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Coca-Cola India is positioned as a major sourcing destination for its global operations. While the soft drinks major may have had to Indianise itself to gain a stronghold in the domestic market, it is now looking at exporting materials and business models to its global operations.

Coca-Cola India joins the likes of Henkel Spic, Sara Lee, Ford and Hyundai to embrace outsourcing of goods and practices to global sister concerns.

From the Coca-Cola stables, products like 'Sunfill' and 'Georgia' are exported to several countries. In fact, the company is looking at replicating the business model of Georgia - tea and coffee in a vended form - in Bahrain, select south-east Asian nations, and China.

The powder drink concentrate brand Sunfill is present in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Both Sunfill and Georgia are brands created for India with the objective of tapping a bigger slice of the non-alchoholic beverages market.

Apart from product brands, the company is also a major supplier of commodities and materials like sugar, coffee, PET bottles, recycled glass bottles, crowns, labels and caps to its global operations, a senior Coke official said.

Procurement costs of commodities are much lower on account of existing economies of scale and better bargaining power on bulk purchases. The company is able to pass on the benefits to its global operations. ''It is a win-win situation for us. We pass on some benefits and also gain on fulfillment of our export obligations,'' company sources said.

The company is also increasing supplies of packing items like bottles and caps globally. It is only in India that Coca-Cola has a mix of its own bottling facilities and arrangements with independent bottlers. Coca-Cola has 27 owned units, 17 franchisee units, and 22 co-packers. While Coca-Cola Worldwide does not own any bottling unit, the Indian strategy is to gain a hands-on expertise in bottling.

Recycled glass bottles are more an exception than a norm in advanced countries. Coca-Cola India's traditional markets would be those of Sri Lanka and Vietnam where glass bottles are still prevalent. Company officials said countries like China and even Germany are evaluating the possibility of using glass bottles as PET collection and disposal are huge environmental concerns.

The company is also looking at becoming a major source point, considering that the India division now covers five overseas destinations of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives. ''This will obviously mean synergy in manufacturing and marketing,'' sources said

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