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Coke and Pakistan: An enviable history

Coke has an enviable history in Pakistan spread over decades. Over the years it has added new products to its portfolio to cater the needs of local Coke lovers. Over the years, it has changed its business model for ensuring prompt delivery of the superior quality standards.

Coca-Cola entered Pakistan market in 1953. The first plant was set up in Karachi. For several years, the bottling operations were conducted by independent franchisees. Then in 1996, Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCBPL) was established to acquire all the bottling plants and operate these.

CCBPL is a part of Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI), which is sixth largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world. It has a presence in ten countries that include Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Syria and Pakistan. CCI owns 48 percent shares of CCBPL with management control. As a part of its drive to enhance the quality, availability and the image of Coca-Cola products, the Coca-Cola Company established CCBPL in Pakistan in 1996. CCBPL started the process of acquiring and investing in locally franchised bottling operations. This process was completed in 2006 and now manufacturing and selling rights of Coca-Cola products rests with CCBPL.

CCBPL is the fifth largest bottler in the Coca-Cola system in terms of sales volume. CCI employs more than 10,000 people and has a total of 25 plants in 10 countries across Turkey, Pakistan, Central Asia and the Middle East. It serves a consumer base of 380 million people by offering CCI’s product portfolio that includes juices, waters, sports and energy drinks, teas and iced teas.

CCBPL has 6 plants and 13 warehouses throughout Pakistan with a production capacity of 111 million physical cases. CCBPL is a significant player in the growth of Pakistan’s economy since it is one of the country’s top foreign direct investments in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) business and is one of the major tax paying beverages companies of Pakistan.

One of the strongest contributions of Coke is its CSR activities. During this Ramazan, Coke engineered an innovative element in its advertising campaign BOTTLE OF CHANGE by using its bottle to collect donations. A key feature of the campaign was that Coca-Cola will double all donations received during the campaign, up to a limit of Rs25 million, apart from spending a very large sum on a multi-dimensional publicity campaign for this great humanitarian institution.

The people of Pakistan collected donations in the Coca-Cola bottles, which were then shared with more than 300 Edhi Centers and designated 75,000 plus collection points across Pakistan through partnership with Easypaisa and other retail partners. The main message of the campaign, appealing to public consciousness was Edhi Sahab’s legacy and mission must carry on. While the people of Pakistan have always supported the Edhi Foundation throughout the year, the holy month of Ramazan has traditionally been the time of the year when public support reaches a peak, and donations to the Foundation, both zakat and non-zakat, register huge increase.

Preceding the launch of Coke Studio Season 9, Pakistan’s biggest music platform, Coca-Cola Pakistan has created a unique music experience for the Deaf Community of Pakistan. Innovative technology combined with the platform’s philosophy of inclusivity, Coke Studio for the Deaf enables people with little or no hearing ability to get the basic experience of music.

The setup invented in China, was first tested out by the Coca-Cola brand team, when it was installed in Bangkok. A group of 8 students and faculty of the Deaf Reach School were taken to Bangkok to try out the system first hand. Their experience was nothing short of remarkable, with the group members actually experiencing Coke Studio for the very first time in their lives.  Based on this great success, Coca-Cola Pakistan decided to acquire the system for long-term use in Pakistan, with a vision to enable more people from the Deaf Community to also experience the music of Coke Studio.

To celebrate Coca-Cola Pakistan’s milestone of achieving 300muc in 2016, a grand celebratory event was organized in Lahore. The mega event, titled ’70 Years of Glorious Pakistan’, featured the very best talent of the country, showcasing the journey of Pakistan since its independence in 1947 through a cultural manifestation in the form of musical and fashion show. The event featured top seven fashion designers of the country, with music by world renowned Sachal Studios.

Speaking at the event, Brian Smith, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Group, said “It makes me extremely proud to be here, in person, to congratulate all of you for a remarkable performance this past year. In markets like Pakistan, where we are investing significantly, we expect continued growth because of the immense potential this country has. With a growing young population, we as a Company are determined to invest more for the betterment of our local communities.”

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