NEW DELHI — Soft-drink manufacturers urged the government on Wednesday not to allow Pepsico to start selling its beverages in the country, claiming that the U.S. company would destroy the domestic industry and leave a million people jobless.
Pepsico disputed the contentions, saying it would drive growth in the industry and employ thousands of Indians. It also said that it had been approached by an Indian state and that the proposed joint venture was intended primarily to develop agricultural processes.
"Why do we need Pepsi? We managed to develop our soft-drink industry, and the government should protect it," soft-drink maker Charanjit Singh told a news conference. Singh is managing director of Pure Drinks Co., which manufactures Campa Cola, one of India's most popular soft drinks.
Consumers rejected Pepsi-Cola when it came to India in 1956. The company left India voluntarily in 1961 because the product didn't appeal to Indian tastes.