In what could turn out to be the biggest management churn in global beverage giant Coca-Cola’s history in India, jobs of around 200-250 senior and middle-level executives may be impacted at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the largest bottling arm of the company in India. TOI spoke to several top executives at HCCB who confirmed the development.
“Some of us are being given less senior roles, while others are being asked to shift to obscure locations,” said a senior HCCB executive. “People who are not finding the new terms possible, will or are looking at other options.”
In response to TOI’s email about the retrenchment, the company issued a statement that said, “HCCB will now operate under seven zones instead of the current five and will also re-organise its corporate centre resources to serve in the zones and factories. The company will have a leaner corporate office and a much strengthened sales and supply chain organization, thereby creating several hundred new jobs. The reorganisation will however make a few existing jobs redundant, the incumbents of which will be encouraged to apply for the new jobs that have been created.” The retrenchment process is expected to affect major functions at the company, including HR, special projects, sustainability, route-to-market and alternate beverages, said sources.
Executives in departments such as, IT and finance are also being affected, they added. In the last two years, HCCB has shut down plants in Jorhat (Assam), Byrnihat (Meghalaya), Kaladera (Jaipur), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Moula Ali (Telangana) and Hospet (Karnataka).
The restructuring at HCCB comes at a time when cola makers in India are struggling to keep up with shifting consumer preferences for healthier beverages.