1. The political environment in India has proven to be critical to company performance for both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola India. What specific aspects of the political environment have played key roles? Could these effects have been anticipated prior to market entry? If not, could developments in the political arena have been handled better by each company?
2. Timing of entry into the Indian market brought different results for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola India. What benefits or disadvantages accrued as a result of earlier or later market entry?
3. The Indian market is enormous in terms of population and geography. How have the two companies responded to the sheer scale of operations in India in terms of product policies, promotional activities, pricing policies, and distribution arrangements?
4. “Global localization” (glocalization) is a policy that both companies have implemented successfully. Give examples for each company from the case.
5. How can Pepsi and Coke confront the issues of water use in the manufacture of their products? How can they defuse further boycotts or demonstrations against their products? How effective are activist groups like the one that launched the campaign in California? Should Coke address the group directly or just let the furor subside?
6. Which of the two companies do you think has better long term prospects for success in India?
7. What lessons can each company draw from its Indian experience as it contemplates entry into other Big Emerging Markets?
8. Comment on the decision of both Pepsi and Coke to enter the bottled water market instead of continuing to focus on their core products—carbonated beverages and cola-based drinks in particular.