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May 2, 2002 | 1055 IST
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Cadbury Schweppes to let consumers define brand profile

BS Corporate Bureau

The UK-headquartered Cadbury Schweppes believes in letting the consumer define its brand profile.

Explaining this, Rajiv Wahi, regional managing director of Cadbury Schweppes plc (Africa, India, Middle East), said, "While Bournvita is perceived it to be a sleep inducing drink in the UK, it is positioned as a nutritional drink in India and Nigeria."

Wahi was speaking at a seminar in Mumbai on 'Managing regional diversity in a multinational corporation.'

He said, the Bournvita pack in UK had stars and other night time aspects associated with sleep on it, while the same product was sold as an energy drink for growing children in India.

He said, the company's low-priced melted chocolate brand Chocki was also an effort to trigger an increase in chocolate consumption.

Cadbury's, which has been embarking on various brand management initiatives recently, devised its business strategy on the capability and competence across all functions in the company.

Though the Indian operations account for only two per cent of Cadbury Schweppes' total turnover, it is a top performing profit centre for the British company.

The Indian arm's portfolio includes Dairy Milk, Five Star, Perk, Milk Treat, Eclairs, Temptations, Bournvita and Gollum.

Wahi insisted his company's accent world-wide was on enhancing value.

He said when the company started operations in a new region directly or through acquisitions, the new venture was always headed by a Schweppes employee being appointed as a managing director or finance director.

This ensured that Cadbury Schweppes' best practices were imbibed in the new region of operations.

He cited the example of a Turkish family owned business that Cadbury Schweppes acquired, and the manner in which a familial attitude during negotiations facilitated a smooth takeover.

This business house was headed by an uncle, who was addressed as Amza by his nieces and nephews on the management board, Wahi said.

"When I met him, I sought to know from him how I ought to address him. He asked me to call him by his name. However, I asked him what Amza meant and upon learning that it was Turkish for uncle, I decided to address him in the same way as everyone else in his company did."

"It changed the way a family owned business would relate to an MNC," Wahi said.

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