Coke on talent hunt for more fizz

Coke on talent hunt for more fizz

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Friday, May 05,2006 6:42 AM

Coke on talent hunt for more fizz

Coca Cola India seems to be putting its house in order with a vengeance. Having lost talent to some of the emerging sectors like telecom, insurance and retail over the past few months, the cola major is now hiring aggressively.

While eight senior executives are either joining the company fold or are already in, around 15 lower-to-middle management positions have been filled up during the last three months.

Besides, it has created two new senior posts of VP strategy and VP client engagement as part of its new strategic blueprint for growth in India, “Manifesto For Growth”. Coca-Cola India officials are calling it the “phase II of its human resource planning”.

While Sandeep Gupta from Bausch & Lomb, Hong Kong, has joined as VP strategy, Sanjay Rawal from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health Care has taken up the post of VP client engagement. Both are joining next month.

Apart from these two appointments, it is taking in six senior executives - all serving in different Coca-Cola systems internationally. They include Sumanta Datta, Vikas Chawla and Sanjiv Gupta (not the ex-CEO).

Sumanta Datta, earlier region manager of Coca-Cola in Shanghai, is all set to join as regional VP, north operations, from June 1. Mr Datta returns to Coca-Cola India after a stint in its China operations where in October '00 he moved as the brand director for Coca-Cola.

Vikas Chawla, on the other hand, has just rejoined Coca-Cola India as VP, franchise business operations. He has relocated after an innings in Sri Lanka, where until '02 he was the country manager for Coca-Cola's Sri Lanka operations. In '04, when the Sri Lanka operations passed on to SABCO, he joined them as managing director for Sri Lanka.

Similarly, Sanjiv Gupta has joined as director, revenue growth management and business planning.

Mr Gupta has been with Coca-Cola since 1997, handling various marketing roles in the India division and other divisions like Saudi Arabia and Denmark.

It is not as if Coca-Cola India has eyes on its own HR needs. “In the last one year, Coca-Cola India has injected more than 20 managers into its international operations, which include managers like Avinash Pant, Sanjiv Kumar, Pushkar Chaowdhary, Amit Sehgal, Darshane and Shouvik Ganguly,” Adil Malia, VP, human resources, Coca-Cola India, said.

They have all moved from India on international postings within the Coca-Cola system. More recently, Pavi Gupta, the India general manager for knowledge and insights, moved as director, Singapore, for the same responsibilities.

Similarly, Jaideep Kibe will be moving to Malaysia to manage a marketing assignment.

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