process more sustainable. Most of our products in Nepal are manufactured in a glass bottle, which is sustainable. Also, we have been working alongside several NGOs in order to recycle plastic bottles. Those recycled bottles are again used in our production. Likewise, a lot of retailers in Nepal are women. We have been running a program called ‘Sakshyam’ with an objective to uplift at least 1,000 women with their businesses. For instance, if a woman retailer owns a restaurant, we want to facilitate her on how to make those food items more presentable for their consumers. In this way, Coca-Cola has decided to support women employment, and the program has been going good so far.
We are already nearing the end of 2022, are there any upcoming campaigns that consumers can anticipate?
I would not like to give away all the excitement just yet, but Coca-Cola has been planning to launch some exciting campaigns for the end of this year. Since the FIFA World Cup will be taking place soon, we have been working on a campaign that helps our consumers connect with the game on a more personal level. As we all know, Nepal is very much engaged in football and the World Cup definitely gets everyone on their toes. We are planning to launch a campaign that will not just be about the World Cup, but will be something that our consumers will be able to connect on a personal level. It will be mostly targeted for football fans.