Coca Cola in India Question #4 Business Communications

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Sanjiv Gupta, President and CEO of Coca Cola in India, is facing a crisis concerning pesticide levels in coke in the country of India. The Center for Science and Environment (CSE), an activist group in India focused on environmental sustainability issues issued a press release stating: "12 major cold drink brands sold in and around Delhi contain a deadly cocktail of pesticide residues" (Argenti, p. 284). Recommendations for Coke’s communications strategies include accepting and adhering to higher standards of social responsibility in India and forming an alliance with the government to set these higher safer standards. Coca Cola should choose to emerge and set itself apart from its biggest competitor, Pepsi, by accepting a more socially responsible. In order to accomplish this, Coke can align itself with the CSE goals for an environmentally safe and industrialized India. Coke should recognize the enormous reputational benefits that could come from such a partnership in correcting the pollution problem in India. Taking on social responsibilities has a number of positive outcomes for corporate leaders. Once the world community learns of Coke’s environmentally responsible goal in India, the company will project a positive interest in India and to the rest of the world (Argenti, p.65 ). The people of India have shown that they want a company that is concerned about their health, welfare, and environment as “sales down over 30-40%1 in only two weeks on the heels of a 75% five-year growth trajectory and 25-30%2 year-to-date growth” (Argenti, p.285 ) A positive reputation can help companies weather crises more effective (Argenti, p. 91)

The next step would be for Coke to enhance its relationship with the government. Companies have begun to realize that instead of fighting regulation, it should advocate its position to political decision makers (Argenti, p. 238). Businesses use a number of tactics to further the position of their business with the influential...
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