Sanjiv Gupta
Title : Cool Move
Company Name : Coca-Cola India

He is a cool guy. After all, thanda means Coca Cola. Heading the Indian chapter of the legendary brand called Coke, he is cool, yet aggressive. A product of IIT-Delhi with a specialisation in chemical engineering, Sanjiv Gupta is the man behind Coke's planning to get a bigger pie in the thanda market. Gupta, who started his professional career with Hindustan Lever in 1984 as an area sales manager, has had a long and distinguished career in marketing and operations in diverse categories. He later moved through successive positions like brand manager and marketing manager.

He also served for a brief period in ABCL, started by Amitabh Bachchan. Gupta joined Coca-Cola India in 1997 as vice-president, marketing, and was instrumental in providing a bold new direction to its marketing campaigns, connecting people in a manner and fashion that identify themselves with the brand specific core message. Following his successes, he was made head of operations for the company-owned bottling operations in India. He was elevated as the deputy president of the India Division in April 2002.

Gupta was instrumental in bringing about significant operational improvements in the market. Under his leadership, the company reached the break-even profit stage in 2001-2 and the India Division received the prestigious Woodruff Cup in 2003. It was Gupta who is credited in a major way for guiding the company's owned bottling as well as franchise operations, which eventually made the company the country's premier total beverage company.


Gupta was made the president of Coca Cola's India Division on July 7, 2003. He initiated the company's successful forays into powdered drinks, packaged drinking water, ready-to-serve tea and coffee etc. While heading the Team India of Coca Cola, Gupta had to negotiate sharp turns of controversies. When New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment raised the controversy about pesticides in Coke and Pepsi, Gupta took a tough posture and adroitly steered the brand through rough water. In 2004, the Institute of Directors (IOD), engaged in the fields of corporate governance, quality, environment protection and innovation, conferred its prestigious Golden Peacock award on Gupta, giving him the title of 'Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors'.

In accepting the award, Gupta true to his commitment to Coca Cola, said, "It is indeed a privilege to be associated with such a distinguished group. This award is a strong recognition of Coca-Cola India's commitment and initiatives towards quality control, environment protection and setting up of an independent India 'advisory board and environment advisory council' to guide the company in line with the high standards of corporate governance." Why not, thanda matlab success too.