The verdict is out and the speculation as to who will head Coke India is over. Atlanta has decided to bring in Atul Singh from China as its man in India. In a letter addressed to Coca-Cola employees worldwide, the company’s Asia-Pacific Chief, Patrick T Siewert, has mentioned that Singh will be the new President of the India Division for Coca-Cola with effect from September 1.
Singh, who will be based in New Delhi, replaces Sanjiv Gupta, who had gone on medical leave sometime ago. According to the company communiqué, Gupta was “leaving the Coca-Cola system to pursue professional interests”. But the market had been speculating for some time that Gupta was on his way out following differences with the Atlanta management. Gupta had been heading the India operations for the company for the last seven-and-a-half years.
“Atul will be responsible for leading the highly strategic and rapidly developing India Division in a collaborative manner that will result in sustainable and profitable growth not only for India and our company, but for our franchise bottlers as well,” Siewert wrote in his letter.
Singh had recently been appointed as President, East, Central and South China division. He has been a key member of the leadership team since joining the China Division in 2001, initially as Region Manager, East China, and then as Vice-President, Operations, Mainland China, and later as Deputy Division President, China Division.
Prior to joining Coca-Cola China, Singh was VP-Operations for Coca-Cola India, responsible for managing the franchise bottlers and key accounts. Before joining Coca-Cola, Singh had a stint with Colgate Palmolive in the US, Romania and Nigeria in a senior role.